Paperwork fade - Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels

Export/import tariff guide

Export tariffs

Identifying WTO export tariffs that would apply following a no-deal Brexit

One of the best ways of determining trade tariffs is to use the World Trade Organisation (WTO) website

Step 1

On the WTO website you can filter trade tariffs by country (or trading bloc). Trade tariffs are available for all 164 WTO members.

For the purposes of this example we shall look at the trade tariffs for the European Union (EU), Egypt and Ghana (See Figure 1). Please note the trade tariff is the same for all EU member states.

Figure 1: Search by country

Figure 3: Search by country

Step 2

Having identified specific countries, we now need to determine the tariff applicable for a specific product.  

If you already know the commodity code for the product you can simply key the commodity code into the 'Find' box, as highlighted in the screenshot below (See Figure 2).

Note that the commodity code (more specifically known as the HS – Harmonised System code) will also be required on customs declarations that a company makes when exporting or importing goods.

  • Currently customs declarations are only required for goods sent to, or received from, non-EU countries
  • In the event of the UK leaving the EU customs union, customs declarations would be required for any goods sent to or received from the EU

We shall look at a product example of 'ceramic tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, other than of porcelain or china'. The applicable commodity code is 691200.

Figure 2: Search by commodity code

Figure 2: Search by commodity code

Step 3

By ticking the box for your correct commodity code and clicking on the 'Next' button you can then download details of the trade tariffs using Excel (See Figure 3).

Figure 3: Download options

Figure 3: Download options

We can then see in the screenshot below that the MFN Applied tariff is 6.6% (See Figure 4).

Note that MFN stands for 'Most Favoured Nation' status. In practice, this means that a country must apply the same trade tariff for imports from all members of the WTO (there cannot be any discrimination between countries).

Figure 4: Excel spreadsheet showing tariffs

Figure 4: Example Excel spreadsheet showing tariffs

Actions if you do not know the commodity code

If you don’t know the commodity code you can find it by keying the product required in the 'Find' box on the same WTO website. In this example the commodity code for ‘ceramic tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles’ is 691200.

Alternatively, you can use the UK Government’s trade tariff look-up tool

Import tariffs

Identifying UK import tariffs that would apply following a no-deal Brexit

Step 1

Use the UK Trade Tariff tool to find the commodity codes for your goods.

Step 2

View the temporary rates of customs duty (tariffs) on imports after EU exit

If your goods aren’t listed, they will have a zero duty rate (tariff). Under this regime, 87% of imports (by value) to the UK would be tariff-free, with tariffs applying on 13% of total UK imports.

Find out whether a preferential tariff rate, MFN tariff rate or tariff rate quota applies by searching for the good using the commodity code.

Preferential tariff rates

A preferential tariff rate would apply if the country:

If a preferential tariff rate applies, this is the rate of customs duty (tariff) you would pay.

Most-favoured-nation (MFN) tariff rates

If a preferential tariff rate does not apply, this is the rate of customs duty you will pay.

Some goods will have an asterisk (*) instead of the most-favoured-nation (MFN) tariff rate. In this case, to find the MFN tariff rate you’ll need to:

  1. Use the UK Trade Tariff tool to find the 10 digit commodity code
  2. Search for this commodity code in the tariff reference document
Tariff rate quotas (TRQ)

If a tariff rate quota applies, you could apply to import a limited amount at a reduced rate of customs duty (tariff).

Search for the Tariff Quota Rate Order number in the Tariff Quota Rate Reference Document

Got a Brexit planning question?

Get in touch with our export advisers for full details of how we can help your business grow in EU markets and beyond.