EU: Many products up for duty suspensions - Learn how you can get your products down to ZERO duty

Free excerpt of the TECHNICAL EXPLAINER BRIEFING issued with this week's' Professional Legislative Monitoring - Week 26 Update.

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In the EU, certain agricultural and industrial products are not produced in sufficient quantity to meet demand or support strategic objectives. The amount produced in the EU is inadequate or even non-existent. But because the EU and its businesses still need them, it would not make sense to import them with a positive rate of customs duty.

This week, the EU issued their autonomous duty suspensions for the next period. They represent an important opportunity for importers to lower product costs. It is, therefore, very important to explain which products are concerned, what the criteria are for duty suspensions, and how you can practically apply for having your products considered for duty reductions, too. This technical explainer briefing explains this and includes the application forms to complete to ask for a duty suspension.

Let's begin.

PART 1 What are duty suspensions?

Essentially a waiver for import duties

So, customs duties on these products have been suspended. It is essentially a waiver of import duties for raw materials.

If there aren’t any or enough raw materials within the EU or in Turkey needed for production, companies can apply for reduced duty or exemption from duty for them. Tariff suspensions or autonomous tariff quotas are applied for from the EU via Customs authorities from all EU Member States.

Autonomous tariff quota

Tariff suspensions refer to a total or partial waiver of the normal duties granted by the EU. A suspension can be granted for raw materials, semi-finished goods and components used for industrial production if they are not available within the EU. If the above-mentioned goods are available within the Union, but there is not enough of them, an autonomous tariff quota can be granted for the missing quantity.

What you cannot use them for

Tariff suspensions and autonomous tariff quotas can only be granted for industrial raw materials, i.e. for manufacture. For example, simple mixing or packaging is not regarded as manufacture.

Where applicable and who benefits?

Goods imported under the suspension arrangements are in so-called free circulation and enjoy the freedom of movement throughout the European Union (EU). Furthermore, once a suspension is granted, normally any business in any Member State is eligible to benefit from it. This means that the granting of a suspension has consequences for all Member States and all businesses.


Download the full Technical Briefing by becoming an ADVANCED subscriber.

We discuss:

  • How does the EU Commission decide what products are eligible for suspension of duties?

  • What are the conditions to get a suspension?

  • How to I practically check if my products may be eligible?

  • How do I make an application?

And more

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