Import duties, custom charges

Import duty at a rate of between 0% and 8% is payable on all goods imported into the UK from outside the EU.

The level of duty on an item is determined by its classification code. On order to ascertain the level of duty payable on an item, users should check on-line, selecting the phrase 'taric description'. 

Once a code has been identified, in order to ensure that the goods incur duty at the correct level (and at 0% if the goods are classified as duty-free), the supplier should be contacted and advised of the correct classification code. This code should be quoted on the commercial invoice which accompanies the goods’ freight documentation.

Duty Relief
Departments should be able to claim relief from paying duty on goods purchased for the institution if they fall into one of the following categories:

  • visual and auditory materials imported for educational purposes or scientific research
  • scientific instruments imported for educational purposes or non-commercial scientific research
  • donated medical equipment imported for medical purposes

​​​​​​​If goods are being bought from outside the EU and the user feels that they should be able to claim relief from the payment of duty, he/she should contact the Head of Procurement as early as possible in the procurement process to make the necessary arrangements to complete the required paperwork.

Re-Importation of repaired goods
To ensure that import duty and customs (equivalent to VAT) is not re-applied when goods returning to the UK after being repaired, please click here.