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Customs Guidance

Every year, more than £12 trillion worth of goods are traded amongst the world’s nations in nearly every language on the globe.

Find out more about Customs Declarations, Rules of Origin and Tariffs with the explanation videos from the BCC Customs and Trade Specialists, Emmanuel Gianquitto and Dr Anna Jerzewska.



1) Customs Declarations

How do customs and regulatory authorities know where the goods are coming from or going to, in order to control the flow of goods, ensure the safety and security of the country and collect the correct duty?

Within the EU Single Market, goods can move freely between member states. However, a customs declaration is required to accompany goods entering or leaving the EU Single Market.


BCC Customs and Trade Specialist Emmanuel Gianquitto explains further:









2) Rules of Origin

How do customs and regulatory authorities know where the goods are coming from in order to impose the applicable duty or product standards?

“Origin” can be understood as the economic nationality of the goods. All internationally traded goods are required to have an origin when they are declared to customs at the point of import and at the time of export.

The question “where are your products from?” seems simple at first glance, but what does it really mean?

Is it where the goods were produced, or where they were shipped from? And if the goods were manufactured in several different countries, where is the cut-off point?

Rules of origin enable customs to answer similar questions and enable them to determine the origin of goods.


BCC Customs and Trade Specialist Dr Anna Jerzewska explains further:










3) Tariffs

How do customs and regulatory authorities know what is actually being imported into their country in order to impose the applicable duty or product standards?

The answer lies in the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System, also referred to as the Harmonised System or HS for short. The HS is a numeric-based coding system that allows us to uniformly classify all goods. It is currently used by over 200 countries and economies, to code more than 98% of all trade. The Harmonised System, upon which tariffs are based, is actually a convention managed and updated by the World Customs Organisation and its 183 members.


BCC Customs and Trade Specialist Dr Anna Jerzewska explains further








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