Declarations and the Single Administrative Document

Single Administrative Document duty and transit codes

When completing the Single Administrative Document (SAD), there are two key boxes which determine the customs duties that you are liable to:

  • the commodity code (also referred to as the Tariff classification, combined nomenclature number, TARIC number or harmonised system number)
  • the customs procedure code (CPC)

Read more about theĀ classification of goods.

The commodity code (box 33) is an eight-digit number (for most exports), or a ten-digit number (for most imports) that classifies goods to a coded reference. Codes can be found in the Tariff (Volume 2). If you're unable to classify your goods you can contact the HMRC Tariff Classification Service at, who can issue a Binding Tariff Information decision for you, confirming the correct code to use.

The CPC (box 37) identifies customs procedure codes. Procedure codes are made up of two pairs of numbers and a three digit coded reference. The first pair of numbers covers the procedure being applied for and the second set covers any previous customs procedure. The last three digits clarify the actual procedure being applied for.

CPCs cover routine imports and exports, goods being imported or exported on a temporary basis and also goods brought in for processing which are later re-exported. There are other codes which cover goods placed into a Customs warehouse and goods imported for specific purposes. All the CPCs can be found in the Tariff, Volume 3. Appendices E, E1 and E2.

Community status and free circulation

The status declaration (box 1) is required when goods transit the European Union (EU). Goods that wholly originate in the EU have 'Community status'. This also includes imported goods which have had their customs charges paid. Community status goods can be moved around the EU with no further customs charges. Goods arriving in or leaving the EU which have their customs charges suspended will be deemed as 'not being in free circulation'.

Community or common transit is a customs procedure that allows goods on which duty has yet to be paid to move from one country in the EU to another. It is also used to move goods to or via European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries:

  • Status T1 covers the movement of non-Community goods and Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) goods subject to a refund
  • Status T2 covers the movement of Community goods to or via an EFTA country, as well as to or from San Marino and Andorra
  • Status T2F is used for Community goods moving to, from, or between the EU's special territories, such as the Channel Islands and the Canary Islands

Where proof of status is required retrospectively, a declaration can be made on Copy 4 of the SAD (C88). These documents are available by contacting the HMRC VAT Helpline on Tel 0845 010 9000.