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CHANGES TO CUSTOMS CODES

A reminder that the customs codes for most metal forming machines changed on 1st January.  There is also now a specific set of headings for additive manufacturing machinery rather than having to find somewhere general to report these machines.

Every 5 years, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) updates the global system of customs codes for products - the Harmonised System (HS).  The UK, as a member of the WTO has adopted the latest set of revisions which came into force on 1st January 2022.  The HS covers the first six digits of the customs product codes used for export and import documentation and is in use in almost every country.

Beyond that, Customs administrations can add extra detail;  in the case of the European Union, this is done via the Combined Nomenclature (CN) which adds an extra 2 digits.  The UK has adopted the CN classification which is based on the revised HS and also came into force on 1st January.

Chapter 8462 which covers most types of metal forming machinery has been almost completely re-written to reflect modern technology so if you are shipping this equipment, you will need to check the new headings and update your systems.

There is also a new chapter for additive manufacturing machinery - 8485.  Again, if you are either exporting or importing these goods, you need to check the codes to use - there are separate headings for machines for working metal, plastics & rubber and plaster, cement, ceramics & glass.

You can check the customs codes for these headings (and indeed any products) at https://www.trade-tariff.service.gov.uk/find_commodity.  This has now been fully updated and all you have to do is to enter the customs code (a 4-digit chapter is probably the best approach as that won’t have changed) and then open the product listing menu to see the codes for the various types of machinery.

Importantly, this source also gives the UK duty rates;  they are mostly zero for metal forming machines and additive manufacturing equipment - the main exception is AM machines for working metal for which the rate is 2%.  An important point to note here is that the tariff rates for Northern Ireland are different because the EU rates are used in that part of the UK – you can switch to the Northern Ireland Tariffs at the link above.