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Claiming tariff quotas to reduce import duties

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Tariff quotas allow you to import limited amounts of specific goods (sometimes from specific countries) at a rate of import duty lower than would otherwise apply.

You do not need to claim a tariff quota if there is a lower or the same rate of duty available under:

Most tariff quotas operate on a first come first serve basis.

It is important to note that to benefit from the tariff quota rate of duty, you or your customs agent must make a claim on the GEMS import declaration. The tariff quota rate of duty will not be applied automatically.

You can check if individual goods are covered by a tariff quota by classifying then with the right commodity code. This guidance explains how to classify your goods under the UK Trade Tariff - Find a Commodity Code. You can use the quota search in the trade tariff tool to get information on specific quotas. You will need to check the information in the tariff tool to see which quota applies to the goods you are importing and any conditions, including country of origin and documents needed. If your goods are listed, you will need the 6-digit tariff quota order number and include this in the GEMS import declaration.

  • Before you make a claim

    • You should use the trade tariff tool quota search to check the status and balances of quotas to see if there is a quota that you can claim.
    • Quotas can be:
      • open - the quota is not expected to exhaust for some time and a lower rate of duty can be given automatically to any valid claim;
      • critical - the quota may be nearing exhaustion or there is no information to base a prediction of how quickly it will be used up; or
      • exhausted - all claims will be rejected.
  • How to make a claim

    • You or your customs agent must enter the tariff quota order number on the import declaration made onto GEMS. You must select "other" from the dropdown box titled "Relief" on the GEMS declaration. In the "Reason for Applying" box you should enter the text "Tariff Quota" followed by the 6-digit tariff quota order number. Your claim will then be checked and you will be advised whether the claim is accepted. If your claim is rejected, for example it is invalid or the balance has become exhausted, the full rate of import duty will be charged.

 

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