Clear Customs

Importing wood / timber articles or products into the UK

1. Product Information: Wood and Articles made of Wood

To get the answers to any questions on the importation of wood or and products made of wood, in terms of documentation required, treatment need for the wood and any other rules and restrictions, you will need to have some quite specific information about the wood which you are importing, as the subject is very broad and the rules and regulations, which are set by UK Customs, DEFRA and the Forestry Commission, can vary a lot.

Classification of Wood in the Custom Tariff

The section of the Customs Tariff which covers Wood is perhaps not as big as some others, but is still divided into sub-sections, based upon the following:

  • a. the type of Wood is it e.g. Pine, Redwood, Oak, Plywood etc.
  • b. is there bark on the Wood or has it been removed
  • c. Has the wood been treated e.g. Rough Sawn, Sanded, etc.
  • What the above mentioned government departments will be looking for, is Wood which is perhaps on a list of endangered species, whether it is from sustainable forests, and free from foreign insects or disease.

    There are ways in which you could try and classify them yourself, with one of the various online Tariffs. But if you only have a couple of different types of wood, then why not try a simpler method:

    If you describe your goods to this UK Customs Classification Team, they will be able to advise the following, (so be sure to ask them for all of it):

  • 1. the correct 10-digit classification code (please make a note of this number)
  • 2. the rates of import duty which would apply (if applicable)
  • 3. whether there are any preferential (reduced) rates of duty available
  • 4. whether there any rules or restrictions on that item coming into the UK and the names and contact details of any Government departments which are interested in goods falling under that classification code.
  • This information is usually affected by where the goods are being shipped from, and the Country of origin/manufacture (if it is different to that Country).

    With regards to the classification of wood, please see the following website: Classifying Wood

    UK Classification Helpline:
    (T) +44 (0) 1702 366 077
    Email: classification.enquiries@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

    Once you have obtained the classification codes for your items, please contact us by Email,with the codes, and information such as how you are looking to have your goods shipped i.e. air freight or sea freight, and we will be happy to advise where we can help make the importation of these goods, as simple as possible.

    2. FAQ: Are there restrictions on Items made from wood coming into the UK?

    A. Certain Wooden items are restricted, depending upon the type of wood, where it originated, and how it has been treated. As these are judged on an individual basis, you will have to ask UK Customs directly, and possibly, the UK Forestry Commission too.

    HM Revenue and Customs
    National Advice Line
    (T) 0300 200 3700
    For for International callers, please call: (T) 0044 208 929 0152

    Forestry Commission – Plant Health
    (T) +44 (0) 300 067 5155
    plant.health@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

    Please remember:
    If your goods are delayed when clearing Customs, there could be storage charges to pay so it is definitely better to find out this information BEFORE your goods arrive.

    3. FAQ: Do I need any special documentation or a licence for my wood products?

    A. The main government department which controls the import and export of wood products, is the Forestry Commission.

    Once you have your classification code, you will need to call them, to find out if there is any additional requirement, which they will need, when your goods arrive into the UK.

    They will need to know things like:

  • where have your goods come from
  • what type of wood are they made from
  • what is the product, and what will it be used for
  • is the any bark on, or in with, your wood products
  • have the wood been treated or fumigated, prior to shipping
  • More information can be found on to their website: www.forestry.gov.uk/timberandwood

     

    On this page, there is an importing guide, which you should read.

     

    An example of additional documentation which may be required, would be if there is bark on, or in with your wood products, because if there is then your supplier may need to provide a 'Plant Passport' and/or fumigation certificate.

     

    The contact details of someone you can speak to, are as follows:

    Forestry and Wood Products
    Forestry Commission
    231 Corstorphine Road
    Edinburgh
    EH12 7AT
    Tel no : 0131 334 0303
    plant.health@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

    Other useful number(s):

     

    If you are a 1st time importer of Wood / Timber, then you may be able to get further advice and information from the Timber Trade Federation (T) 0203 205 0067

    Please remember:

    When arranging for any goods to be shipped or Customs Cleared in the UK, please be sure to use a reputable Company which is a member of the British International Freight Association (BIFA).

    ... Shipping and Customs clearance doesn't have to be expensive, but choosing the wrong agent could be!™.

    Contact a member of our Imports Team to find out more about importing wood/timber articles.

    Phone us on 0345 309 6360, or email us at: enquiries@ukimportservices.com.


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