In 2020, the UK imported machinery and transport equipment worth approximately 84 million GBP from countries in the EU, making up the bulk of UK imports from the EU in that year. The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement drafted after Brexit came into effect in January 2021, bringing permanent changes to the import process. Under the TCA, all businesses moving goods between the two markets need to submit customs declarations and other paperwork. Companies importing machinery from the EU to the UK will need to adjust to the new customs processes, administration, and checks. Here is what you need to know about importing machinery from the EU to the UK.

HS Classifications

Unlike other goods spread out across several chapters of the Harmonised System, heavy machinery falls neatly in chapter 84. Use code:

  • 8407310000 to import spark-ignition piston engines
  • 8408201000 to import diesel or semi-diesel engines
  • 8415101010 to bring in air conditioning machines (that are self-contained and precharged with HFCs)
  • 8417201000 to import bakery or biscuit ovens (tunnel type)
  • 8417805000 to import furnaces for glass making
  • 8421210020 for importing water purification centrifuges for industrial or lab use
  • 8424491000 to bring in tractor-drawn agricultural sprayers
  • 8426110000 to import cranes (overhead travelling on fixed support)
  • 8427101000 to import forklifts (with a height of 1 metre or more)
  • 8435100000 for importing wine-pressing machinery and
  • 8447110000 to import circular knitting machines.

Claiming Preferential Tariffs using Rules of Origin

The UK and EU agreed to zero tariffs and quotas, meaning you will not face costly tariffs when importing heavy machinery such as agricultural machines, textile-weaving machines, printing machinery from the EU. However, to qualify for tariff-free access, you will need to provide documentation showing that your machinery originates from the EU. Proof of origin can be either:

  • A statement of origin completed by the exporter on a commercial document or,
  • Importers knowledge that the goods are originating in the EU.

A statement of origin completed by the exporter on a commercial document must include information showing that the product is originating, such as a supplier’s declaration. To qualify, the exporter must be;

  • located in the UK or EU,
  • the exporter or producer of the originating product,
  • responsible for the correct identification of the originating products on the invoice, and
  • identified on the statement of origin by their Registered Exporter (REX) number or address.

‘Importer’s knowledge’ allows you to claim preferential tariffs based on your knowledge about the originating status of the imported machinery. If you choose to go with importers’ knowledge as your proof of origin, you’ll need to ask your exporter to supply documents detailing the production of the machinery, such as:

  • The HS code of the product.
  • A brief description of the production process.
  • A description of the originating and non-originating materials used in the production process.
  • The place of production for “wholly obtained” products.
  • The value of the product and the non-originating and originating materials used.
  • The weight of the product and the relevant non-originating and originating materials used.
  • A certificate of non-manipulation from the Customs Authority in the country of transit.

Your statement of origin will be valid for two years from its creation date. It’s best to present the document along with the customs declaration before entering the goods into free circulation. However, HMRC allows you to make a duty refund claim within three years of the date of importation provided that you give valid proof of origin.

Completing Declarations

If you are an established business, you are probably used to making declarations within 90 days of presenting your goods to customs. However, if you are importing heavy machinery between 1 January and 31 December 2021, you have up to six months to submit a declaration and claim a preferential tariff.

New importers will find that completing an import declaration can be very complicated and costly and is best left to a specialist freight forwarder or a customs agent. Here are the details to provide your air freight, sea freight or road freight courier so they can submit a full import declaration:

  • A customs procedure code.
  • The commodity code for your machinery.
  • Your Declaration Unique Consignment Reference.
  • The departure point and destination.
  • Details of the consignee and consignor.
  • The type, amount and packaging of your machinery.
  • The relevant certificates and licences.
  • The currencies and valuation methods.
  • The transport methods and costs.

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Barrington Freight provides quick, cost-effective deliveries from Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, and Poland to the UK. Whether you’re looking for speedy next day delivery or a cost-effective freight forwarding solution, we have the experience to import your machinery. Contact us today for a quote or visit our warehouse and offices at Bowden Terminal in Basildon, Essex

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