Import Services

How to calculate UK import duty and VAT

Every product / item being imported into the UK and EC, must be classified under a Classification / commodity code. This code not only identifies what type of item it is but it also advises the rate of import duty and / or VAT which will be due, as well as any restrictions or additional requirements, or if any exemptions, reliefs or quotas are available. The EC Taric page lists all these codes, as does the UK's Business Link site. Ensure that you have checked out your goods before you actually place your order with your supplier to minimise any surprises or problems when your goods arrive into the UK.

Duty and VAT is not applicable on everything entering the UK, see our Basics page for a brief explanation or contact us for guidance for your specific goods.

Coming soon!! Duty and VAT Calculator


    If your goods are liable to duty and / or VAT, then the following should hopefully explain how it is calculated:

  • 1. Convert the value of your goods, into GB Pounds

  • This sounds easy, but you must ensure that the correct rate of exchange is used. Each month UK Customs issue exchange rates which they will use to convert currencies. Therefore, these are the rates that you must also use.

    See our Exchange Rates page to find the exchange rates you need ukimports
  • 2.¬†Calculate the Total value of your goods (Door to Door)

  • The 'Terms of Sale' or 'Inco-Terms' between the seller / shipper and you determines whether or not costs of shipping are added to your Customs entry (C88).

    If added, then import duty and / or VAT (if applicable) will be paid on this in addition to the price that you have actually paid for the goods.

    So, how can you tell whether these charges will be added to your Customs declaration (Form C88)? Well, if you haven't already done so, we would suggest that it may be worth your while reading the 'Inco-Terms' page, to enable you to here, and accurately calculate import duty and VAT. ukimports
  • 3. Calculating basic Import Duty (If applicable)

  • Now that you have got your total value of goods (including all the associated shipping costs) in GB Pounds, you next need to know what percentage of Duty has been allocated by UK Customs for your particular goods.

    To do this you need to visit the European TARIC website, via our 'Links' page. Once there, search for your goods under description and enter the Country of Origin. This should then allow you to find the commodity code (keep this 10-digit code, as you will need to ensure that your clearing agent uses this on the Customs entry) and the rate of Import Duty that's applicable to your goods. Then simply multiply your total value of goods by the Customs Duty rate. This is the approximate amount of Import Duty that you would have to pay to UK Customs. ukimports
  • 4. Calculating the VAT (If applicable)

  • The rate of VAT in the UK increased to 20.0% on the 4th January 2011 (up from 17.5%). So, to calculate the VAT, you need to do the following:

    Add the amount of Duty, that you just calculated (if any was applicable), to the total value of your goods (incl. the shipping costs), then you have to add all the UK charges, such as Customs clearance and delivery costs (from port of arrival/Bonded Warehouse through to your door). Then, simply multiply this total amount by 20.0%, to give an approximate amount of VAT that you would have to pay to UK Customs. ukimports

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