Ongoing Customs and Trade Announcements

During these difficult times the Government have announced a number of changes and initiatives to support the way businesses trade.

The trade areas announced by the Government are sometimes specific to COVID19, but on occasion, they also apply to what exporters and importers should be doing on a daily and weekly basis.

Examples of ongoing good practice can be found in a Government announcement last week on Binding Tariffs and Origin.

Ensuring the correct commodity code is essential for every business to trade with confidence. Every import and export must have a commodity code as part of the customs declaration and it is the responsibility of businesses to justify the commodity code chosen for purposes of compliance, for example on requirement for licenses and tariff rates applicable.

If you are not clear on what the commodity codes are for your product(s) you should consider applying for a Binding Tariff Information ruling. The relevant article issued last week re-enforces the importance of this topic, very much so for all products that are important in supporting the country against COVID19, but also for each and every product you export and import.  

Quoting the correct commodity code for COVID19 related products means that your product could receive beneficial status in processing through customs.

Declaring the correct origin for the goods is always important, in the case of preferential origin as it allows exporters to benefit from trade agreements negotiated with countries such as Canada, Chile, South Korea and many more. Origin will become more important after the end of the transition period and obtaining a Binding Origin Decision (BOI) helps prepare businesses for the future. Last week’s announcements  and  in addition to explaining the background to origin also covers processes that apply during COVID 19.

There are several good reasons why it is beneficial to have a Binding Origin decision

  1. The decision is legally binding on the UK and all EU members. This provides the business with legal protection against UK or any EU customs authority, as long as the production arrangements remain unchanged.
  2. In some cases, origin can be difficult to determine, where did the last change take place to manufacturing and how much of the production process was altered? These are all valid questions and obtaining a Binding Origin Decision provides a specific decision.
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