Guide

Introduction to the Tariff

Commodity codes and the TARIC

If you import or export goods from within the European Union (EU) or outside it, you should understand the importance of commodity codes and the TARIC.

Commodity codes

When trading internationally, you will need to find the correct commodity code for your goods so you can fill out customs paperwork accurately. The code is an eight-digit number for exports outside the EU or goods moving within the EU, but is a ten-digit number for imports from outside the EU. Once you know the commodity code, you can look up other important information such as duty rates and any import or export restrictions.

The TARIC

Member states of the EU hold commodity codes in a database called the TARIC, or Tariff Intégré Communautaire. Commodity codes and other regulations are updated daily in the TARIC, which ensures that importers and exporters can rely on the same standards and treatment throughout the EU.

The UK Tariff is published once a year with ten monthly updates using data from the TARIC and is supplemented by UK-specific data on VAT, licensing, restrictions and excise duties.

The TARIC is available online for importers and exporters from EU countries. However, UK traders can find commodity codes and other measures applying to imports and exports by accessing the UK Trade Tariff. Access the UK Trade Tariff.

If you have used the Tariff but are still unsure of the correct classification code, you can contact the Tariff Classification Service for help by emailing classification.enquiries@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk or telephoning 0300 200 3700.

Read more about international trade paperwork: the basics.