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Customs and Duty Management 

Duty Planning 

Proper customs planning is key to the success of any importing business. Yet all too often importers commit to overseas orders before seeking advice, only to find profits erased by higher than expected duty rates, or goods delayed due to incorrect or missing documents. 
 
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Health Checks 

A fundamental objective of any importing business must be to bring in their goods at the lowest possible cost whilst fully complying with Customs requirements. Given the maze of complex rules and regulations governing non-EU imports, it is unsurprising that many companies fail to reach this position. 
 
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Duty Minimisation 

Whilst the prudent importer will routinely review most areas of their business in search of cost saving opportunities, duty minimisation remains an area that is often overlooked. 
 
As a consequence, many importers are unwittingly paying thousands of pounds in excess duties to HM Revenue & Customs each year. 
 
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Tariff Classification 

Every importing business should be aware of the importance of correctly classifying their products. Establishing the correct tariff classification will determine;  
 
The rate of customs duty applicable to the goods at import  
Any additional duties that may apply, for example anti dumping duty 
Documentary requirements 
(e.g. import licences, certificates of origin etc). 
 
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BTI Rulings 

BTI Appeals 

A Binding Tariff Information (BTI) is a written tariff ruling issued by HM Revenue & Customs that is legally binding on all EU member states, and is valid for a period of six years. 
 
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There are several stages of appeal available to importers who have had a BTI ruling issued that they do not agree with. In the first instance, an internal review by Customs (known as a Departmental Review) can be requested. If unsuccessful, the case can be taken to the VAT and Duties Tribunal. 
 
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Royalties and Assists 

Where imported goods are subject to royalty payments, these costs may need to be included in the value declared to Customs. Similarly, materials and accessories supplied to the manufacturer (known as "assists") may also be dutiable. Importers whose goods are subject to any additional indirect costs or payments should seek advice to ensure that duty payments reflect all necessary inclusions/exclusions in the value declared to Customs. 
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