Guidance

Classifying vehicles, parts and accessories

How to classify vehicle parts and accessories for the purposes of the UK Trade Tariff.

Overview

Use the online UK Trade Tariff tool to find commodity codes for classifying goods for imports and exports.

How you classify a vehicle under the UK Trade Tariff (the Tariff) depends on whether or not it’s designed to transport passengers or goods, and whether it’s used to carry less than or more than 10 people, including the driver.

Classification also depends on the type of fuel your vehicle can use, that’s petrol (spark ignition) or diesel (compression ignition), also the engine size and whether it’s new or used.

You would typically classify an incomplete or unfinished vehicle as if it’s a finished one, provided it still has its essential character of a complete vehicle (for example, a vehicle not yet fitted with its engine or interior fittings, wheels or tyres).

Another important reason for identifying the commodity code of vehicles is to find out whether they are considered dual-use goods, that’s goods that can be adapted and put to strategic or military use. Vehicles classed as dual-use goods may require an export licence.

Classifying passenger cars

According to the Tariff, the term ‘cars’ includes motor cars, and other motor vehicles mainly designed for the transport of persons.

For most cars, engine size and whether the car is new or used will dictate their classification within heading 8703.

The exception is for all terrain vehicles (ATVs) and quad bikes - see Classifying all terrain vehicles.

Cars to transport less than 10 passengers (including the driver) are classified under heading 8703 and include:

  • station wagons (estate cars)
  • racing cars
  • ATVs and quad bikes that meet certain criteria
  • adult go-karts
  • mobility scooters
  • trike bikes (with ‘car-type’ steering) - 3-wheeled motorised vehicles with no bodywork, for the transport of 2 passengers

These vehicles under commodity code 8703 are further classified by the type of fuel they use:

  • 87032 - classification of petrol engined cars to transport less than 10 people

  • 87033 - classification of diesel engined cars to transport less than 10 people

  • 87038 - electric motor only powered passenger cars (that’s with no internal combustion engine)

  • 8703 - hybrid passenger vehicles now have their own headings

  • 870390 - hydrogen fuel cell electric motor vehicles

  • 8703101800 (this heading is currently under review) - electric mobility scooters

Hydrogen internal combustion engines are commonly spark ignition, therefore classified similar to petrol vehicles (but compression ignition hydrogen fuelled internal combustion engines are under development).

Motorised vehicles specially designed for disabled persons (heading 8713) are different from vehicles of heading 8703, mainly because they have all of the following features:

  • a maximum speed of 10 kilometres per hour (approximately 6.2 miles per hour)
  • a maximum width of 80 centimetres
  • 2 sets of wheels touching the ground
  • special features to alleviate the disability
  • steering and other controls (for example a joystick), never in the form of a separate, adjustable steering column

Vehicles for the transport of 10 or more people, including the driver, are classified under heading 8702 and by the fuel they use.

Classifying goods vehicles

Including chassis fitted with engines, bodies and cabs

Goods vehicles include chassis fitted with engines, bodies - including cabs - and multi-purpose vehicles that can transport both persons and goods.

For most goods vehicles, their gross weight, engine size, the type of fuel they use and whether the vehicle is new or used will dictate their classification under 8704.

Pickup style vehicles of classification heading 8703 or 8704

Single row of seat pickup vehicles are classified under heading 8704.

Double row of seats pickup vehicles are classified under heading 8703 or 8704 - see below.

Heading 8703 includes motor cars and other motor vehicles mainly designed for transporting people, such as those having the characteristics mentioned in Tariff Notice 07/08 which provides guidance on the correct way to classify double row of seat pickup vehicles.

Classifying tractors

For ATVs, see section Classifying ATVs.

Tractors are classified under heading 8701 or 8709.

Tractors are vehicles constructed essentially for hauling or pushing another vehicle, appliance or load (whether or not they include an integral container to transport tools or other goods, where required as part of the tractor’s main work).

The following are classified under heading 8709:

  • self-propelled works trucks, not fitted with lifting or handling equipment, of the type used in factories, warehouses, dock areas or airports for the short-distance transport of goods
  • tractors of the type used on railway station platforms
  • parts of the above vehicles

Tractors include wheeled vehicles used for forestry or agriculture, road tractors for semi-trailers and pedestrian controlled tractors.

Their classification under heading 8701 primarily depends on whether they are being used for agriculture or forestry, their engine power and whether the tractor is new or used.

Road tractors for semi-trailers are classified according to whether they are new (subheading 8701201000) or used (subheading 8701209000).

Machines and working tools designed for fitting to tractors of heading 8701 as interchangeable equipment remain classified in their respective headings even if they are presented with a tractor, and whether or not they are mounted on it.

Classifying ATVs

It’s necessary to determine whether ATVs are classified under heading 8701 or under heading 8703. The information in the earlier Tariff Notice (23/09) has been superseded by a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) (Case C-91/15 Kawasaki Motors Europe NV).

The ruling removed the requirement for such vehicles to have a power take off or hydraulic lifting device or a permanently attached winch to be classified as agricultural or forestry tractors.

To be classified as a tractor under heading 8701, ATVs must meet all of the following characteristics:

  • a handlebar with 2 grips incorporating the controls for steering the vehicle, the steering is achieved by turning the 2 front wheels and is based on a motor car type steering system (Ackerman principle)
  • brakes on all wheels
  • an automatic clutch and a reverse gear
  • an engine specially designed for use in difficult terrain and capable in low ratio of delivering sufficient power to tow attached equipment
  • power transmission to the wheels by shafts and not with a chain
  • tyres having a deep tread design suitable for rough terrain
  • a coupling device of any kind, for example a towing hitch, designed to enable the vehicle to pull or push at least twice its dry weight
  • a towing capacity of a non-braked trailer of twice its dry weight or more - this can be proved by technical documentation, user manual, certificate from the manufacturer or from a national authority, specifying exactly in kilograms the towing capacity of the all-terrain vehicle and its dry weight (the weight of the vehicle without any liquids, passengers or cargo)

If they meet all of the above characteristics, the vehicles will be classified as agricultural or forestry tractors under subheading 8701.

If they don’t meet the above characteristics, the ATVs are classified under heading 8703.

Classifying special purpose motor vehicles

Special purpose motor vehicles, other than those mainly designed for the transport of persons or goods, are classified under heading 8705.

‘Special purpose motor vehicles’ cover a wide range of specialist wheeled and motorised trucks, lorries, derricks and mobile medical units. They are classified as follows:

  • 8705100000 - crane lorries
  • 8705200000 - mobile drilling derricks
  • 8705300000 - firefighting vehicles
  • 8705400000 - concrete mixer lorries
  • 8705903000 - concrete pumping vehicles
  • 8705909000 - other

Self-propelled works trucks that aren’t fitted with lifting or handling equipment are classified under heading 8709. These vehicles are of the type used in factories, warehouses, dock areas or airports for short distance transport of goods. Heading 8709 also covers tractors of the type used on railway station platforms as well as parts of the vehicles.

‘Segways’ and ‘hoverboards’ are classified under subheading 8711909000 (as a 2 wheeled electric motored vehicle).

Amphibious motor vehicles are classified under the appropriate heading of Chapter 87.

Classifying tanks and other armoured vehicles

Tanks and other armoured, motorised fighting vehicles, whether or not fitted with weapons, and parts specific to such vehicles are classified under subheading 8710000000.

You’re advised that prohibitions and restrictions may apply to the import and export of these vehicles and the trade in arms generally.

Classifying ‘classic’ vehicles and parts

Chapter 87 includes classification of ‘classic or collectors’ cars, unless they meet the criteria found at Additional Note 1 to chapter 97 in the Tariff.

Racing cars which can be proven to have been designed, built and used solely for competition may be classified under chapter 97 only if they’ve achieved significant sporting successes at prestigious national or international events.

In order for vehicles (and ‘original authentic’ as opposed to ‘modern replica’ parts) to be considered as eligible for historic collectors status, you’ll have to provide information dating the year of manufacture. You must also state whether any substantial changes have been made to the vehicle as modernised or modified vehicles are excluded.

Repairing and restoring is allowed, and broken or worn-out parts, accessories and units can be replaced, provided that the vehicle is preserved and maintained in the historically correct condition.

Cars less than 30 years old are generally classified under heading 8703.

If you wish to import a vehicle, and you believe it to be a collector’s piece of historic interest (for example, for heading 9705), HMRC advise that you should obtain a Binding Tariff Information (BTI) ruling before importing the vehicle (a BTI can’t be issued for goods that have been subject to Customs import procedures).

Classifying motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles with an electric motor

Heading 8711 includes motorcycles, mopeds and cycles fitted with an auxiliary motor whether or not they come with an attached sidecar. Also trikes with ‘handlebar’ steering and sidecars are also classified under heading 8711.

Mobility scooters aren’t included in this classification and are covered under subheading 8703101800.

(Motor) scooters and electric bikes

Scooters may be presented as unassembled or disassembled but as long as they are to be powered by a petrol engine of up to 50cc, they are to be classified under 8711100010.

Scooters with an engine size exceeding 50cc but not exceeding 250cc are classified under 8711201000.

Electric scooters and bikes with auxiliary electric motor with a continuous rated power not exceeding 250 watts are classified under 8711901000, otherwise 8711909000.

Non-powered scooters - that’s foot-propelled scooters - are classified in chapter 95.

Motorcycles

The classification of motorcycles is based purely on their engine size. Those that don’t exceed 50cc are classified under 8711100090.

Larger motorcycles are classified as follows:

Motorcycles Commodity code
Engine size exceeding 50cc but not exceeding 125cc 8711209200
Exceeding 125cc but not exceeding 250cc 8711209800
Exceeding 250cc but not exceeding 380cc 8711301000
Exceeding 380cc but not exceeding 500cc 8711309000
Exceeding 500cc but not exceeding 800cc 8711400000
Exceeding 800cc 8711500000

This classification doesn’t include (pedal) bicycles and other un-motorised cycles.

Vehicles and automotive components are subject to type approval and, amongst other considerations, environmental regulations and registration requirements. For example, their fuel consumption and emission rates, and whether or not they’re permanent or temporary imports or exports.

Classifying (pedal) bicycles and other non-motorised cycles

Bicycles and other non-motorised cycles - including children’s bicycles and delivery tricycles – are classified under heading 8712.

A bicycle is to be classified as a complete or finished vehicle provided it has the essential character of a bicycle.

This means that the frames and forks must be present, plus any 2 of the following major components – a set of wheels, a steering unit (including handlebar and handbar stems), brake system and crank-gear (normally consists of a bracket-bearing axle, gearings and a crank or pedal arm).

Bicycles are classified under subheading 87120030 and unicycles under 87120070.

Parts of bicycles are often classified under subheading 87149, but excepting items such as tyres (chapter 40), luggage (chapter 42) or lighting (8512100000).

These classifications don’t include motorcycles, mopeds, scooters and cycles with motors.

Non-powered scooters and children’s cycles other than bicycles (toys) are classified in chapter 95 (see Classifying toys, games and sports equipment for import and export.

Wheeled toys powered by internal combustion piston engines designed to be ridden by children, so-called ‘Quad vehicles’, are classified in chapter 95 providing they meet all of the following:

  • a speed not exceeding 20kph (approximately 12.5 mph)
  • a net weight not exceeding 50kg
  • a cylinder capacity not exceeding 49cc
  • one-speed transmission
  • only one back-wheel brake system

For more information, see Classifying toys, games and sports equipment for import and export.

Classifying vehicle parts and accessories

Vehicle parts and accessories can be classified in various chapters in the Tariff, including but not limited to chapter 87. The list is an extensive one to help you make the initial check, or at least to establish the correct term for the part before taking your search any further.

Parts and accessories

Sometimes there are special headings for industrial assembly goods.

A Commodity code
Aerials 8529101100
Air conditioning units 8415200000
Air filters 8421310090
Air pumps (hand or foot operated) 841420
Air pumps – electric 8414808090
Alarm systems 8531109590
Alternators 8511500090
Anti-skid chains (of steel) 7315200000
B Commodity code
Badges of base metal 8310000000
Badges of plastics 3926400000
Battery, lead acid type 850710
Battery, other types 8507
Battery chargers 8504405590
Bearings, plain shell 8483308090
Bearings, roller 8482 or 8483
Belts, various of rubber 40101
Body panels and parts and accessories 870829
Bolts, of steel 73181
Bonnet or boot lid catches or handles of metal 8302300000
Bonnet or boot lid catches or handles of plastic 3926300090
Boots, gaiters of rubber 401699
Brake discs and drums for cars or lorries 870830
Brake discs and drums for motorcycles 8714101000
Brake fluid reservoirs for cars or lorries 870830
Brake lines and pipes of copper and copper alloys – if not to length and equipped with end fittings 7411
Brake lines and pipes of steel – if not to length and equipped with end fittings 73
Brake linings (that’s, raw material) without shoes or mounting plates 6813
Brakes for cars or lorries 870830
Brake pads, complete, for motorcycles 8714101000
Bumpers 870810
C Commodity code
Camshafts 8483109590
Caps for fuel tanks or radiators for cars or lorries 8708999790
Carbon brushes 8545200000
Carburettors 8409910090
Car locks 8301200000
Carpets, of textile 57
Carpets of rubber (shaped) 401691
Car audio and visual equipment See audio or video guide
Catalytic converter units 8421393590
Catches for doors or windows of metal 8302300000
Child seats 9401200000
Clocks 9104000090
Clutch actuating mechanism, forks, plates, clutch units for cars or lorries 870893
Clutch thrust bearing, ball roller 8482
Clutches and parts for motorcycles 8714105000
Coil (ignition) 85113000
Condensers (capacitors) 8532290000
Connectors for electrical cables 8536901000
Constant velocity joints 8483608090
Contact breaker points or sets 8511900090
Control cables, non-electrical, made to length for motorcycles 8714
Convertible tops or drop-heads or hoods 870829
Cooling system filters See filters
Cooling system pumps 8413308090
Couplings, hose of steel 7307
Couplings, hose, of brass or copper 7412200000
Couplings, towing 8708999790
Crankshafts 848310
Cylinder head bolts of steel 7318
D Commodity code
Dampers See shock absorbers
Differentials (including housings, carriers, gear, wheels, cages or spiders) 8708
Dipsticks 9026108900
Distributors (ignition) 8511300090
Distributor caps 8511900090
Doors for cars or lorries 8708299090
Door handles of metal 8302300000
Door handles of plastic 39263000 90
Door hinges, of metal 8302300000
Door locks (metal) 8301200000
Door sealing strips of rubber 401699
Drain (sump) bolt, even if with magnet, of steel 731815
Drain (sump) bolt, even if with magnet, of copper or brass 7415390000
Drive belts of rubber 4010
E Commodity code
Earthing strap, not insulated, of copper 7413000090
Earthing strap, not insulated, of steel 7312900000
Engine Control Unit (ECU) 85371098
Electrical (vehicle) wiring, insulated 8544300089
Electric bulbs See electric lamps guide
Electric motors, for purposes other than starting 8501
Electric starter motor 8511400090
Engine block 84099
Engine – petrol 84073
Engine – diesel 840820
Exhaust silencers and pipes for cars or lorries but not catalytic converters 8708923500
Exhaust silencers and pipes for motorcycles but not catalytic converters 8714104000
Expansion tanks, cooling system for cars or lorries 8708999790
Expansion tanks, cooling system for motorcycles 8714109090
F Commodity code
Fan belts, of rubber 40103
Fan blades 8414900090
Fifth wheel couplings, motor tractor mounted 8708999790
Fifth wheel couplings, trailer mounted 8716909090
Filler caps, radiator, 8708999790
First aid kits 3006500000
Flasher switches 8536501999
Flasher units 8536501999
Floor mats of rubber 4016910000
Fog lamp unit (not just the bulbs) 85122000
Fuel filter 8421230090
Fuel gauges, electronic 90261029 00
Fuel gauge, non-electronic 90261089 00
Fuel lines for cars or lorries (already made to length) 8708999790
Fuel lines for motorcycles (already made to length) 8714109090
Fuel pumps 8413308090
Fuel tanks for cars or lorries 8708999790
Fuel tanks for motorcycles 8714109090
Fuel injection pumps 8413302090
Fuses, for max. current less than 10 amps 8536101090
Fuses, for max. current between 10 to 63 amps 8536105090
Fuses, for max. current exceeding 63 amps 8536109090
G Commodity code
Gaiters, boots, bellows of rubber 401699
Gaskets, if metal sheeting combined with other material, or of two or more layers of metal 8484100090
Gaskets of aluminium 7616999099
Gaskets of copper 7419999099
Gaskets of cork (agglomerated) 4504908090
Gaskets of iron or steel 7326909890
Gaskets of paper 48239085 80
Gaskets and sealing rings of rubber 4016930090
Gearbox for cars or lorries 870840
Glass, unframed (toughened or tempered safety glass) 7007111000
Glass, unframed (laminated safety glass) 7007212000
Global Positioning System (GPS) 85269120
Grommets of rubber 401699
Grommets of plastic 3926909790
H Commodity code
Halogen electric light bulbs 8539213000
Headlamps, complete 8512200090
Headrests not being integral parts of seats 9404909000
Headrests being integral parts of seats 9401908090
Horns, electric 85123090
Hoses, of flexible steel 8307100090
Hoses of plastic (with or without fittings) 3917
Hoses of rubber (with or without fittings) 4009
Hose clips, of steel 7326909890
I Commodity code
Identification plates of metal 8310000000
Ignition coils 851130
Ignition leads 85443000
Injection pumps, fuel complete 8413302090
Injector nozzles (with solenoid valve) for diesel engines 8409990010
Injector nozzles for petrol engines 8409910090
Inner tubes for tyres, for cars or lorries 4013100000
Inner tubes for tyres, for motorcycles 4013900000
Inner tube valves 8481804090
Intercooler, for cars or lorries 870891
J Commodity code
Jacks, lifting - hydraulic 8425420000
Jacks, lifting – not hydraulic 8425490000
Jump leads 8544300089
Junction boxes, terminal blocks, fuse boxes, 8536699099
K Commodity code
Knobs, gear lever, for cars or lorries 8708999790
L Commodity code
Lamp bulbs, electric 8539
Lamp fittings 8512200090
Lamp reflectors 8512909090
Lamp switches 8536501
Levers, rods and linkages for cars or lorries 8708999790
Locks (metal) 8301200000
Locking fuel tank caps 8708999790
Loudspeakers – single driver or speaker 8518210000
Loudspeakers – multiple driver or speaker 8518220090
Luggage racks, external, for cars 8708999790
M Commodity code
Manifolds, inlet or outlet – for petrol engine 8409910090
Manifolds, inlet or outlet – for diesel engine 8409990090
Mats, floor – of rubber 4008211000
Mats, floor – of textile carpeting 57
Mirrors, rear view, of glass 70091000
Motors – electric, wiper motor 8501
Mudguards for cars or lorries 8708299090
Mudguards for motorcycles 8714109090
N Commodity code
Navigation systems (GPS) 85269120
Number plates of metal 8310000000
Number plates of plastic 3926909290
Number plate lamp fitting 8512200090
Nuts and bolts of steel 73181
Nuts and bolts of plastic 3926909790
O Commodity code
Oil filter 8421230090
Oil pump 8413308090
Oil temperature gauge, electronic 9025192000
Oil temperature gauge, not-electronic 9025198090
P Commodity code
Panels, body 8708299090
Pistons, for petrol engines 8409910090
Pistons, for diesel engines 8409990090
Plugs - heater for diesel engines 8511800090
Points, contact breaker 8511900090
Push rods for petrol engines 8409910090
Push rods for diesel engines 8409990090
R Commodity code
Radiators, cooling – for cars or lorries 87089135
Radiators, cooling – for motorcycles 8714109090
Radiator caps, for cars or lorries 8708919990
Radiator caps, for motorcycles 8714109090
Radiator fan 8414592590
Relays, electric – for a current not exceeding 2 amps 8536411090
Relays, electric – for a current exceeding 2 amps 8536419089
Revolution counter (tachometer) 9029100090
Roof rack 8708999790
S Commodity code
Saddles for motorcycles 8714109010
Seatbelts 8708219090
Seat covers, padded of textile 6307
Seats 9401200000
Sensors 903180
Shock absorber (dampers) for cars or lorries 8708803
Shock absorber (dampers) for motorcycles 8714109090
Silencer for cars or lorries 8708923500
Silencer for motorcycles 8714104000
Snow chains of steel 7315200000
Spark plugs 8511100090
Speakers See loudspeakers
Speedometer 90292031
Starter motor 8511400090
T Commodity code
Tachometer (revolution counter) 9029203890
Thermostat 903210
Tow bar 8708999790
Turbocharger 8414801190
Turbo repair kit 8414900090
Tyres new 4011
Tyres, used or re-treaded 4012
Tyre pressure gauge, electronic 9026202000
Tyre pressure gauge, spiral or metal diaphragm type 9026204000
Tyre pressure gauge, not electronic nor spiral or metal diaphragm type 9026208000
Tyre pump, foot operated 8414208090
Tyre pump, other than hand or foot operated 8414808090
Tyre valves 8481804090
V Commodity code
Valve caps, for tyre valves 8481900090
Valve guides for petrol engines 8409910090
Valve guides for diesel engines 8409990090
Valves, inlet and exhaust, for petrol engines 8409910090
Valves, inlet and exhaust, for diesel engines 8409990090
W Commodity code
Water or cooling medium pump 8413308090
Wheels, with or without tyres for cars or lorries 870870
Wheels, with or without tyres for motorcycles 8714103000
Wheel trims (including embellishers) for cars 8708709900
Window glass – unframed See glass
Window glass – framed 8708999790
Wiper motor – electric 8501
Windscreen wiper blades 4016995200
Wheel balance weights 8708709900
Wheel bearings See bearings

Many parts and accessories for vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705 should be classified under heading 8708.

Similar parts and accessories for vehicles of headings 8711 to 8713 are likely to be classified under heading 8714.

The expression ‘parts and accessories’ doesn’t apply to certain parts - for example, nuts, bolts or washers - as they’re considered as parts of general use.

For a full list of exclusions, see note 2 to Section XVII in the Tariff.

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

Certain vehicle parts and accessories may also be subject to type approval, environmental and other regulations, such as catalytic converters.

Further information

You can use the online UK Trade Tariff tool to look up classification codes.

If you’re unable to self-assess your products after using the tool, you can email us: classification.enquiries@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

Please only detail one item per email and includes the following type of information:

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

For vehicles, please include:

  • the age
  • the engine type (petrol or diesel) and the engine size
  • whether the vehicle is new or used (and if the vehicle is over 30 years old)
  • if it’s in its original condition
  • if the vehicle is going to be for everyday use or for its original purpose

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

Classifying trike bikes information is in Tariff Notice 15/07.

Classifying goods vehicles information is in Tariff Notice 06/07.

Classifying double cab vehicles information is in Tariff Notice 07/08.

See also the Official Journal Notices on European Union Tariff regulations on the EUR-Lex website.

Published 3 August 2012
Last updated 21 April 2017 + show all updates
  1. The commodity code entry for Sensors has been corrected to 903180 from 9031803.
  2. Updated guidance to include classification of vehicles and related commodity codes.
  3. Guidance updated to include new section for classifying all terrain vehicles.
  4. The further information section has been updated to show the change of contact details.
  5. Fixing references to specialist guides
  6. First published.