Find out why you need a commodity code and the different ways you can get one.
All imports or exports (including goods sent to the UK from abroad) must be declared to HMRC using a commodity code.
You’re legally responsible for the correct tariff classification of your goods.
What commodity codes are used for
Classifying your goods correctly means you know if:
- the correct amount of duty and VAT has been paid
- duty is suspended on any of your goods
- any preferential duty rates can be applied
- an import or export licence is required
- your goods are covered by measures such as the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU, anti-dumping duties or tariff quotas
If you classify your goods incorrectly then:
- you could be asked to pay any outstanding duty or VAT on customs entry
- you may have to pay any arrears plus interest, of duties and VAT which have occurred as a result over at least the previous 3 years
- your goods may be delayed and/or seized
Find a commodity code
Goods that are difficult to classify
There is more guidance on how to classify the following goods:
- aircraft parts
- audio and video equipment
- computers and software
- edible fruits, nuts and peel
- edible vegetables, roots and tubers
- electric lamps
- herbal medicines, supplements and tonics
- iron and steel
- organic chemicals
- pharmaceutical products
- placebos and comparators
- textile apparel
- toys, games and sports equipment
- vehicles, parts and accessories
Some goods, such as large machinery, cannot be transported in a single consignment. Find out if your goods qualify for import in split consignments and what you need to do to import goods in this way.
Using the Trade Tariff tool
If your goods are not on the list, you can search the Trade Tariff tool to find the right commodity code.
Find out how to use the Trade Tariff tool.
You can also search the EU Binding Tariff Information (EBTI) rulings on the Europa website to see if a decision has already been made on a similar product.
If you’re still unable to find the right commodity code for your goods, you can use HMRC’s Tariff Classification Service to get non-legally binding classification advice.
Alternatively, you can apply for a Binding Tariff Information decision. This is a legally binding decision on the commodity code to use for your goods.