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Duty reliefs for goods traded between the EU and the UK

As a consequence of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and the UK there are now zero tariffs (Customs duties) and no quotas on goods traded between the EU and the UK for goods that have been produced/manufactured in the EU. These are defined by the 'Rules of Origin' .

Rules of Origin 

Basically this is the country where the goods were produced or manufactured rather than where they have been shipped or bought from. There are specific rules for certain products and countries .

These rules are negotiated as part of any FTA. They are intended to prevent tariff circumvention, whereby third countries take advantage of differences in agreed tariffs between countries to route their exports via one FTA partner to another. Regardless of whether it is the importer or exporter who pays the tariff/customs duties when importing the goods into the UK, both must have evidence that the goods meet the rules of origin. These rules can be complicated please contact the Tax Team  or for more information please see HMRC 

What if you cannot comply with these rules? 
Any goods imported will have to pay the World trade that applies to imports from non-FTA trading partners. 

What if you obtain the evidence of origin later once the goods have been imported? 
For goods imported from the EU we can make a claim for the difference between the amount paid and the preferential rate (I.e. zero%) within 3 years of the date of import. Please contact the Tax Team in these instances. 

Tariff rates and quotas for goods traded with countries outside the EU will depend on the FTA that the UK has negotiated with that country - this is an ongoing process please see HMRC's website for the latest information


General VAT and duty reliefs

Please contact the Tax Team in the first instance if you have any questions about reliefs for duty and VAT, especially if you currently have any items that are subject to one of the following reliefs, which HMRC refer to as ‘customs special procedures’:


Temporary tariff suspension or reductions from Customs Duty (withdrawn)

Previous information regarding how certain goods may benefit from a temporary tariff suspension or reduction of Custom Duty from 1 January 2021 - has been withdrawn .

Page updated 05- Jan 21


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