Pay no or lower import duties

Sometimes you can pay lower duties or none at all when importing. See how it works.

Tariff suspension or tariff quota

There is a tariff suspension when reduced import duties or a zero-rate temporarily applies to goods. You then pay no import duties or a reduced rate for these goods. You go back to paying the usual rate thereafter.

There is a tariff quota when a specific quantity of goods corresponds with reduced import duties or a zero-rate. Up to this quantity, you pay no or reduced import duties. Above the quantity, you pay the usual rate.

Preferential rate

There is a preferential rate when goods are allocated reduced import duties or a zero-rate. The goods must fulfil the requirements of origin. They fulfil these requirements if the goods come from countries with which the EU has concluded trade treaties. The origin can be demonstrated by means of the evidence of origin. There are various documents that show evidence of origin. The User tariff will explain which evidence you need.

This preferential rate can also be set in the form of a rate quota. You then pay reduced or no import duties, up to a specific quantity.

Other rates

Alongside quotas, suspension and preferential rates, there are also other schemes that could lead to favourable rates. The ‘User tariff’ will explain which products correspond to a favourable rate. This could include pharmaceutical goods, articles for the civil aviation industry and products for ships and drilling platforms.

Sometimes, you must have a certificate to be able to use a low rate. The User tariff will explain which certificates you need.

Binding Tariff Information

The rate that must be paid – and any related requirements, such as import/export certificates – depends on the tariff classification applicable to the product.

To have legal certainty in advance that you are applying the correct classification to your goods, you should apply for a Binding Tariff Information (BTI) decision.

Binding tariff information (BTI) is a decision issued by the customs authorities that is binding on all Member States' customs authorities and on the holder of the decision.

More information?

The Customs Handbook will provide further information about paying no or reduced import duties:

Javascript is disabled in this web browser. You must activate Javascript in order to view this website.