Commodity Codes Workshop

Commodity Codes Workshop

A commodity code is a long number, between eight to fourteen digits, that determines not only the rate of duty you pay but also what rules of origin, additional taxes and other formalities apply. It’s the most important element of any import or export activity. As a business, you are legally liable for providing the correct commodity code. This is particularly important now that new UK post-Brexit border checks will be introduced.

Learn how to use commodity codes correctly and take ownership of the process of determining what duty rates and requirements your products are subject to. Classifying your products in-house will save you time and money and help you ensure that your company is compliant while also optimising your customs bill. It will allow you to choose a more advantageous code whenever possible.

The Commodity Codes workshop is a hands-on, interactive training course that will teach you how to classify any product step by step and enable you to pick up practical tips and tricks used by customs consultants and HMRC officers.

Key features:

  • Small groups: maximum 5 people per workshop to ensure everyone is able to ask questions and discuss their company’s codes
  • Bespoke and tailored: each course is tailored to the participants’ level and industry. Whether you’re a beginner or have worked with classification for a while, I make sure that you get the most out of the session. You learn based on examples provided by participants and start to become familiar with the classification language of your own industry
  • Practical focus: provides a step by step process used by customs consultants and plenty of tips on how to classify your products

Why are commodity codes important to your business?

Any business importing or exporting products over an international border is required to provide a commodity code for their products and is legally liable for its correctness. All products crossing a border need to have a commodity code. There are over 11,000 codes organised in 98 chapters of the Tariff.

When importing or exporting goods choosing the right commodity code is the most important decision. Why? A commodity code determines:

  • The rate of duty you pay
  • Rate of VAT
  • Additional taxes such as excise duties or anti-dumping duties
  • Special requirements or restrictions – e.g. whether you need a license
  • Rules of origin under trade agreements, including the one between the UK and the EU

Knowing how to pick the correct commodity code can be an essential tool for any company that wants to comply with customs regulations. It also allows you to optimise your customs duty bill.

However, most companies don’t take ownership of this process. They either let the customs broker provide a code or just pick one that sounds right from the list. Businesses attempting to be compliant often also pay an external consultant to classify new or more complex products, and that can get expensive really quickly. Finally, companies can ask HMRC for a non-binding opinion, but that can take a long time and holds up the process.

Following this course, you will know how to do everything a customs consultant or an HMRC officer does to classify your products.

What's new in 2022?

Now that the UK has left the EU, every product entering and exiting Great Britain needs an allocated commodity code. As of 1 January 2022, it will no longer be possible to defer customs declarations for goods entering the UK, and HMRC will start enforcing compliance. Customs declarations will need to be submitted at the time of import – this includes commodity codes. Once the customs declaration is submitted, HMRC has 3 years to perform checks and verifications. This includes checking whether the commodity code used was correct.

As of 2022, the frequency of checks and controls will significantly increase. If any discrepancies are found, you risk ending up with a time-consuming and expensive audit. You will also be asked to repay the duty underpaid since the day of the import.

Using incorrect commodity codes is one of the most common reasons companies get into trouble with customs authorities.

Commodity codes are reviewed every few years, and some codes are updated and changed. A new version of codes will come into force on 1 January 2022.

How can this course help your business?

In this one-day, hands-on, practical workshop, Dr Anna Jerzewska will draw on almost a decade of experience classifying products for private sector clients. Anna will share the tips and tricks of the trade used by customs consultants that you can apply step-by-step to classify your products.

This is an interactive course delivered in small groups that places focus on you learning how to classify the products, rather than listening to a lecture. We ask participants to provide some basic information about their business beforehand and aim to use examples from their industry as much as possible. As a result, each course is bespoke and tailored to the needs of individual participants.

Once you understand classification, you can classify any product in-house.

Who is this workshop for?

Any company interested in understanding classification. Both UK and EU companies are welcome.

What does this course cover?

  • Basic information about commodity codes: what do you need to know about their structure and purpose?
  • Different types of commodity codes: how do you know you’re using the right one?
  • Basic background on how commodity codes are harmonised and updated (including the changes taking place in January 2022)
  • The Tariff and how to read it
  • Basic rules of classification
  • Specific language and logic of classification based on participants’ examples
  • Where to find help?
  • Step-by-step classification exercise
  • Tips and tricks of the trade
  • Borderline cases – what to do where more than one commodity code can be used?
  • The risks of using the wrong commodity code – what to watch out for?
  • What to do when HMRC or other customs authorities question the commodity codes you declared?
  • Classification rulings – can they be beneficial for your business?

What people are saying about this workshop

The course was fantastic and I learned a huge amount!

I thought how interactive it was made a huge difference as Commodity Codes need to be a very hands on experience when learning about them. There is such a huge amount of information that it can be very confusing and hard to interpret but the course made it very easy to understand.

Ian Burke
Mark and Chappell

The course content was thorough and thank you for the follow-on materials and web-links, which together covered the subject in great detail.

Your insights demonstrated both a depth of knowledge as well as a practical and pragmatic understanding of the needs of businesses.

I enjoyed the easy conversational style of the workshop and with your in-depth experience and connections, really helped bring the topic to life.

Ronan Quigley
Former British Chambers of Commerce Executive Director responsible for supervision of UK Trade Facilitation

What Dr Anna Jerzewska says

“Finding the right commodity codes is not easy. Classification is a bit like a puzzle. If you know the rules – have the key – and understand how it all works – it can be incredibly an incredibly useful tool. It can even be fun!

On the other hand, declaring the wrong commodity code is one of the most common reasons that companies get into trouble with HMRC and other customs authorities. It’s one of the key reasons for non-compliance.

Join us to learn how to classify from someone who does this for clients on a daily basis – you’ll never need to pay someone else to classify your products again, gaining a useful skill and saving your business money.”

Want to attend?

If you would like to ask about availability, please fill in the form below.

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