Apply for a Binding Tariff Information decision


Last updated 21 May 2021

Find out how to get a legally binding decision on the commodity code to use when importing into or exporting from Northern Ireland or EU from 1 January 2021

Before you start

If you would like to classify your goods with a Binding Tariff Information decision, you must apply before all customs procedures have been completed - decisions cannot be made retrospectively.

HMRC can refuse an application if you:

  • are not planning to import or export the goods
  • have applied for a decision for the same goods in an EU member state
  • are unable to supply all the necessary information about your goods
  • have already cleared your goods through Customs Import Procedures

Register for access to the EU Customs Trader Portal

You only need to register with HMRC once.

Economic Operators must use the European Union Gateway website to access the EU Customs Trader Portal.

Email: to get access to the website, include ‘Enrolment EU Central Service’ in the subject box and your:

HMRC will aim to reply to your email within 5 working days to confirm you’ve been set up to access the EU Central Service, and give you the link to access it.

Keep the link safe as you’ll need it if you wish to make further Binding Tariff Information applications.

Once you have the link, you’ll need to provide:

  • detailed information about your goods, which can vary depending on your goods
  • brochures, manuals, photographs and samples where appropriate, if you want this information to remain confidential, you must tell HMRC

You can also let HMRC know what you think the commodity code should be.

If you need multiple decisions

Avoid applying for multiple decisions wherever possible, as these may cause delays. When requesting 10 or more decisions in a week, please tell the Tariff Classification Service first by emailing:

Apply for a Binding Tariff Information decision

Apply for a Binding Tariff Information decision by using the EU Customs Trader Portal link that was given to you in your email when you registered for the service. If you want someone to apply for a decision on your behalf, you’ll need to use the EU Customs Trader Portal to assign them.

You must make separate applications for each type of goods needing a decision.

If you’ve already applied for a Binding Tariff Information decision, you can sign into your EU Customs Trader Portal to view your applications and previous ruling decisions.

If you’re importing into or exporting from Great Britain you’ll need to apply for an Advance Tariff Ruling.

What happens after you’ve applied

HMRC aims to reply to your application within 120 days. You’ll be given a legal document informing you of the correct commodity code for your goods and the start date for the period of validity of the information. The document also shows:

  • a uniquely identifiable reference number
  • the name and address of the holder of the information, this is the person legally entitled to use it (decisions are non-transferable)
  • a description of the goods (including any specific marks and numbers) to identify your goods at the frontier
  • the basis of the legal justification for the decision

How to use the ruling

When you receive a ruling decision, you must:

  • declare the Binding Tariff Information reference in Data Element 2/3 (Customs Declaration Service CDS)
  • advise the person completing your customs documents:
    • that you hold a Binding Tariff Information for the goods you’re moving
    • the commodity code ruling that applies

Appeal a ruling decision

If you do not agree with the decision, you can request a review by writing to the Tariff Classification Service at:

Alternatively, you can appeal directly to the tribunal service, who are independent of HMRC. If you disagree with the outcome of an HMRC review, you can still appeal to the tribunal.

Contact the Tariff Classification Service

Email the Tariff Classification Service:

Contact the Tariff Classification Service by post:

HM Revenue and Customs Tariff Classification Service
10th Floor
Alexander House
21 Victoria Avenue
SS99 1AA