1.1 Agricultural duties and charges
Certain basic and processed products in the agricultural sector are subject to customs duties and other charges under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union (EU).
1.2 Amount of charges
1.3 Export refunds
Subject to certain conditions the EU may set export refunds which may be payable to an exporter for some agricultural goods exported to non-EU countries. Contact the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) for more information on export refunds.
2. CAP imports
Duties are charged on the importation of certain agricultural goods from non-EUcountries so they protect EU produced goods by increasing world prices in line with EUprices, which are generally higher. These charges are published in the UK Trade Tariff.
Additional or safeguard charges may be imposed in exceptional circumstances to give extra protection to EU production. Up to date and historical information on charges applying at import can be obtained from HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) National Advice Service (NAS) or from the TARIC website.
Economic operators who are linked to the Customs Handling Import Export Freight system (CHIEF) can access charges using their own terminals.
2.2 Variable charge
The duty on some processed goods is a combination based on a percentage of the value, plus an amount based on the weight of the goods. For example, 10% of the value plus €5 per 100kg. In most cases these duties are fixed, although sometimes the part based on the weight can vary depending on the amount of basic products in the goods.
In addition to the commodity code, importers have to declare the amounts of basic products in the goods through a 4 digit code.
These commodities are identified by ‘EA’, ‘ADSZ’ or ‘ADSF’.
Because of the variable nature of the duty some commodities have maximum or minimum levels of duty.
2.3 Countervailing charge
To prevent unfair competition from cheaper non-EU imports, countervailing charges are sometimes imposed, often at very short notice. The charge is only payable if a minimum import price is not met. Countervailing charges are payable in addition to any other duties or charges.
2.4 CAP import licences
You must obtain a CAP import licence before importing certain CAP goods. A special CAP licence is also needed to claim some Tariff quotas (those with an order number starting 09.4). The RPA is the issuing authority in the UK.
3. CAP exports
3.1 Export refunds
Export refunds may be payable to the exporter for some agricultural goods exported to non-EU countries and certain entitled destinations within the EU. Export refund rates can change daily and are therefore not published in the UK Trade Tariff. If you need more information about export refund rates contact the RPA.
3.2 Export taxes
Export taxes may be imposed on certain agricultural goods exported to non-EUdestinations. For more on this contact the RPA.
3.3 CAP export licences and advance fixing certificates
You must have a CAP export licence before exporting certain goods outside the EU. When you apply for a licence you can usually ask for the export refund rates to be fixed at the level that applies on the date your application reaches the issuing agency.
A licence issued in these circumstances is known as an advance fixing certificate (AFC).
The RPA issue UK licences and AFCs. Licences and AFCs issued by other member states are also valid in the UK. If you want information on licences contact the RPA.
3.4 Special procedures
Advance payment of export refund
It’s possible for an export refund to be paid in advance before shipment of the goods, so exporters can be paid as soon as customs export formalities have been completed. If you want to use this procedure you’ll need to contact the RPA and lodge a guarantee with them.
Supplies of CAP goods used for victualling entitled seagoing vessels or aircraft within the EU are eligible for export refunds. This applies whether serving on international or intra-EU routes. An export licence isn’t needed but an AFC may be used when an export refund or charge is appropriate.
4. Further information
4.1 HMRC notices
HMRC have published 2 notices about CAP:
You can also get more information from the NAS helpline.
4.2 The Rural Payments Agency
Explanatory leaflets and contact details are published by the RPA.