Clear Customs

Importing Rice into the UK


Classification - As per the Custom Tariff

Before you can find out any information, such as: Duty Rate, VAT rate, Licences, Documentation, Restrictions etc on any product including Rice, you must first obtain the commodity classification (10-digit) code

The section of the UK Customs Tariff relating to Rice, is section 1006. This splits down the different types of rice as follows:

1006 10Rice in the husk (paddy or rough)
1006 10 10For sowing
1006 10 21 Other


1006 20Husked (brown) rice
1006 20 11Parboiled
1006 20 92 Other


1006 30Semi-milled or wholly milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed
1006 30 21Semi-milled rice
1006 30 61 Wholly milled rice


1006 40Broken rice
1006 00 10For the manufact. of food preparations of sub head. 1901 10
1006 00 90 Other


One of these codes above should relate to your product. To find out more about any of these codes please

click here to visit our dedicated webpage to commodity classification codes (make a note of your commodity code, from above.

(Q) Do I need an Import Licence?

(A) It depends. Generally speaking, if your quantity of Rice weighs a Tonne or more (1000kg), then you will need an Import Licence. To find out for certain, you will need to contact: The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) Import Licencing (T) +44 (0) 3000 200 301




(Q) Can I get a licence which covers multiple shipments?

(A) Nobody can decide that other than you. If you are thinking of having one licence covering sveral different shipments, then be warned thatm if the Customs Clearance agent/broker accidently exhausts the whole licence, then this will cause you major problem, when importing the remaining rice that was supposed to be covered by that licence. The RPA (mentioned above) should be able to confirm all of this



Food items and VAT

As per the HM Revenue & Customs Public Notice 701/14 (May 2002), Section 1.3 What law covers this subject>, it states:

The VAT Act 1994 of which

  • Schedule 8, Group 1specifies when food of a kind is used for human consumption is zero-rates.

    Please note: Any food items imported for any other purpose than human consumption may be subject to VAT, so please be sure to check before importing. Also any food being imported for a Commercial purpose, means that you will still need to have an EORI Number.

    Click here for further information on this subject.

    Basmati Rice

    If you are looking to import Basmati Rice, did you know that if it is of a certain grade, then with a 'Certificate of Authenticity' you may be able to claim relief from Import Duty. Check with the Rural Payment Agency (RPA) for more information.


    For more information on importing rice, please feel free to contact a member of our Imports Team, on 0845 309 6360, or email us at:

    Other related pages:

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