UK manufacturers importing materials from outside the EU

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Goods imported between EU member states enjoy the privilege of free border movement without complicated customs declarations or excess duty to pay. However, shipments imported to the UK from outside the EU are required to follow certain procedures.

Commodity codes

What are commodity codes?

To import your materials from outside the EU to the UK you firstly need a commodity code. A commodity code is a unique 10 digit number and every single product has its own assigned code.

What are commodity codes used for?

Commodity codes form a vital part of an import declaration when goods arrive in the UK from outside the EU. A customs entry cannot take place without this number. The code identifies what duties and controls are applied at the UK customs border and it is your responsibility, as the importer, to ensure the goods are coded correctly. If goods are cleared through Customs under an incorrect commodity code, the amount of Customs duty could be under or over declared to HMRC, which could lead to potential fines and penalties.

How do I get a commodity code?

To get started the GOV.UK website offer a step-by-step guide to finding your unique commodity code, it can be found via this link


Do I need a licence to import my goods?

The majority of goods do not need an import licence on arrival into the UK but there are certain products, particularly those classed as hazardous or dangerous, that do require a licence.

The following items require a licence from The Importing Licensing Branch (ILB):

  • Ammunition/firearms (please note: Tudor do not forward firearm material);
  • Any nuclear materials;
  • Some textiles such as military use clothing, clothing worth over £12,000, materials 50 years or older;
  • Iron and steel from some countries.

If you are importing the following items you may be required to obtain a licence from The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA):

  • Meat, poultry, dairy and edible items;
  • Livestock;
  • Organic material;
  • Animals;
  • Fur or animal skin products;
  • Air conditioning or cooling appliances;
  • Fire-protection items, or foaming equipment; and
  • Aerosols or solvents: glue, deodorant etc…

How will leaving the EU affect my supply chain and imports from the EU Market?

In the event of a no-deal Brexit HMRC are recommending that businesses that import from the EU and export to the EU become familiar with three programmes:

  • Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI);
  • Customs Declarations Service (CDS);
  • Transitional Simplified Import and Export Procedure (SIEP).

For more information on these and what is required please follow this link.