Guide

Trade preference agreements

Managing import preferences

Once you have confirmed the goods you want to import, you must manage the import process carefully by completing and submitting the right paperwork and paying the correct duty.

Classification codes

You must obtain the correct Tariff classification code for the goods you intend to import. This code indicates the rate of duty you must pay on the product and whether it will be imported under preference. Read more about using the UK integrated Tariff for preferences.

Access the UK Trade Tariff.

If a product is changed or processed significantly during the manufacturing process, this could mean a change in its Tariff classification code and the rate of duty that applies to it when it's imported. See rules of origin.

It can save you time to begin classifying your goods for preferences with a Harmonised System (HS) number, which comprises the first four digits of a Tariff classification number. Many non-European Union (EU) countries share HS codes. See classification rules and the Tariff.

Once you have established the correct Tariff Code, then the rule of origin for the product must be checked to see if the product qualifies for preference.

Paperwork

The paperwork required depends on where the goods are being imported from - it must be stamped and authorised by the customs authority in the exporting country. Form EUR1 is the main certificate used for goods imported from outside the EU.

If you're importing goods covered by the EU's Autonomous Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) arrangements, you need to use GSP Form A. Find out if this applies to the goods you wish to import by reading more about Generalised System of Preferences and GSP+. If you import goods from Turkey, use the ATR form. You can find details of EC preferences for trade with Turkey in Notice 812.

When you import under GSP, a GSP form A has to be completed in the country of origin (or an invoice declaration if the value is less than £4,830).

If you're an exporter, and want to use the Donor Country content facility, then you must provide the GSP country with a Movement Certificate EUR1 or invoice declaration with your export so long as the goods qualify.

If you are authorised to do so by your customs authority, you can use invoice declarations in place of an EUR1 regardless of value. These are declarations on the commercial paperwork raised by the business from which you're importing the goods - they do not need to be stamped by customs in the EU.