top of page

Classification: Ultimate Guide to Vehicles etc HS Codes

(P) Essential Guidance for any company importing or exporting vehicles, bicycles, parts and accessories

This guidance helps with various types of vehicles such as mobility scooters, dumpers and utility vehicles, all-terrain vehicles and E-Bikes for import and export.


  • Vehicles designed for the transport of people and goods

  • Dumpers

  • Utility vehicles

  • All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)

  • Mobility scooters

  • Carriages for disabled people

  • Collectors’ vehicles

  • Electric bicycles (E-bikes), their parts and accessories

  • Parts or accessories of vehicles

  • Incomplete or unfinished vehicles

Vehicles designed for the transport of people and goods


Multi-purpose vehicles, for example, pick-up trucks, vans and sports utility vehicles with the following features are likely to be classified under heading 8703:

  • permanent seats with safety equipment, for example:

  • seat belts

  • anchor points for installing them

  • permanent anchor points and fittings for installing seats and safety equipment in the rear area, behind the area for the driver and front passengers - the seats may be fixed, fold-away, removable from anchor points or collapsible

  • rear windows along the 2 side panels

  • sliding, swing-out or lift-up doors, with windows, on the side panels or in the rear

  • no permanent barrier between the driver or front passenger area and the rear area that may be used for transport of people or goods

  • comfort features, interior finish and fittings associated with passenger areas, for example:

    • carpets

    • ventilation

    • lighting


Multi-purpose vehicles with the following features are likely to be classified under heading 8704:

  • bench type seats that fold away, collapse or are a separate platform with no safety equipment for example:

  • seat belts

  • anchor points for installing them

  • separate cabin for the driver and passengers and a separate open platform with side panels and a drop-down tailgate - a maximum inner length at the floor of the area for transport of goods of more than 50% of the length of the wheelbase or if the vehicle has more than 2 axles (pick-ups)

  • sliding, swing-out or lift-up doors, without windows, on the side panels or in the rear for loading or unloading goods (vans)

  • permanent panel or barrier between the front and rear area

  • no passenger comfort features or interior finish and fittings in the cargo bed area


Dumpers are classified under heading 8704 with a subheading of 8704 10. These are vehicles specially designed to transport loose materials, such as:

  • sand

  • gravel

  • earth

  • stones

They’re also vehicles specially designed and intended for use:

  • in quarries

  • in mines

  • on building sites

  • at road works

  • at airports

  • at ports

They’re sturdily built with a tipping or bottom opening body, designed for the transport of excavated or other materials. They may have a rigid or articulated chassis, generally fitted with off road wheels and can work over soft ground. Light dumpers sometimes have a 2-way seat, 2 seats facing in opposite directions or 2 steering wheels, so they can be steered with the driver facing the body for unloading.

Heavy dumpers are also included. They consist of:

  • a body made of very strong steel sheets, with the front part extended over the driver’s cab to protect the cab

  • the drivers cab may be half width only

  • the whole or part of the floor slopes upwards towards the rear

  • no axle suspension

  • high braking capacity

  • limited speed and area of operation

  • special earth-moving tyres

  • tare weight or payload ratio not exceeding 1:1.6

  • the body may be heated by exhaust gases to prevent materials from sticking or freezing

Smaller vehicles of the type used on construction sites are also covered.

They are used for carrying:

  • earth

  • rubble

  • fresh cement

  • concrete

They have a fixed or articulated chassis and 2 or 4-wheeled drive, the dumper hopper being located above one axle and the driver's seat above the other.

The driver’s seat is not usually inside a cab.

Certain dumpers are specially designed for working in mines or tunnels, for example, those with a bottom opening body. They have some of the above characteristics but do not have a cab or an extended protective front part of the body.

They’re specifically and primarily designed for off-public road use. If a dumper also has distinctive characteristics enabling it to be driven on public roads, this is not a reason to exclude the vehicle from subheading 8704 10.

Utility vehicles

These vehicles are not classified as dumpers and come under subheadings 8704 21, 8704 31 or 8704 90.

They are designed for off-road use and, generally, have a range of functions and can be used in various environments for:

  • pushing

  • hauling trailers

  • moving animals

  • transporting plants, boxes, water and equipment

  • depositing loads at construction sites

  • carrying munitions

  • transporting feed for animals

While they may carry loose materials and deposit loads, for example, at construction sites, they’re not specially designed as a dumper.

Some may be capable of being used in rough terrain and are likely to have an open cabin with seats for 2 people including the driver.

The vehicles may also have a full rollover protection frame, a cargo bed made of a strong steel frame and a sturdy flat-bed tipping body, a tipper and a front and back hitch.

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)

To be classified under heading 8701, ATVs must include all of the following features:

  • a handlebar with 2 grips incorporating the controls for steering the vehicle, the steering is achieved by turning the 2 front wheels and is based on car-type steering system (ackerman principle)

  • brakes on all wheels

  • an automatic clutch and a reverse gear

  • an engine specially designed for use in difficult terrain and capable in low ratio of delivering sufficient power to tow attached equipment

  • power transmission to the wheels by shafts and not with a chain

  • tyres having a deep tread design suitable for rough terrain

  • a coupling device of any kind, for example a towing hitch, designed to enable the vehicle to pull or push at least twice its dry weight

  • a towing capacity of a non-braked trailer of twice its dry weight or more - this can be proved by technical documentation, user manual, certificate from the manufacturer or from a national authority, specifying exactly in kilograms the towing capacity of the ATV and its dry weight (the weight of the vehicle without any liquids, passengers or cargo)

  • If they include all of the above features, the vehicles will be classified as agricultural or forestry tractors and, depending on their engine power, classify under the following subheadings:

8701 91 10

8701 92 10

8701 93 10

8701 94 10

8701 95 10

Other ATVs are classified under heading 8703.

Mobility scooters

These vehicles are designed for use in the home, on footpaths and in public spaces.

They’re classified under heading 8703 subheading 8703 10 18.

To be classed as a mobility scooter they must have a:

  • separate adjustable steering column, which includes a:

  • control unit with a contact switch

  • horn

  • battery output display

  • button to set the maximum speed

They may also have:

  • a horizontal platform connecting the front and rear sections

  • small wheels with anti-leak tyres

  • an adjustable seat without armrests and grips

  • anti-tip wheels at the back

  • thumb operated levers for accelerating, braking and reversing

  • electronic dual braking

  • They incorporate a speed limiter and can travel at speeds, generally, between 4 and 8 mph (6 and 13km per hour).

They also have a range of between 8 and 40 miles (12 and 64km per hour) when operating with a fully charged battery.

Carriages for disabled people

Motorised disabled carriages never have a separate adjustable steering column. To be classified under heading 8713, their features will be:

  • 2 sets of wheels touching the ground

  • special features to alleviate the disability, for example, footrests for stabilising legs

  • a maximum speed of approximately 10km per hour and a width of approximately 80cm

  • an additional set of wheels (anti-tip)

  • steering and other controls, for example, a joystick, that are easy to manipulate – they’re usually attached to one of the armrests

  • Normal vehicles simply adapted for use by disabled people are not classified under heading 8713, for example:

  • a motor car fitted with a hand-operated clutch, accelerator, is classified under heading 8703

  • a bicycle fitted with a special attachment and pedalled with one foot is classified under heading 8712

Collectors’ vehicles

Classic or collectors’ cars will be classified under heading 9705 if they meet the criteria of legal Additional Note 1 to Chapter 97.

Those less than 30 years old are generally not considered to be classic or collectors’ cars. These and all other cars are classified under heading 8703.

Racing cars, which can be proven to have been designed, built and used solely for competition may be classified under chapter 97 only if they’ve achieved significant sporting successes at prestigious national or international events.

In order for vehicles (and ‘original authentic’ as opposed to ‘modern replica’ parts) to be considered as eligible for historic collector’s status within heading 9705, information must be provided dating the year of manufacture and whether any substantial changes have been made to the vehicle (as modernised, ‘hot-rodded’ or modified vehicles are excluded).

Repairing and restoring is allowed and broken or worn-out parts, accessories and units can be replaced, provided that the vehicle is preserved and maintained in its historically correct condition.

HMRC recommend that an Advance Tariff Ruling is obtained before such a vehicle is imported. This ruling cannot be issued for goods already presented for Great Britain Customs import procedures.

If you’re importing goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK and the EU, and the goods are at risk of onward movement to the EU, a Binding Tariff Information ruling is required instead of an Advance Tariff Ruling.

Electric bicycles (E-bikes), their parts and accessories

E-bikes with an auxiliary electric motor are classified under the group ‘with electric motor for propulsion’ under subheading 8711 60. This also includes E-tricycles and E-quadricycles.

Those that also include pedal assistance and have a continuous rated power of 250W are classified under commodity code 8711 60 10 00. While other cycles with pedal assistance are classified under commodity code 8711 60 90 10.

An E-bike imported incomplete or unfinished can also be classified as a complete E-bike if it includes the frame with forks, an electric motor and 2 or more of the following components:

  • wheels

  • crank gear

  • steering unit

  • brake system

An incomplete or unfinished E-bike which is complete apart from a motor will be classified as a bicycle under heading 8712.

Individual parts and accessories of E-Bikes are classified under heading 8714 within subheadings covering:

  • frames and forks, and parts thereof

  • hubs, other than coaster braking hubs and hub brakes, and free-wheel sprocket wheels

  • brakes, including coaster braking hubs and hub brakes, and parts thereof

  • saddles

  • derailleur gears

  • pedals and crank gear, and parts thereof

  • handlebars

other parts and accessories including seat posts and stems for bicycle handlebars

Parts or accessories of vehicles

Parts are items that are essential to the operation of a complete vehicle.

Accessories are items that are not essential. These are classified under the headings 8708 and 8714. They’re interchangeable parts or devices designed to either:

  • adapt a vehicle for a particular operation

  • perform a particular service relative to the main function of the vehicle

  • increase its range of functions

To be classified as a part or an accessory of a vehicle, a product must:

  • be suitable for use solely or principally with the articles of Chapter 87

  • not be more specifically included elsewhere in the Nomenclature

  • not be excluded by the terms of Note 2 to Section XVII which excludes certain goods from Chapter 87, such as:

  • all articles of headings 8306, 8401 to 8479

  • all articles of Chapters 85, 90 and 91

  • parts of general use which include, nuts, bolts and washers

Incomplete or unfinished vehicles

When a motor vehicle or bicycle is imported incomplete or unfinished, it can be classified as complete or finished if it has the essential character. This could be a:

  • vehicle not yet fitted with wheels, tyres or the battery

  • vehicle not equipped with its engine or with its interior fittings

  • bicycle without its saddle and tyres

  • bicycle consisting of the frame, the fork and at least 2 of the following components:

  • set of wheels

  • crank-gear

  • steering unit - including handlebar and handlebar stems

  • brake system

  • electric bicycles (e-bikes)

HS 2022

Since 1 January 2022, a subheadings exsists under the following headings:

8701 – to provide for hybrid and electric vehicles

8704 – to provide for electric vehicles

Find more information on the World Customs Organisation website.

Need help with Classification?

We can help you classify your goods for customs purposes. Please get in touch,

15 views0 comments


bottom of page