Guidance

Mobile phone covers (Tariff notice 16)

Check the new Tariff on mobile phone covers designed to hold and protect the back and sides of a mobile phone.

A new regulation dated 15 May 2019 was published on 23 May 2019.

This is considered a change in UK practice.

New regulation

An article, of a rectangular shape with rounded edges, made of moulded plastics (polycarbonate), in the form of a shell which covers the back and the sides of a mobile phone, measuring approximately 7 x 14 x 0.8 centimetres.

The outer surface of the back is covered with a leather layer and the inner surface, which makes contact with the back of the mobile phone, is lined with man-made fibres (microfibres).

It is designed to hold and protect the back and sides of a mobile phone. The front of the mobile phone is not to be covered.

Classification (Combined Nomenclature (CN) code)

Code 3926 90 97.

Reason

Classification is determined by general rules (GIR) 1, 3(b) and 6 for the interpretation of the Combined Nomenclature and by the wording of CN codes:

  • 3926
  • 3926 90
  • 3926 90 97

According to its objective characteristics, the article is designed to hold and protect the back and sides of a mobile phone. The protection is given by the material of the shell (polycarbonate plastic).

The leather layer on the outer surface of the back of the article enhances its appearance providing only an additional effect to the main purpose of protection. Consequently, the polycarbonate plastic forming the protective shell constitutes the material that gives the article its essential character within the meaning of GIR 3(b).

Classification of the article under heading 4205 as other articles of leather is therefore excluded.

Classification of the article under heading 6307 as other made-up articles is also excluded as the man-made fibres constitute merely the lining.

Consequently, the article is to be classified under CN code 3926 90 97 as other articles of plastics.

Contact details

Tariff Classification
Customs Directorate
10th Floor South East
Alexander House
21 Victoria Avenue
Southend-on-Sea
Essex
SS99 1AA

Email: tariff.classification@hmrc.gov.uk

This Tariff notice is published for information purposes only.

Published 30 May 2019