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Customs Duty Rules: Amendments January 2017

Robert Marchant
Woman stood in office.
There have been a number of changes to the Customs Duty rules which are applicable throughout the EU and relevant to importers of goods into the EU.

The changes have been made to the Harmonised System which is a global classification system for international trade and these changes feed into the EU Customs Duty rules.

The 2017 edition of the Harmonised System came into force on January 1, 2017 and introduces several hundred amendments (implemented by the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1821 amending annex I of Regulation (EEC) 2658/87).

Technology advances

The amendments clarify:

  • Regrouping photo and film equipment, i.e. monopods, bipods, tri-pods and similar articles under a new heading (article 9620)
    These had previously been classified based on the materials that they are made of, or as parts and accessories for cameras; this classification is no longer necessary.
  • Creation of a new subheading for LED lamps
    One of the most significant changes, as previously there was no separate heading for LED lamps, which resulted in confusion and various different classification codes being used.
  • Redrafted subheading for monitors and projectors
    Old subheading 8528 51 has been removed and replaced with subheading 8528 52, which covers monitors that are capable of directly connecting to, and designed for use with, automatic data-processing machines (which themselves fall under heading 8471). Heading 8528 59, covering certain flat panel displays, has also been removed.

Hybrid and electric vehicles

The introduction of a separate for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles. This reflects wider concerns, seen in specific amendments not covered here, over global environmental and social issues.

Trade statistics

In order to get a better picture of trade patterns, amendments have been made for fish and fishery products as well as for wood species, with a more specific subheading for different kinds of tropical woods (i.e. bamboo). The scope is now broader than before.

Hazardous chemicals and pollutants

New subheadings for specific chemicals controlled under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), for certain hazardous chemicals controlled under the Rotterdam Convention, and for certain persistent organic pollutants (POPs) controlled under the Stockholm Convention.

The effect of these amendments on businesses

Please note that the Harmonised System 2017 amendments will have an impact upon businesses as the classification of some products will change which is likely to lead to different rates of customs duties being applied and different reporting for statistical purposes. The changes will also have an effect on the validity of existing Binding Tariff Information.


If you have any questions on the Harmonised System and changes in customs classification, please contact Rob Marchant.

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Robert Marchant
Robert Marchant
Partner, VAT and Customs Duty services