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.

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.

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

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.

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

Application criteria

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

You can apply for a duty suspension or tariff quota if all of the following apply to you:

  • the component you are importing cannot be sourced - or supplied in sufficient quantity - from within the EU or Turkey
  • the component you are importing is to be further processed in an EU factory
  • the level of import duty saving is at least €15,000 per year

Apply for duty suspension and tariff quota

Complete the Request for tariff suspension application form (MS Word Document, 86.5KB) . Use the guidance notes (MS Word Document, 103KB) to help you complete the form.

Email your completed form to phil.walker@trade.gov.uk.

When you can apply

  new/amendment requests new/amendment requests
  1st application period 2nd application period
UK requests deadline 22 February 24 August
EU requests deadline 15 March 15 September
1st EU meeting to discuss requests May November
2nd EU meeting to discuss requests June December
3rd EU meeting to discuss requests July January
Entry into force of requested tariff suspensions or quotas 1 January 1 July

You can submit a request to increase the volume of an existing tariff quota at any time.

Application process: next steps

The Department for International Trade (DIT) will submit your application to the European Commission. The list is 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). 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.

If you 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, 38.9KB) .

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 deadline for objections to new requests is by the second EU meeting. The deadline for objections to current measures is by the first EU meeting.

Current suspensions and quotas

The current tariff quota regulations are Council Regulation (EU) 2016/2389, Council Regulation (EC) 2017/1133 and Council Regulation (EU) 2017/2466.

The current duty suspension regulations are Council Regulation (EU) 2016/2390, Council Regulation (EC) 2017/1134 and Council Regulation (EU) 2017/2467.

European Commission Review for Duty Suspensions

The European Commission has published the list of duty suspensions expiring on 31 December 2018. It has listed suspensions for goods which are being automatically renewed, and those for which a review will be necessary. View the European Commission Review for Duty Suspensions list of goods (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 96.5KB) .

You can submit a request for renewal of a tariff suspension (MS Word Document, 57KB) . Return the completed form to phil.walker@trade.gov.uk at the Department for International Trade. The final date for submissions is 10 April 2018.

Contact phil.walker@trade.gov.uk if you have any enquiries regarding the review, list of goods or requests for renewal of tariff suspensions.

Published 6 August 2012
Last updated 14 March 2018 + show all updates
  1. Additions to links in current suspensions and quotas section, and addition of new section on European Commission Review for duty suspensions.
  2. Updated list of applications for duty suspensions and tarrif quotas, updated links to tariff quota regulations and duty suspension regulations
  3. Updated 'when you can apply' table, links to current suspensions and quotas, and list of duty suspensions expiring on 31 December 2016.
  4. Updated list of duty suspensions expiring on 31 December 2015, added suspension prolongation form and updated list of current suspensions/quotas.
  5. Added links to annual lists of automatic and non-automatic duty suspensions that will be renewed in 2013.
  6. Full update of guide.
  7. First published.