Struggling with identifying which commodity code to use for you goods?
The UK trade tariff can be a daunting place, and knowing where you goods fit in amongst the thousands of commodity codes can be a tricky process.
Thankfully, HMRC can offer you some advice to make the process a bit easier for you.
They offer two different options for you, which is either advice, or a legally binding decision.
To be offered advice, you will need to e-mail email@example.com
There is a list of requirements that they ask for when e-mailing for advice which has been listed below:
company name, if applicable
contact details (email address and a contact number)
the option which best describes your item:
agricultural, chemical, textiles or ceramics – including food, drink, plastics, cosmetics, sports equipment, games, toys, clothing, shoes
electrical, mechanical or miscellaneous – including vehicles, optical and measuring devices, machinery, musical instruments, metal, furniture, lighting, paper, printed matter, straw, glass, wood, jewellery
what the goods are made of (if more than one material, provide a breakdown of materials)
what the goods are used for
how the goods work or function
how the goods are presented or packaged
It will help us with your request if you can also state:
any code you think best fits your goods
part of the code if you’ve been able to partially classify it
You should send a separate email for each item you need help with.
Goods that need more information
You’ll need to give more detailed information to classify some goods.
For footwear classifications, include:
the type, for example shoe, boot, slipper
upper material details
outer sole material details
the heel height
the purpose, for men or women
For food classifications, include:
the full breakdown of the ingredients, including the percentage weight of each ingredient
the method of manufacture or process it has undergone, for example fresh, frozen, dried
For chemical classifications, include:
the Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number
if the product is a liquid, powder or solid
the full breakdown of the chemical, including the percentage of every ingredient
For textile classifications, include:
a detailed description of the item
how it’s constructed, for example knitted, woven
name of the fabric
For vehicle classifications, include:
age of the vehicle
engine type (petrol or diesel)
if the vehicle:
is new or used
is over 30 years old
is in its original condition
will be for everyday use
Legally Binding Decision
A legally binding decision is a written tariff classification of your goods. It’s not a legal requirement, but it provides assurance that your goods have the correct commodity code and:
is legally binding
is generally valid for 3 years
helps calculate customs duties, export refunds, licensing requirements, quotas or other restrictions in advance
alerts you to any import or export licensing requirements or if quotas or other quantitative restrictions apply to your goods
There are three steps you must follow to be able to obtain a legally binding decision.
Get an EORI number.
Get a Government gateway user ID to register for an Advance Tariff Ruling decision.
Email the Tariff Classification Service firstname.lastname@example.org to get access to the European Union Gateway website for a Binding Tariff Information decision.
If you’re importing into or exporting from Great Britain
You’ll need to apply for an Advance Tariff Ruling. You can only get an advance ruling if you both:
have an EORI number that starts with GB
intend to import into or export from Great Britain
If you’re importing into or exporting from Northern Ireland or the EU
You’ll need to apply for a Binding Tariff Information decision.
Binding Tariff Information decisions can be issued by HMRC to traders or individuals that have an EORI number that starts XI for goods you’re intending to import into or export from:
any EU member states, if you’re established in Northern Ireland
If you’re not established in Northern Ireland and want a ruling on goods being moved in EU countries, you must apply in the country where that activity will take place.