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A beginner’s guide to customs duties

04 April 2017 / Eile Gibson
Issue: 4594 / Categories: Comment & Analysis

Sword play


  • Customs duties are a tax on exports into the EU from a state outside the bloc.
  • Free trade agreements obviate the need for customs duties.
  • GOV.UK explains the legal framework of the EU customs code.
  • Tariff preferences can be found in HMRC Notice 826.

As a corporate tax lawyer I am rarely asked for advice on customs duties but when my Iaido sensei (martial arts teacher) asked me for information about importing Iaido swords from Japan it turned my attention to the recent 2016 changes to the regime as well as how Brexit will affect it.

At the time of writing the possibility of a trade agreement with the EU being in place by March 2019 looks remote and so it seems inevitable that there will be new customs duties rules from April 2019.


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