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Importing to the United Kingdom


An import tariff or import duty is a schedule of duties imposed by a country on imported goods.

It is paid at a border or port of entry to the relevant government to allow a good to pass into that government's territory. Typically duties are collected by national governments or, in a customs union, by the regional authority.

The tariff can be levied on a percentage of the value of the import, or the amount of the import (amount per unit of import). Tariffs are traditionally designed to raise revenue for the government, however they can also be for:

  • Reducing the level of imports by making them more expensive relative to domestic substitutes (this lowers a balance of trade deficit).
  • To counter the practice of dumping by raising the import price of the dumped good to market level.
  • To retaliate against trade barriers imposed by another country, a trade war.
  • To protect key industries such as agriculture, such as the European Union has done with its Common Agricultural Policy.
  • To protect a new industry until it is sufficiently well established to compete on the international market.

Since there are thousands of different goods, which can be imported, they are classified into categories (called "headings" and "subheadings") for the purpose of duty. For each sub-heading, a specific rate of duty has been prescribed. The process of assigning the goods to a "headings" or a "subheadings" is known as "Classification of Goods", otherwise known as HS Codes.

In order to compute the total duty payable we must first obtain a TARIC CODE (otherwise known as a HS Code). You can either:

  • Browse through the TARIC code catalogue and find your appropriate TARIC code for you product.
  • Or by contacting Customs and Excise: 01703 366 077

Once you found the TARIC Code, simply enter the code into the database to find the duty applicable to your product (Please note to select the appropriate country of origin.)

Please be aware that other taxes may be applicable in addition to the import duty. These additional taxes will be listed on website database.

Please note that the above Information is for guideline purposes only and for further Information please Contact

Mr Peter Moore
Export Documentation Manger
75 Harborne Road,
B15 3DH
tel. 0121 450 4219
fax. 0121 248 0284


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