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Commodity Codes Guide: Codes classification

Why Commodity Codes classification is important

Commodity codes are important in determining how the goods will be treated in the UK, the European Union and third countries. The classification of goods is essential in order to identify what duties and controls are applied and to ensure a correct customs declaration. You have the legal responsibility to ensure your goods are correctly classified, even if you have an agent who handles it on your behalf. Depending on how your goods are classified will affect how much will be charged for Duty, VAT, Quotas, Preferences, Suspensions, Common Agricultural Policy, excise and Intrastat.

Classifying your goods correctly ensure that:

  • The amount you pay for duty and VAT is the correct amount.
  • If there is any duty suspended to be applied to your goods.
  • If there is any preferential duty rates to be applied.
  • If you need an import or export license for specific goods.
  • Whether excise or anti-dumping duties are applied.
  • You do not pay the wrong interests on back-payments.
  • Your goods are not seized or delayed.

The UK Trade Tariff is based on the EU TARIC and is daily updated from the TARIC so that importers or exporters can access accurate information.

You can use the online Trade Tariff to search for commodity codes on the website.

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