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Import Duty Free and Save Cash


BIS Department for Business Innovation and Skills - Expert Author

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Issued on 26 February 2010

British manufacturers could save millions of pounds in import duties through an EU scheme promoted by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Companies that are unable to source the materials they need to manufacture their products from within the EU could be eligible to import those materials duty-free by applying to the EU Duty Suspensions & Tariff Quotas Scheme.

Currently UK companies save over €30 million per year through the scheme - a figure that rose by €4.6 million in the first half of 2010. But this could rise even higher if more manufacturers were aware of the scheme and how easy it is to apply.

BIS is urging UK manufacturing companies to take the opportunity to find out more ahead of the 15 March deadline for the first round of this year’s applications.

Lord Davies, Minister for Trade, Investment and Small Business said:

"This scheme can help businesses save much-needed cash during these tough times, offering them the opportunity to grow and expand their company. It also makes a real contribution to enhancing the competitiveness of UK manufacturing.

“Feedback from business shows the scheme is highly-valued and easy to use, so I strongly advise firms to get in touch with BIS to find out if their business can qualify."

Tom Brown, Technical Manager of Holders Technology, a distribution company importing materials for the circuit board industry, saved his customers thousands of pounds in import duties last year by applying for the scheme on their behalf.

He said:

"I found the process straightforward and was impressed at how smoothly it went. BIS were helpful and kept me updated on the progress of the application. The successful outcome is very welcome and strengthens the position of the UK circuit board industry within the global market."

J.O. Sims, a UK fruit supplier, also succeeded in saving money by accessing the scheme. Commercial Director, Kevin Matchett said:

“One of our partners felt the duty we had to pay to import cranberries was unfair and to some extent was hampering the growth of our business.

“Once we were in touch with BIS, they held our hand through the process and having someone help us with the application made it happen much quicker. We’ve found it so useful that we’re now looking at some other products we import to see if there are unfair duty loadings on those imported goods as well. “

Companies can find out more about the EU Duty Suspensions & Tariff Quotas scheme at: porting-into-uk/duty-suspensions-quotas/page23164.html


1. To be eligible for the scheme, companies need to be paying €20,000 or more a year in duties. However, companies bringing in the same product can band together when applying for the scheme

2. The scheme suspends import duty if there is no EU manufacturing of the raw materials or components concerned

3. There are currently over 1,200 duty suspensions across manufacturing industries, including food & drink, chemicals, plastics, leather, textiles, ceramics, metals, white goods, electronics, automotive, scientific and medical equipment

4. Duty suspensions last five years and are automatically renewed if there is still no EU manufacturing of the component

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-02-28 15:56:09 in Tax Articles

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