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Describing and classifying your goods

CLASSIFYING YOUR GOODS IS EFFECTIVELY DONE THROUGH THE USE OF COMMODITY CODES. YOU SHOULD FAMILIARISE YOURSELF WITH THESE TO ENSURE YOU PROVIDE THE CORRECT INFORMATION

HS Codes

This is effectively a list of numbers that is used to classify a product to enable accurate taxes and Duties to be applied. A Harmonized System (HS) code is made up of 6 digits. Once classified, it allows customs authorities all over the world to identify contents of your shipment. It is used by over 200 countries and covers 98% of traded goods.

Important! If you don’t include the HS code on the commercial invoice and other shipping documents, it will most likely delay the shipment and lead to the receiver paying the wrong Duties and VAT.

Description of goods

There should always be a clear and concise description of the goods being shipped. It should not be generic. So for example instead of describing it as a pallet of wine describe it as red wine including the brand name. You should also include the batch number.

Origin of goods

You will have to confirm the origin of goods, including all components / ingredients that make up products in your consignment that are being shipped. Where your products were originally manufactured may be different from the country the

shipment is being sent from. You should be aware that some goods may originate from countries subject

to special safeguards or anti-dumping Duties.

Value of goods

The true value of the goods should be stated which consists of the market price of the goods and the currency. Evidence may be asked by Customs if the value declared on your invoice does not seem reasonable.

All goods should have the correct description, value and classification for shipping.

More information on UK classification codes can be found here.