There are so many businesses trading on incorrect commodity codes which can have serious implications and risks to your business for non-compliance with HMRC – you are legally responsible for the correct tariff classification of your goods. When exporting and/or importing the commodity code must be declared on the official Declaration lodged with HMRC.

Classifying your goods correctly means you know if:

  • the correct amount of duty and VAT has been paid
  • duty is suspended on any of your goods
  • any preferential duty rates can be applied
  • an import or export licence is required
  • your goods are covered by measures such as the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU, anti-dumping duties or tariff quotas

If you classify your goods incorrectly then:

  • you could be asked to pay any outstanding duty or VAT on customs entry
  • you may have to pay any arrears plus interest, of duties and VAT which have occurred as a result over at least the previous 3 years
  • your goods may be delayed and/or seized

Businesses are strongly advised to review their commodity code classifications at least once if not twice a year as those businesses which fail to select accurate commodity codes and maintain appropriate records are subject to significant penalties for non-compliance.

During the first two weeks of January there have already been three Tariff stop press notices detailing changes involving the chapter heads 23, 28, 29, 32, 38, 39, 54, 59, 69, 70, 76, 85, 87 and 90. Changes can be viewed here

Here at the East Lancashire Chamber, we have the knowledge and experience to assist in understanding your commodity codes through training and in-house support. Get to know your commodity code and put in regular checks to ensure compliance.

Our next training sessions focusing on understanding your commodity codes will be taking place on the following dates:-

For more information or to register your interest, please contact: Stephanie Warrington on or 01254 356473