Find correct commodity code, duty and VAT rates
Importing or exporting something ? You will need to lookup the correct commodity code first. After knowing the commodity code you will know what is the correct duty and taxes.
Things to know before looking up commodity code
Firstly, are you importing or exporting ?
Secondly, are you importing outside EU or within EU ?
Finally, what is the item you importing or exporting made of ?
Why do I need to know correct commodity code ?
It is not just about paying money out of your pocket. It is also about finding out if you can take advantage of the duty reliefs, if any. Depending on the type of the product you are importing there can be less or no taxes. Knowing the correct commodity code helps plan the procurement approach.
How to check correct commodity code
If you are in the UK then head on to the gov uk website and search for trade tariff service. You will find a page with text box to search. All you have to do it simply enter the name of the item you are importing or exporting.
Start your search with the exact item you are going to import or export. For instance, if you are importing straps for watches, then start your search with “watch strap” as the keyword. Remember not to go very specific such as “watch link” because if you did you may not get a matching result.
What to do if I am not able to find the correct commodity code
Try to work your way back from being specific toward being generic. For instance, if “watch link” does not yield any results, then try searching watches. You will be able to select from a list of available options in the search results.
Other smart ways to get the correct commodity code is to search what the item is used for or search what the item is made of. You can also lookup the item from “A–Z of Classified Goods”. In this page everything you can import or export is organised in alphabetical order.
In some case if you are still not sure then you can always post your question in the Trade Tariff Forum managed by the UK Government. You can surely expect valuable information and reach out to people who faced similar issues as yours.
How do i know if I am using the correct commodity code ?
Once you have the correct commodity code you can confirm it with the tariff classification team by contacting the HMRC Tariff, Classification (CS&TD) team. You cannot expect anyone to classify the item for you here but you can do this to self assure your classification is correct. End of the day you decide the commodity and you are responsible to correctly classify the item.
After successfully deciding on the correct commodity code you can fill in declarations and other paperwork, check if there’s duty or VAT to pay, find out about duty reliefs.