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What is a harmonised code?

A harmonised code is also known as a tariff or commodity code.
This is a code that equates the description of a product and it is used to define the duties and taxes to be paid.

You, as the importer or exporter are responsible for the correct tariff classification of your goods. Union Customs Code Regulation 952/2013 Article 15 refers.

Classify goods and commodities serve to:

  • identify what duties and controls apply
  • make correct import and export declarations
  • make sure correct customs declarations and Intrastat returns are made

Classifying your goods correctly means that you:

  • pay the correct amount of duty and VAT
  • know if duty is suspended on any of your goods
  • know if any preferential duty rates can be applied
  • know if you need to obtain an import or export licence for items such as:
    • plant and animal products on health and conservation grounds
    • firearms
    • hazardous materials
    • know if excise or anti-dumping duties apply
    • avoid paying interest on back-payments for incorrect classification
    • avoid seizure of your goods or delays to their movement

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This Q&A is provided for information only and the answers do not have a contractual value. For additional information, you can refer to FedEx Conditions of Carriage for EMEA available at fedex.com.

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