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Preferential tariffs (i.e. zero% duty) are only to be applied to imports of goods that originate in either the UK or countries in the EU.

Where goods have been exclusively obtained or produced in one country, without using materials from any other country, this is relatively simple to identify (e.g. minerals extracted from the soil of a single country, live animals born and raised in a country).

However, where goods have been transformed, incorporated, aggregated or manufactured then determining the origin of your goods becomes much more complicated.


NB: The Univerity Statement of Origin page can be found here


Before you start

Establish the commodity code in the UK Tariff for the goods and see what duty rate is shown in the "Third country duty" column for them.

There are then four options:

  1.  If the commodity code has a duty rate of 0% against it, regardless of where it originates from, duty will not be payable. The country of origin will need to be known but no additional evidence will be required. 
  2.  If the commodity code has a positive duty rate against it, you can choose to pay duty on the import of goods from the EU (this might be the simplest option if the amount  you would pay is immaterial).
  3. However, if you wish to take advantage of the preferential tariff treatment negotiated under the Free Trade Agreement you must comply with the EU rules of origin, which are set-out below. Hopefully, your EU supplier will be able to provide a Supplier Statement to evidence that the goods originate in the EU.

    NB Where the value of the goods is less than £1,000

    • provided that you as importer are satisfied that the goods originate in the EU and
    • the goods are declared to the customs authorities as meeting the origin rules,


    they can be imported without the need for a formal proof of origin – this is known as a waiver).

  4. If you do not or cannot evidence that the item you are importing complies with the EU rules of origin, import duty will be payable.


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