Classifying aircraft parts for import and export

How to classify aircraft parts and accessories if you are importing into or exporting from the EU.

Before you start

This guide will help you to classify aircraft parts and accessories. If it does not cover your specific item in detail you can search for it in the Trade Tariff Tool.

This guide will:

  • provide some or all of the commodity codes for particular items and types
  • explain the differences between codes or headings affecting these items
  • detail any exceptions or rules

You will still need to look up the full commodity code to use on your declaration using the Trade Tariff Tool. You can find out more about:

Aircraft parts

Heading 8803 of the trade tariff covers parts for aircraft that come under either:

This is as long as they meet both of these conditions:

  • you must be able to identify them as parts that are suitable for use only (solely or principally), for aircraft under heading 8801 or heading 8802
  • they must not be excluded - you can find details in the notes to section XVII of the tariff


Always use the section and chapter notes when classifying any product. Not all ‘parts’ meant for aircraft fall under heading 8803.

Where items have their own heading, you must classify them to that and not as parts under 8803, for example:

  • safety glass - 7007
  • aircraft seats - 9401

Goods mistaken as aircraft parts

Rubber hoses

Chapter 40

For example, hoses with fittings for aircraft are classified in heading 4009.

Gaskets and seals

Heading 4016

Gaskets and similar joints of metal sheeting, combined with other materials

Heading 8484

If made of a single layer of one metal, the goods will be under that specific metal.

Items of hard rubber

Heading 4017.


Chapter 39

Electrical insulating materials such as heat shrink polyolefin tube with no electrical connections would be classified according to its material, rather than its use.

Paints, adhesives, fillers and mastics

These are all under their respective headings.

Automatic data processing (ADP) machines

Heading 8471

See note 5(A) to chapter 84, and in particular note 5(A) (2). This heading covers laptop and desktop PCs, which allow the user full interactivity, for example, by word processing and spreadsheet applications.

ADP machines that can only operate on fixed programmes, where the user cannot modify them (even if they can choose between several fixed programmes), come under their own specific headings, and not as a part of an ADP machine. See note 5(E) to chapter 84, for example, navigational equipment is under heading 9014.

Radios for radio broadcasting - reception only

Heading 8527

Radios - reception and transmission

Heading 8517

Parts of radios will also be classified, but there are exceptions, in chapter 85 - see note 2 to section XVI.

Radio navigation equipment including GPS systems

Heading 8526

Parts of radio navigation equipment will also come under chapter 85 but there are exceptions - see note 2 to section XVI.

Other navigational instruments and appliances including Sonar

Heading 9014

Parts and accessories of other navigational instruments and appliances will come under chapter 90, but there are exceptions - see note 2 to chapter 90

Weapons computers

Chapter 93

Any computer that’s part of, or designed specifically for a particular weapon, would come under the appropriate parts heading. The complete weapon including the weapons computers would come under the appropriate heading within chapter 93. It’s unlikely for a weapons system computer to come under 8471, as these computers have a function other than data processing.

Measuring or checking instruments, appliances and machines, including test sets

Chapter 90.

General test benches

Heading 9031.

These are made up of a frame with a measuring or calibrating instrument used to test engines, motors, electrical generators, pumps, speed indicators, tachometers and so on.

If the ‘test set’ is checking a specific parameter they may be classified in a different heading in chapter 90. For example, checking voltage comes under heading 9030.

Flight simulators

Heading 8805.

Flight simulators mounted on a motor vehicle, chassis or trailer

These come under either:

This will depend on its specific features or capabilities. Parts and accessories of simulators will come under chapter 87, there are exceptions - see notes 2 and 3 to section XVII.

Printed circuit boards

These are classified according to their function, or as a part of the machine they’re designed for use with.

Carpets and other floor coverings, of textile or rubber, cut to shape or not

These come under either:

Articles that are meant as refills of consumable supplies, or meant to be sold on board for example after-shave, perfume and sun creams do not come under this section, classify them under their respective headings.

Duty relief for civil aircraft parts

You could benefit from end-use relief when you import aircraft parts.

Published 2 August 2012
Last updated 21 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. The introduction section of the guidance has been updated.

  2. Change of service contact details, as of the 1 September 2015 the tariff classification helpline is changing from telephone contact to email.

  3. First published.