Guide

Classification rules and the Tariff

Help classifying goods

In the first instance, you may find it useful to refer to practical examples of classification for individual types of products in our section on classifying specific goods.

If, after consulting the Tariff, you're still unsure about your goods' classification you can get advice by emailing the HMRC Tariff Classification Service at classification.enquiries@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

Goods are divided into:

  • Option 1 - For the classification of all goods
  • Option 0 - This additional option is available if you require an application form for a legally binding classification decision.

You'll need to have full details of your product, including analytical details where necessary, before a classifier can advise you.

The Tariff's Green Pages

Included at the end of volume 2 in the paper Tariff is the 'index to assist classification' also known as the Green Pages. The Green Pages are provided to help users to locate goods within the Tariff schedule. The pages are arranged as an alphabetical list of commodities to heading level that is matched to the chapter and heading numbers, which are the first four digits of the Commodity Code.

The index entries have no legal force and do not claim to be exhaustive, but they can be useful to start a search through the Tariff to accurately classify your goods. Tariff classification of goods must follow from the text using the General Classification Rules for Interpretation of the Combined Nomenclature in volume 3.

Some items are listed only by their general description. For example, apples are not itemised but an entry appears under fruit.

You should also check whether your goods will require a licence and if they're subject to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Find out more about the CAP. However, as special preferential rates, countervailing charges and/or quotas and/or other restrictions may change at short notice, your most up to date source of information will always be the online UK Trade Tariff itself. Access the UK Trade Tariff on the gov.uk website.

A more detailed explanation of the six rules can be found in pages 1 to 7 of volume 1 of the Harmonised Explanatory Notes. These notes, together with the Combined Nomenclature Explanatory Notes, can give you detailed guidance on interpreting the nomenclature itself.