Importing CAP goods

Common Agricultural Policy Charges

To prevent low-priced imports competing against high-priced European Union (EU) goods, a range of different types of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) charges are applied to products imported from outside the EU. These charges are known as duty and are due at the time of import.

Duties payable

There are several types of duty payable on imported CAP goods:

  • specific customs duty is applied to most agricultural goods from outside the EU and is based on weight
  • ad valorem customs duty is a percentage of the value of a consignment
  • countervailing charge may apply to certain products at certain times of year - or in certain market conditions
  • the safeguard charge applies when the value of a consignment is less than a trigger price - and may be imposed at short notice

Processed goods may give you the option of paying different rates of specific and ad valorem customs duties, in which case you can opt for the formula that results in the lower rate of duty.

Preferential rates may apply to goods originating in certain countries or groups of countries. Read more about using trade preferences.

Small consignments

Small consignments of CAP goods sent to a private individual may be eligible for a flat charge of 3.5 per cent ad valorem duty if such imports fulfil all of the following criteria:

  • only occasional
  • for personal or family use
  • of a non-commercial nature
  • of less than £282 in total value

The goods may still be liable for VAT and/or excise duty.

Advertising material, business gifts and articles purchased abroad by a UK resident aren't eligible for the flat rate charge.

Relief from CAP charges

Certain goods may get relief from CAP charges: