How do you ensure you have the right commodity code


How can we (as the exporter) guarantee we get the correct commodity code(s) when they can occasionally be up for interpretation (i.e multiple commodity codes look like they could apply) – is there a governing body that is able to make a ruling / offer advice that will be absolutely accurate?


The safest way of getting a definitive decision on the correct UK / EU customs commodity code for a product is by obtaining a “Binding Tariff Information Ruling” (BTI) from H.M. Revenue & Customs. This will provide a definitive decision on the correct tariff code for a specific article, which is then binding for 3 years on H.M. Revenue & Customs and their counterparts in all other EU Member States.

There is no cost to apply for a BTI, but HMRC are entitled to pass on any costs which they may incur in making an assessment (ie any inspection or testing fees). More details on Binding Tariff Rulings can be found at:


This answer was given by the Institute of Export & International Trade. The question was asked as part of the webinar: ‘Export Essentials – customs declarations and duties’. You can watch the recording of the webinar here:

If you are interested in becoming a customs expert yourself, please do look at the training and qualifications that the Institute provides:

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