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How the EU Duty suspension system can help businesses save duty

Every six months, the Eu opens a window of application for a duty suspension system, a vital opportunity for EU businesses to reduce customs duty. How does it work?

What are suspensions?

The suspensions adopted are an exception to the normal application of normal customs duty rate since during the period of validity of the measure and for an unlimited quantity, they permit

  1. the total (total suspension) or

  2. partial waiver (partial suspension)

of the normal duties applicable to imported goods (anti-dumping duties are not affected by these suspensions).

Free Circulation

Goods imported under the suspension arrangements are in free circulation and enjoy the freedom of movement throughout the European Union (EU). Furthermore, once a suspension is granted, normally any operator in any Member State is eligible to benefit from it.

One for all

This means that the granting of a suspension has consequences for all Member States and that the sector should therefore be administered on the basis of close and extensive cooperation between the Member States and the Commission so that the latter can see to it that all Union interests are taken into consideration.

Industrial suspensions

The main purpose of tariff suspensions is to enable Union enterprises to use raw materials, semi-finished goods or components without being required to pay the normal duties laid down in the common customs tariff.

Why? Economic Reasons

Suspensions are proposed after a thorough examination of the economic reasons on which the requests are based and only insofar as they seem likely to benefit the Union economy.


For some economic sectors, it is necessary to stimulate competition by low tariffs, as we find in the pharmaceutical and information technology sectors. This improves their competitive capacity, creating employment, modernising structures etc.

Who can benefit?

They are normally granted to

  • raw materials,

  • semi-finished goods or

  • components not available within the EU.

  • But no suspensions are granted for finished products.

Regular updates

A list of the products currently under suspension is regularly amended (in January and July each year) to take into consideration new requests presented by the Member States. Contact us to discuss if and how you can benefit from duty suspensions.

How does the process work?

All applications for tariff suspensions and quotas are first submitted to a central office in each of the Member States or Turkey (Custom Union). The address can be found via the following link. The Member States and Turkey are responsible for making sure that the request fulfils the conditions and that the information provided in the request is accurate in all material aspects. The Member States or Turkey transmits the request to the Commission. Then the requests for tariff suspension and quotas are registered in the Autonomous Suspensions and Quotas Measures Management System.

How long is a tariff suspension valid in the EU?

When an autonomous tariff suspension takes effect, it remains valid for five years, renewable (or until a European company objects to its renewal). In order to ensure

sufficient use (beyond the 15,000 euros in customs duties saved per year), the European Commission carries out statistical monitoring.

The attention of importers is drawn to the publication, at the end of this notice, of the result of this study for the January 2022 cycle:

  • The “green” list includes tariff suspensions automatically renewed

  • The "red" list includes suspensions that do not exceed the threshold of 15,000 euros.

  • customs duties and require sending a request for an extension to the EU Commission; otherwise, these measures will be deleted.

Importers and EU processors wishing to maintain these measures will have to file a request for extension specifying the transformations of the imported product.

How Customs Manager Ltd can help

We have been assisting clients for many years with the successful application of tariff suspensions, saving our customers thousands of Euros. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how to apply for or renew duty suspensions.


Tariff Suspension Regulation

Eu Tariff Suspension Regulation - by Cus
Download • 3.06MB

French Information 2022 Tariff Suspension

Avis aux importateurs Liste VRN 012022 c
Download • 216KB

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