Importing Rice into the UK

Site updated regularly - Page last updated October 2014

Importing Rice

Classification - As per the Customs Tariff

Before you can find out any information, such as: Duty Rate, VAT Rate, Licences, Documentation, Restrictions, etc 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 Rice
- 1006 10 - Rice in the husk (paddy or rough)
- - 1006 10 10 - - For sowing
- - 1006 10 21 - - Other
- 1006 20 - Husked (brown) rice
- - 1006 20 11 - - Parboiled
- - 1006 20 92 - - Other
- 1006 30 - Semi-milled or wholly milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed
- - 1006 30 21 - - Semi-milled rice
- - 1006 30 61 - - Wholly milled rice
- 1006 40 - Broken rice
- - 1006 40 00 10 - - For the manufact. of food preparations of subhead. 1901 10
- - 1006 40 00 90 - - other

One of these codes above should relate to your product. To obtain the remaining digits click here to visit our dedicated webpage to commodity classification codes (make a note of the prefix of your commodity code, from above)

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Q. Do I need an Import Licence?

A.It depends. Generally speaking, if your quantity of Rice weighs a Tonne or more (1000 kgs), then you probably will.

But to find out for certain, you will need to contact:

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA)
Import Licensing: (T) +44 (0) 191 226 5050

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Q. Can I get a Licence which covers multiple shipments?

A.Yes. Is the simple answer, but maybe the question should be: Q. Should you get a Licence for multiple shipments?

Nobody can decide that, other than you. but if you are thinking about having one licence covering several different shipments, then be warned that, if the Customs clearance agent/broker used accidentally exhausts the whole licence, then this will cause you major problems, 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.

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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 1 specifies when food of a kind used for human consumption is zero-rated.

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.

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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 Payments Agency (RPA) for more information.

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Related Links

  • Finding Duty and VAT rates
  • Frequently Asked Questions