How many commodity codes are on your Christmas tree?
It’s the festive season, you’ve got the Christmas tree up, and you’ve started to think about getting your dinner plans and presents prepared. But did you know that most of the things around you on Christmas Day have been imported? If you did, then you might have wondered how HS codes and origins affect the prices you pay.
Find out about how the typical things on your Christmas tree are classified in this article.
Classifying the goods on your Christmas tree
Everything on your tree has its own HS code, duty rate, and rules for origin. Here are some examples of how these can affect your Christmas tree this December:
Christmas tree from Denmark
Christmas lights from China
The lights on your Christmas tree are imported under heading 9405 3100 00, which attracts a 2% duty for third countries. China is in this category, so the duty is applicable. If you were to buy a box of Christmas lights from China for £25 CIF, then you will pay 50p in duty. You will pay 20% VAT on the cost and duty (£25.50), so you will add £5.10 to your costs to make the total value £30.60.
Baubles from China and Germany
Baubles come in plastic, glass, and other materials. Here is an example of how different codes and origins affect the duty rate.
Plastic baubles from China
If you were to import plastic baubles from China, then you will use HS code 9505 1090 00. This attracts a 2% duty from third countries, the same as Christmas lights, so a £25 package would cost you £30.60 in total as above.
Glass baubles from Germany
What if it was the other way around?
Germany is inside the European Union, so importers in the UK benefit from a 0% duty when the goods are originating there. Therefore, both glass and plastic baubles from Germany are duty-free.
Check our other post for more information on how to calculate duty and VAT in the UK.
Other expenses and considerations
The duty rate is not the only thing that can affect your costs when importing a Christmas tree. Freight rates, currency conversions, and timelines should also be considered. Goods from China often have a higher transit time, and can be more subject to delays in transit. However, goods from Europe can be more costly, and the shortage of hauliers might make delivery less reliable.
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