FAQ: Import and export

 

Contents

How do I obtain copies of Customs forms?

Where can I see the book that contains all the code numbers and duty rates?

How do I obtain a duty rate?

How do I obtain a commodity code for my goods?

I am importing a car from the EU, will I have to pay duty and VAT?

What documents do I require to declare my goods to customs?

I have been charged VAT and duty for goods bought over the internet, why is this?

What do I do if I think I have been overcharged Customs Duty on my parcels/goods?

What is the 'through-put period' for Inward Processing Relief?

Do I have to account for any Import Duty or VAT if I import a product from outside the EU for repair or modification and re export it?

If I send goods to a non-EU country for repair and return, and they are under guarantee do I have to pay duty and VAT?

I am changing my place of residence from outside the EU to the UK, will I be entitled to relief of duty and VAT?

I have rejected the goods that I imported from outside the EU as they are faulty, can I claim repayment of duty?

I wish to import an aircraft from outside EU do I need to pay duty?

What is CIF and why does it apply to me?

How do I calculate the value of my goods at import?

Do I have to declare cash amounts that I bring into the UK?

I wish to reimport goods that I previously exported from the EU, will I be required to pay import charges?

 

How do I obtain copies of Customs forms?

Customs forms can be obtained from the VAT, Excise and Customs Helpline who will arrange for the form to be sent to you. The majority of the forms are available on the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website by selecting the Form Section from the Quick links options on the homepage of the HMRC website.

Where can I see the book that contains all the code numbers and duty rates?

Volume 2 of the Revenue and Customs Integrated Tariff of the United Kingdom (Tariff for short) contains the commodity codes and duty rates. The Tariff comprises of 3 volumes and can be purchased from TSO Limited Publications Centre (0844 477 7414). Annual subscription rates apply as it is updated monthly. This is currently (2011) £270. It is also available for viewing at some of the larger public libraries.

A free online version of Volume 2 of the Tariff is also available via the Business Link website. It offers a browse and search facility that enables users to classify goods and quickly find detailed information such as commodity descriptions, duty rates, Anti-Dumping Duty, Quota, VAT and excise rates, preferential agreements, government controls and explanatory notes for any commodity in the UK Tariff. There are daily updates from the European Union’s TARIC database and the HMRC Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system. There is an email alert system to let you know when anything changes within the Tariff. Additionally the UK Trade Tariff allows you to quickly identify the relevant licences/certificates that are applicable for each particular commodity code.

For further information see:

Notice 600 Classifying your imports or exports

How do I obtain a duty rate?

In order to determine the correct duty rate you will need to identify the correct commodity code for your goods. You can do this by consulting Volume 2 of the Revenue and Customs Integrated Tariff of the United Kingdom (Tariff for short) or the European Commission's Europa website selecting the Taric option.

If, after studying the Tariff and seeking guidance from other sources such as a Trade association or a Chamber of Commerce, there is still an uncertainty about the correct commodity code that applies to your goods, verbal advice can be sought from the Tariff Classification Service (Tel 01702 366077).

Please note there is a web-based means of self-classifying your goods provided by the European Commission website, Europa.

Alternatively, you may find it helpful to look at the Intrastat Classification Nomenclature (ICN) via the uktradeinfo website. This version of the ICN has a search facility to help you find the correct eight digit commodity code for goods moving within the EU. If a ten digit code is required as it is for importing from outside the EU, the Tariff will be able to provide you with the last two digits. Alternatively the VAT, Excise and Customs Helpline (Tel 0300 200 3700) or the Tariff Classification Service will also be able to assist you with this.

A free online version of Volume 2 of the Tariff is also available via the Business Link website. It offers a browse and search facility that enables users to classify goods and quickly find detailed information such as commodity descriptions, duty rates, Anti-Dumping Duty, Quota, VAT and excise rates, preferential agreements, government controls and explanatory notes for any commodity in the UK Tariff. There are daily updates from the European Union’s TARIC database and the HMRC Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system. There is an email alert system to let you know when anything changes within the Tariff. Additionally the UK Trade Tariff allows you to quickly identify the relevant licences/certificates that are applicable for each particular commodity code.

Once you have the determined the correct commodity code the 'full' duty rate or any preferential duty rates that may apply to your goods can be obtained by contacting the VAT, Excise and Customs Helpline.

For further information see:

Notice 600 Classifying your imports or exports

How do I obtain a commodity code for my goods?

By consulting Volume 2 of the Revenue and Customs Integrated Tariff of the United Kingdom (Tariff for short), or the European Commission's Europa website selecting the Taric option.

If, after studying the Tariff and seeking guidance from other sources such as a Trade Association or a Chamber of Commerce, there is still uncertainty about the correct commodity code that applies to your goods, verbal advice can be sought from the Tariff Classification Service (Tel 01702 366077).

Please note there is a web-based means of self-classifying your goods provided by the European Commission website, Europa.

Alternatively, you may find it helpful to look at the Intrastat Classification Nomenclature (ICN) via the uktradeinfo website. This version of the ICN has a search facility to help you find the correct eight digit commodity code for goods moving within the EU. If a ten digit code is required as it is for importing from outside the EU, the Tariff will be able to provide you with the last two digits. Alternatively the VAT, Excise and Customs Helpline (Tel 0300 200 3700) or the Tariff Classification Service will also be able to assist you with this.

A free online version of Volume 2 of the Tariff is also available via the Business Link website. It offers a browse and search facility that enables users to classify goods and quickly find detailed information such as commodity descriptions, duty rates, Anti Dumping Duty, Quota, VAT and excise rates, preferential agreements, government controls and explanatory notes for any commodity in the UK Tariff. There are daily updates from the European Union’s TARIC database and the HMRC Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system. There is an email alert system to let you know when anything changes within the Tariff. Additionally the UK Trade Tariff allows you to quickly identify the relevant licences/certificates that are applicable for each particular commodity code.

For further information see:

Notice 600 Classifying your imports or exports

I am importing a car from the EU, will I have to pay duty and VAT?

All new cars are liable to VAT on entry to the UK but duty will only apply if imported from outside the EU. The rate of duty liable will depend if the car purchased is new, second hand or classified as a car of historic interest.

For further information see:

Notice 728 Motor vehicles, boats, aircraft: intra-EC movements by persons not registrable for VAT

Notice 3 Bringing your belongings and private motor vehicle to the United Kingdom from outside the European Community explains what to do if you are bringing a vehicle to the UK from outside the EU and the charges that may be applicable.

What documents do I require to declare my goods to customs?

The standard method of providing customs details of goods imported or exported from non Member States of the EU is by completing a full export declaration, in the form of a Single Administrative Document (SAD) Form C88.

For further information see:

Notice 6 Merchandise in baggage

Notice 501 A Brief Guide to import procedures

Notice 275 Export procedures

I have been charged VAT and duty for goods bought over the internet, why is this?

All goods imported into the UK from countries outside the EU are subject to Import Duty and VAT at the rates applicable.

However, import VAT is not payable on commercial consignments if the total value of the goods in the consignment does not exceed £18 (£15 with effect from 1 November 2011). If this tax was not applied, there would clearly be an unfair advantage to foreign businesses over UK trade. This limit is raised to £40 for personal gifts between private individuals.

Where the value of gifts is below £630 per consignment, a flat rate of Customs Duty of 2.5 per cent will be applied – but only if it is to your advantage.

Customs Duty becomes payable if the value of the goods is over £135 but duty is waived if the amount of duty calculated is less than £9.

Please note if your goods are subject to customs charges, there may also be a handling fee to pay to the carrier.

For further information see:

Buying from abroad on the internet - what to look out for

Notice 143 A guide for International post users

Notice 144 Trade Imports by Post: how to complete customs documents

What do I do if I think I have been overcharged Customs Duty on my parcels/goods?

Once you have confirmed that you are entitled to a refund (ie by checking the duty and VAT rates or available duty reliefs), your next action will depend on who delivered your parcels/goods, as follows:

For Parcelforce and Royal Mail deliveries you need to contact the Border Force Office that dealt with your parcel using form BOR286. When you write to the Border Force you should include as much detail as you can, including the customs charge label, the customs declaration and the part of the wrapper with your address on it. If your claim is about overcharged tax because the declared value of the goods was incorrect you will need to supply evidence, for example, an invoice, receipt of purchase etc, to support your claim. The Border Force deal with thousands of packages every day and without this information they may not be able to trace your particular package in their records. In the event of a claim you should retain copies of all wrappings and documents until your claim is settled.

For all other deliveries you need to complete a C285 (available from the VAT, Excise and Customs Helpline) and send this together with any supporting evidence to:

HMRC
National Repayments Unit
Priory Court
St Johns Road
Dover
CT17 9SH

Tel:01304 664523

What is the 'through-put period' for Inward Processing Relief?

The period that you need to process and dispose of the goods. For certain agricultural goods the period is restricted.

For further information see:

Notice 221 Inward Processing Relief, paragraph 3.18 explains the 'through-put period' for IP.

Do I have to account for any Import Duty or VAT if I import a product from outside the EU for repair or modification and re export it?

Ordinarily no, you can use Inward Processing Relief, however you would need to confirm which method of duty relief is appropriate.

For further information see:

Notice 221 Inward Processing Relief, paragraph 1.7 to 1.10 details the two methods of duty relief available.

If I send goods to a non-EU country for repair and return, and they are under guarantee do I have to pay duty and VAT?

No, if they are repaired free of charge under a guarantee or warranty, you can claim total relief from Import Duty and VAT, however you will need to produce proof of your guarantee or warranty.

For further information see:

Notice 235 Outward Processing Relief, paragraph 8.2 sets out the conditions and Section 4 sets out the general conditions that apply to OPR.

I am changing my place of residence from outside the EU to the UK, will I be entitled to relief of duty and VAT?

Relief will depend on all the Transfer of Residence conditions being met.

For further information see:

Notice 3 Bringing your belongings and private motor vehicle to the United Kingdom from outside the European Community

I have rejected the goods that I imported from outside the EU as they are faulty, can I claim repayment of duty?

Yes. You can claim repayment or remission of Import Duty, Excise Duty and VAT for goods imported into the UK that you reject because they are defective, do not comply with the terms of the contract or were damaged before being cleared by customs.

For further information see:

Notice 266 Rejected imports: repayment or remission of duty and VAT

I wish to import an aircraft from outside EU do I need to pay duty?

End Use Relief provisions may apply entitling you to a reduced or nil rate of duty. Importers who wish to take advantage of this relief are required to be authorised.

For further information see:

Notice 770 Imported Goods: end-use relief, paragraph 3.2 sets out the types of end use authorisations available.

What is CIF and why does it apply to me?

This is the Cost, Insurance and Freight charge for the goods and forms the basis of value on which Customs Duty and import VAT is calculated.

For further information see:

Notice 252 Valuation of imported goods for customs purposes, VAT and trade statistics, Section 17 explains about delivery costs.

How do I calculate the value of my goods at import?

The value is calculated on Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) and is arrived at by applying one of six valuation methods.

For further information see:

Notice 252 Valuation of imported goods for customs purposes, VAT and trade statistics, Sections 3 to 8 explain the six valuation methods.

Do I have to declare cash amounts that I bring into the UK?

With effect from 15 June 2007 if you are arriving directly from, or are travelling directly to, a country outside the EU and are carrying 10,000 euros or more or the equivalent amount in another currency, you must complete a cash declaration form.

For further information see:

Declaring cash when entering or leaving the UK

I wish to reimport goods that I previously exported from the EU, will I be required to pay import charges?

If you reimport goods in the same state they were in on previous export, you may be able to obtain partial or total relief from import charges, provided that you can satisfy certain conditions.

For further information see:

Notice 236 Customs: Importing returned goods free of duty and tax

Download options

This document is available in the following formats

Please be aware that our PDF, Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents will open in a new window.

Download free viewers for all formats >>

$START-DATA$ title=FAQ: Import and export^ summary=Your most frequently asked questions on importing and exporting are answered here.^ doctype=General^ date=04-Dec-2013^ author=MP6031699^ $END-DATA$
content tools