Business tax – guidance

Binding Tariff Information Rulings

How to get a Binding Tariff Information Ruling (BTIR) for goods that you export or import.

Log in to the Electronic Binding Tariff Information (eBTI) service if you’ve already registered. You can also check if there are any current problems with this service, or times it won’t be available.


To get the correct tariff classification of your goods you can request a Binding Tariff Information (BTI) ruling. It’s not a legal requirement to have a BTI ruling, but it has advantages. It gives you:

  • certainty about the correct tariff classification for your goods
  • a commodity code for goods that you import or export
  • help to work out customs duties, export refunds, licensing requirements, quotas or other restrictions in advance

A BTI ruling is:

  • legally binding on the customs in all of the EU
  • generally valid for 6 years

Apply for a BTI ruling

Apply for a BTI ruling online.

To register to use the online system select the ‘Organisation’ option (regardless of whether you’re an agent, individual or company) on the eBTI Service on the Government Gateway website. You will be given a USER ID and will be able to select a password.

Once you have an active account with a USER ID, identify yourself each time you login with your:

  • password
  • PIN
  • Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number
  • Business postcode

For assistance with BTI enrolment, contact HMRC about imports and exports.

You can only apply for a BTI before all customs procedures have been completed for your goods. BTI decisions cannot be made retrospectively.

A separate application must be made for each product. Each application should be made in only one country.

Give a description of the goods

Provide a full and accurate description of your goods in your application, including details of the:

  • composition
  • technical specifications
  • specific function

Information can include, images or samples of packaging that gives the product contents or ingredients.

Email images to If you send digital files please use:

  • .jpeg, BMP or XLS (under 900KB) for images
  • .doc file for documents


You must provide a sample for some goods:

  • textiles
  • shoes
  • ceramics

You can also send samples of other types of goods to help with accurate classification.

Opening times for delivery of samples

Deliver and collect samples at HM Revenue and Customs Customs Duty Liability Team - Tariff Classification Service:

10th Floor SE
Alexander House
21 Victoria Avenue
SS99 1A

If your sample may be hazardous, please contact Tariff Classification Service in advance to arrange delivery.

Samples can be returned at your own cost. Include the return postage with the sample or arrange for collection.

Sample delivery Sample collection
Monday to Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm
 Monday to Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm

Damage to samples

To get accurate classification it may be necessary to damage samples. Please notify us in writing if you want samples to remain undamaged.

Give a suitable commodity code

You must decide which commodity code you think is most suitable for your goods. For advice concerning the classification of goods contact the Tariff Classification Service. See also Notice 600 Classifying your Imports or Exports.


A BTI ruling is free, but you may have to pay the costs of:

  • laboratory analysis
  • expert advice
  • returning samples

You may have to supply a translation of any attached document.

What you receive

You’ll get the BTI ruling in writing on a legal document that shows:

  • the correct commodity code for the goods
  • its start date
  • description of the goods (including any specific marks and numbers)
  • unique identifying reference code
  • the reason for the decision

If you don’t agree with the ruling

You can request a Departmental Review of the decision in the BTI ruling. Find out how to apply for a review of a BTI decision in section 3 of Notice 600.

How to use a BTI ruling

If you hold a BTI ruling, indicate this on your Customs entries by declaring the unique BTI reference number in box 44 of the Single Administrative Document C88.

If an agent or other representative completes customs documentation on your behalf, give them the correct commodity code from the BTI for the goods.

The BTI is non transferable. If you’re the person named on the BTI, it may only be used by you or an agent acting in your name and on your behalf.

Changes to BTI rulings

A BTI ruling can be withdrawn if inaccurate or incomplete information was provided. It’s normally valid for 6 years, but it may end earlier if there is a change to:

  • regulations or their interpretation
  • your goods
  • the way the system works
  • rules about the classification of goods
  • the law
  • how Customs interprets the classification

If a BTI ruling ends because of a change in an EC Regulation or a new European Court Judgement or Classification Opinion, you can still use it for a limited time if you can show that you have a binding commercial contract made on the basis of the original BTI decision.

Confidential data

BTI rulings are kept on the European Binding Tariff Information database (EBTI database) owned by the European Commission.

Any information or image that you mark as confidential when you submit the application will not be stored on the database. It will only be used by the Tariff Classification Service to enable an accurate commodity code to be given.

The acceptance boxes on the summary page of the application relate only to the information shown on that page and not to any confidential material.