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Taxation and Customs Union

Classification of goods

The term ‘tariff classification of goods’ is defined in Article 57 of the Union Customs Code (UCC).

It means determining the subheadings or further subdivisions of the Combined Nomenclature (CN) under which the goods will be classified.

Classification is not just used to determine the customs duty rate for a specific subheading.

It is also used to apply non-tariff measures.

So, even if all goods were zero-rated for customs purposes, classifications could still be necessary if you need to:

  • apply for an import or export licence
  • find out if import or export restrictions apply
  • issue a certificate of origin
  • claim an export refund or similar
  • determine whether or not a product is liable to excise duty
  • find out if a reduced value-added tax rate applies (insofar as the CN is used as a basis of reference).

EU classification system

The EU classification system has 2 elements

  1. The Combined Nomenclature (CN) - the EU’s 8-digit coding system. It is based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) - developed by the World Customs Organisation (WCO).
    The CN is used for the EU’s common customs tariff. It is also used to provide EU trade statistics.
  1. The Integrated Tariff (TARIC) provides information on all trade policy and tariff measures that apply to specific goods in the EU (e.g. temporary suspension of duties, antidumping duties).
    It is made up of the 8-digit code of the CN plus 2 extra digits (TARIC subheadings).

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