Guidance

Finding commodity codes for imports or exports

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:

Split consignments

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.

Ask HMRC

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.

Published 21 December 2018