Exports – Classification – ‘commodity codes’

Hi – it’s David again.

A number of the things you will need to understand for export Customs declarations mirror some of the requirements for imports.  These were already published in earlier blogs, but are repeated now for your ease of reference.  There are four of these topics which work similarly, be it import or export:

  • EORI registration
  • Classification – ‘commodity codes’
  • Customs Procedure Codes [CPCs]
  • Record keeping

To keep my posts to small and digestible sizes, I will deal with these one at a time.

Classification – ‘commodity codes’– as with imports, you will be required by HMR&C to understand the commodity codes for your goods.

Commodity codes are listed in the Customs tariff.  Please see: trade-tariff.service.gov.uk/trade-tariff/sections

It is vital to get your commodity codes right.  They drive questions about controls and restrictions.  That is, whether your goods need an export licence – where goods may only be exported under official written permission from a government department (see earlier post). The legal responsibility for this being correct rests with the exporter of the goods.

Some goods are known as ‘dual use’.  This means that they may or may not need an export licence, depending on the use to which the goods will be subjected by the consignee.  Get the commodity code wrong and the question about dual use may fail to arise.  My previous blog about export licences pointed out that you must consider all the potential uses of your goods.  Steel pipes may be for innocent use in drainage.  Or they could be for making the barrel of an extremely large gun.

There are very severe official penalties for error. 


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