Guidance

Classifying rice for import and export

How to classify rice and related products for direct human consumption, presented in packaged form or loose.

Introduction

This guide will help you use the Tariff to classify rice and related products. It applies to husked rice, milled rice and parboiled rice for direct human consumption, presented in packaged form or loose direct to the consumer. It also applies to other products derived from rice.

Find commodity codes and other measures applying to imports and exports by accessing our online UK Trade Tariff tool.

Classifying rice and the terminology used

Heading 1006 is broken down into four subheadings.

1006 10 - Rice in the husk (paddy or rough)

Rice which has retained its husk after threshing is referred to as paddy or rough rice.  This means that the rice grains are still tightly enveloped by the husk.

1006 20 - Husked (brown) rice

Husked (brown) rice from which only the husk has been removed. Brown rice is unpolished rice, which has been milled to remove the hull from the kernel but retain the rice bran layer and the germ, which give it a nutty flavour and chewy texture. Long grains of brown rice tend to be less fluffy and tender, and short grains less sticky.  Brown rice also takes about twice as long to cook and has a much shorter shelf life (because of the oil in the germ). 

Examples of rice falling within this definition are those with the commercial descriptions ‘brown rice’, ‘cargo rice’, ‘loonzain’ and ‘riso sabamato’. Husked brown rice (cargo rice) which although the husk has been removed by mechanical hullers, is still enclosed in the pericarp. Husked rice almost always still contains a small quantity of paddy.

1006 30 - Semi-milled or wholly milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed

Rice can also be milled to remove the pericarp (the outer layer of the rice which is still present in brown rice). Rice of this sort has either been semi-milled or wholly milled (also referred to as bleached rice).

Semi-milled rice consists of rice from which the husk, part of the germ and the whole or part of the outer layers of the pericarp, but not the inner layers, have been removed.

Wholly milled rice consists of whole rice from which the pericarp has been completely removed by passage through special tapering cylinders. Wholly milled rice can also be polished and subsequently glazed in order to improve its appearance. The polishing process (which is designed to embellish the mat surface of the plain milled rice is carried out in brush machines or ‘polishing cones’. Glazing consists of coating the grains with a mixture of glucose and talcum in special glazing drums. The heading also includes ‘Camolino’ rice, which consists of milled rice coated with a film of oil.

Rice can also be referred to as parboiled. This means that the grains of rice, whilst still in the husk and before any other process has been carried out (eg husking, milling, etc), has been soaked in hot water or steamed and then dried. The grain structure of parboiled rice is only modified to a minor extent by the process it has undergone and is not classed as cooked rice. Such rice, after milling, polishing, etc, takes from 20 to 35 minutes to cook fully. Parboiled rice is usually puffed in appearance.

1006 40 - Broken rice

Broken rice is damaged white rice, broken during processing. During the milling process grain fragments, the length of which does not exceed three quarters of the average length of the whole grain, are separated from the white rice, whose shape remains intact. This is classed as broken rice. A grain of broken rice gives a low fibre texture and low nutrient level, while retaining its high energy. Broken rice contains more grain fragments within the grain. This type of rice is of a lower quality and is usually used for baby formulas, rice cereals, pet foods, rice wine and rice flour, as well as pre-package or canned goods.

Exclusions from 1006

Heading 1006 only includes rice in an uncooked and unprocessed state. This means that products from the milling of rice are excluded and are classified in chapter 11.

Heading 1006 also excludes rice which has been submitted to a treatment which has considerably modified the grain structure. Pre-cooked rice consisting of worked grains which have been either fully or partially cooked and then dehydrated fall in heading 1904. Partially pre-cooked rice takes 5 to 12 minutes to prepare for consumption, whereas fully pre-cooked rice needs only to be soaked in water and brought to the boil before consumption. ‘Puffed’ rice obtained by the swelling process and ready for consumption is also classified in heading 1904.

Classifying the size of the grain of rice

Rice is generally classified according to the size of the grain. The length to width ratio of the grain size is also taken into account. To calculate this, divide the average length of the grain by the average width. Alternatively, arrange four pieces of rice. If the piece along the top is shorter than the other three then the length/width ration equals less than three, if it is the same length or longer then the length/width ration will be equal or greater than three.

Short grain rice (also referred to as round) is almost round, with moist grains that stick together when cooked and is generally used for making rice puddings and the like. This type of rice has grains which are of a length not exceeding 5.2mm and of a length/width ratio of less than 2. Short grain rice has a short, plump, almost round kernel.

Medium grain rice is shorter and plumper and works well in dishes such as Paella and Risotto. This type of rice has grains of which are of a length exceeding 5.2mm but not exceeding 6.0mm and of a length/width ratio of less than 3.

Long grain rice is long and slender, the grains stay separate after cooking. This type of rice, the grains of which are of a length exceeding 6.0mm.

Classifying cooked rice

Cooked rice dishes are classified under heading 1904. The following are some examples of products included.

Ready-made meals, consisting of the following two individually packed components, put up in a set for retail sale: (a) pre-cooked rice (150g), and (b) curry (200g) consisting of coconut milk (72%), chicken meat (20%), a mixture of spices (7%), lemon grass (0.5%) and anchovy extract (0.5%).

Ready-made meals, consisting of the following two individually packed components, put up in a set for retail sale: (a) pre-cooked rice (150g), and (b) curry (200g) consisting of coconut milk (65%), chicken meat (14%), a mixture of spices (13.2%), aubergines (3%), basil (2.5%) and anchovy extract (2.3%).

Ready-made meals, consisting of the following two individually packed components, put up in a set for retail sale: (a) pre-cooked rice (150g), and (b) curry (200g) consisting of coconut milk (65.4%), chicken meat (15.5%), potatoes (10%), a mixture of spices (7.1%) and anchovy extract (2%).

Ready-made meals, consisting of the following two individually packed components, put up in a set for retail sale: (a) pre-cooked rice (150g), and (b) curry (200g) consisting of coconut milk (50%), beef (20%), potatoes (15%), a mixture of spices (7%), groundnuts (3%), anchovy extract (3%) and onions (2%).

Microwaveable instant fried rice, with green curry and meat. Ingredients include instant rice, meat (16%), seasoning pack.

If a ready-made rice-based meal contains more than 20% of any kind of meat, fish, crustacean or mollusc (calculated as a percentage of the whole dish) it should be classified as a preparation of that meat or fish in chapter 16.

Types, varieties and forms of rice

There are many varieties of rice now available, ranging from the familiar white or brown long-grain rice to speciality ones such as basmati and the so-called glutinous rice used in Japanese cooking to make sushi. Rice is also marketed in a variety of convenience packs. Some of these are listed below.

Della, Delrose, and Delmont

These varieties combine the qualities of regular long grain rice and basmati rice. They have an aroma similar to basmati. However, cooked grains swell in both length and width, like regular long grain rice.

Black Japonica

This is an aromatic rice with a dark black bran. Like brown rice, it is minimally processed to retain its bran layers and takes 45 to 50 minutes to prepare. Cooked grains are slightly chewy with a subtle sweet spiciness.

Brown long-grain rice

This rice retains the natural bran layer which is rich in many vitamins and minerals, including rice bran oil. This long-grain rice is firm in texture, with a slightly nutty flavour.

White long-grain rice

Long-grain rice is the separating grain which is delicious in the many international dishes of Asia, India and Spain.

White medium-grain rice

Better known as Risotto or Arborio rice, this is the softer cooking medium-grain rice which has the advantage of being able to carry flavours and colours well. Its soft, creamy texture makes it ideal for desserts such as creamy rice pudding. It absorbs as much as five times its weight in liquid.

Arborio rice

A type of short-grain rice traditionally grown in Italy and used to make risotto. The high starch content of Arborio rice gives risotto its characteristic creamy texture.

Easy cook long-grain white or brown rice

Sometimes called parboiled or pre-fluffed rice. It is steamed under pressure before milling which hardens the grain, reducing the possibility of over-cooking. This process also helps to retain much of the natural vitamin and mineral content.

Jasmine or Thai fragrant rice

This long-grain white rice has a delicate Jasmine fragrance which makes it perfect for inclusion in Asian dishes and with curries and seafood. A long-grain variety popular in Thailand and appreciated for its sweet aroma and nutty flavour. It’s used as a cheap substitute for Basmati rice.

Kalijira rice

This tiny aromatic rice is grown in Bangladesh, cooks fast and is especially used in rice puddings.

Basmati

A variety of long grain rice. It is an aromatic, fragrant and slender, and is a non-glutinous rice. When cooked it swells only lengthwise, resulting in long slender grains that are very dry, light and separate not sticky. Pakistan and India are the largest cultivators and exporters of rice; it is primarily grown through paddy field farming in the Punjab region. The grains of Basmati are longer than most other types of rice. Cooked grains of Basmati rice are characteristically free flowing rather than sticky. As with most long grain rice, cooked Basmati rice can be uniquely identified by its fragrance. Basmati rice is available as either white or brown. The approved varieties of Basmati rice are:

  • Basmati 370
  • Basmati 386 (India)
  • Type-3 (Dehradun India)
  • Taraori Basmati (HBC-19 India)
  • Basmati 217 (India)
  • Ranbir Basmati (India)
  • Kernel (Basmati Pakistan)
  • Pusa Basmati
  • Super Basmati

Wild rice

A tall aquatic grass of North America with a grain which is two or more times the length of the long grain rice varieties of Asia (Oryza). The name wild rice is misleading because it actually the seed of a type of wild grass (zinania aquatica) which grows in the shallow lake area of North America. Its long slender seeds are dark brown which turn purple when cooked. Despite of its name it is not related to domesticated rice (oryza).

Further information

The free on-line UK Trade Tariff is available for your use to look up classification codes. This offers easy access to tariff information by providing commodity code and duty rate listings together with a search engine to facilitate enquiries and allow self-service to commodity code information.

If after visiting this site you are unable to self-assess your products, you can request additional support by sending a request by email to classification.enquiries@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

Please ensure that one item only is detailed per email and that the request includes the following type of information, so that we can deal with your enquiry efficiently:

  • what the proudct is
  • what it is made of, if made or more than one material please explain the breakdown of the materials
  • what it is used for
  • how the product works/functions
  • how it is presented/packaged

Additionally detailed below is some additional information that is required on certain products.

  • for footwear – please include the type (shoe, boot, slipper etc), upper material details, outer sole material details, the heel height and the purpose for men or woman
  • for food – please include precise composition details by percentage weight of all the ingredients to 100% and the method of manufacture or process undergone eg fresh, frozen, dried, further prepared/preserved etc
  • for chemicals – please include the Chemical Abstracts Service Number, whether the product is a liquid/powder/solid and include the % ingredients
  • for textiles – please include the material composition, how it is constructed (knitted/woven) and the name of fabric
  • for vehicles – please include the age, the engine type (petrol or diesel), the engine size, whether the vehicle is new or used, whether the vehicle is over 30 years old and whether it is in its original condition. Is the vehicle going to be for everyday use?

A classification officer will then email a response back to you providing you with non-legally binding classification advice based on the information you have supplied.

Published 3 August 2012
Last updated 12 November 2015 + show all updates
  1. The further information section has been updated to show the change of contact details.
  2. Text change in paragrah - 1006 30 - Semi-milled or wholly milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed Customer: Lisa Cureton-Burgess Doug Kennard
  3. First published.