International trade regulations in the Electronics sector

Tariffs and duties for electronics imports

A range of import-specific regulations apply to all businesses in this area. Key issues relate to the Tariff, duties, intellectual property (IP), VAT and preferential customs schemes.

Using the Integrated Tariff

A common customs tariff is applied across all EU countries on goods imported from outside the EU. Details of specific tariff duties and measures are contained in the Integrated Tariff of the United Kingdom.

Access the UK Trade tariff.

read more about the classification of goods.

The Tariff is used to determine the specific classification code of your goods and to find:

  • any licensing requirements that apply
  • the rates of duty and import VAT that apply
  • any additional charges, such as anti-dumping duties
  • any available preferential duty rates

Preferential duty rates

The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) allows products from a range of developing countries to be imported in the EU at a reduced or zero duty rate.

The European Community also has various trade agreements with third countries (countries outside the EU), whereby goods may attract preferential duty rates. Find out if your goods qualify for a preferential duty rate and meet the appropriate rules of origin.


If you are VAT registered and the goods you acquire from or supply to VAT-registered businesses in other EU countries reach the Intrastat exemption threshold for the year, you must submit monthly supplementary declarations to HMRC. Intrastat thresholds are reviewed annually. The current thresholds are £1.5 million for Arrivals and £250,000 for Dispatches.

Intrastat is the method of collecting information and producing statistics on goods traded between EU member states. Read moer about Intrastat - reporting the value and volume of intra-EU trade. Intrastat is only applicable to VAT-registered traders.

Intellectual Property (IP)

You should ensure that imported goods do not breach the IP rights of other businesses, so watch out for counterfeit goods and design infringements. Infringing goods can be seized and destroyed by HMRC. You can ask HMRC to check for imported counterfeit versions of your goods. Read more about intellectual property protection overseas.