Guidance

Duty suspensions and tariff quotas

Temporary duty suspensions and tariff quotas for importing raw materials, components and semi-finished products into the European Community.

You can find information on duty suspensions and tariff quotas, including information on making an application, and other EU schemes involving duty relief here.

See the latest list of applications for duty suspensions and tariff quotas.

Duty suspensions and tariff quotas

The European Union (EU) temporary duty suspensions and tariff quotas regime allows the duty free importation into the EU of raw materials, components and semi-finished products which cannot be supplied (or supplied in sufficient quantities) from EU or Turkish manufacturers and are used in a process to make another product.

This regime cannot be used simply to import for resale. Suspensions allow unlimited quantities to be imported into the EU whereas quotas allow limited quantities to be imported.

Once granted, a suspension or quota can be used by any business in the EU - it is not specific to the company which applied. If your product is covered by an existing suspension or quota, you do not need to make a new request.

The European Commission Communication detailing the rules for this regime, and the EU regulations containing the current duty suspensions and tariff quotas in force can be found below.

Guidance, timelines and forms

What are the application criteria?

You can apply for a duty suspension or tariff quota if the component you are importing cannot be sourced - or supplied in sufficient quantity - from within the EU or Turkey, and is to be further processed in an EU factory, and the level of import duty saving is at least €15,000 per year.

Who can make an application?

You can make an application if you are:

  • an EU manufacturing user of the component in question
  • a distributor applying on behalf of EU manufacturing customers
  • EU company subsidiaries outside of the EU or Turkey
  • an agent (lawyer, accountant or consultant) representing one of the above - note that applications from agents must also include the name of the EU user to be considered and proof of their agreement to act on behalf of a manufacturer.

When can I apply?

There are 2 application periods per year for this regime. The annual deadlines are:

  new/amendment requests new/amendment requests prolongation requests
  1st application period 2nd application period application period
UK requests deadline 24 February 24 August 15 April
EU requests deadline 15 March 15 September 15 April
1st EU meeting to discuss requests May November May
2nd EU meeting to discuss requests June December June
3rd EU meeting to discuss requests July January July
Optional additional meeting to discuss requests September February September
Entry into force of requested tariff suspensions or quotas 1 January 1 July 1 January

Requests to increase the volume of an existing tariff quota can be submitted at any time.

How do I apply?

Please complete the Request for tariff suspension application form (MS Word Document, 153KB) and email it to dutysuspensionsandquotas@bis.gsi.gov.uk

Use the guidance notes (MS Word Document, 517KB) to help you complete the form.

How does this regime work?

Your application will be submitted to the European Commission. A list of all the requests for each round (tariff codes and description only) will be posted on the European Commission website and on this website. The list is also sent to trade associations to check if there is any EU manufacturing of the components for which a duty suspension has been requested. The name of the applicant is not made public nor is any of the information on an application other than the tariff code and description requested.

Requests are discussed at 3 working group meetings in Brussels (Economic Tariff Questions Group – ETQG). The results of each meeting are published on this website. We will contact you if we require further information about your request, or if an objection is made.

Successful requests are valid for 5 years, after which time they are reviewed and may be renewed for a further 5 years. Objections to tariff suspensions or quotas can be made at anytime during the validity period.

But I make these components already…

If you manufacture goods in the EU for which a duty suspension or quota is being requested or is currently in force, you can have it stopped by submitting a suspension objection form (MS Word Document, 48.5KB) . You will have to prove that you currently make the goods in the EU (for example by making a sales offer to the applicant company). Price is not a consideration when oppositions are considered. Discussions between you and the applicant company should also take place to see if any compromise is possible. You will have to provide a sample to the applicant to prove your product can be replaced.

If you receive an objection to your request, you must contact the objecting company to discuss a compromise solution, as unless their objection is withdrawn your request will not be granted.

The deadlines for objections to new requests or current measures are:

  new requests current measures
objection deadline 2nd EU meeting 1st EU meeting

Current suspensions/quotas

Renewal of existing suspensions (prolongation)

If you are using a duty suspension that is reaching its mandatory review date, you may need to request its renewal if you wish to continue to use it. The list of duty suspensions expiring on 31 December 2014 (PDF, 203KB, 17 pages) shows if they’ll automatically be proposed for renewal by the European Commission, or if you need to complete the tariff suspension form to request renewal if you made annual duty savings of less than €15,000 (approx £12,500) in 2013.

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