Introduction to the Tariff

What the Tariff is

The Integrated Tariff of the United Kingdom, also known as the Tariff, gives you the information you need to dispatch and acquire goods for trading throughout the world.

Following the European Union (EU)-wide harmonisation of the Single Administrative Document (SAD), the Tariff has been harmonised. The electronic Tariff has appeared in harmonised format since October 2007.

The Tariff is a three-volume guide designed to help importers and exporters meet their legal requirements.

Volume 2 of the Tariff allows you to confirm the commodity codes for your products. This is a ten-digit reference number for imports or an eight-digit code for consignments traded within the EU. Access the UK Trade Tariff.

Once you know the correct commodity code, you can use the Tariff to find the current duty and import VAT rates. The Tariff will also tell you whether your goods require a licence.

The Tariff covers the following information:

  • Volume 1 covers a range of general information for importers and exporters, including importing restrictions, VAT relief schemes and anti-dumping duties (taxes designed to prevent goods entering the EU at a cheaper rate than they can be manufactured and sold).
  • Volume 2 contains the 16,000 or so commodity codes. It also lists duty rates and important information such as import licensing and preferential duty rates, which sometimes apply when exporting or importing to developing countries.
  • Volume 3 contains advice on how to fill out the relevant documentation for importing and exporting. It contains the Customs Procedure Codes needed, as well as Country Codes and a list of all UK docks and airports.

Read more about international trade paperwork: the basics.