The Importance of Correct Tariff Classification

If you are involved in importing goods into Ireland, one of the most important things you need to consider is tariff classification. Tariff classification is the process of determining the correct tariff code for a particular product, which is then used to calculate the applicable duty rate and taxes that must be paid upon importation.


Why is tariff classification important?

Tariff classification is important for a number of reasons, including:

Compliance with Customs Regulations: Correct tariff classification is required to ensure compliance with customs regulations, including the payment of applicable duties and taxes, and to avoid potential penalties for non-compliance.

Accurate Pricing: Correct tariff classification is essential for accurate pricing of goods, as it enables the importer to determine the correct duty and tax costs associated with the importation of a particular product.

Customs Clearance: Correct tariff classification is required to facilitate customs clearance, as customs officials will use the tariff code to identify the appropriate documentation and procedures for clearance.

Trade Statistics: Correct tariff classification is also important for trade statistics, as it enables governments to track the import and export of specific products and to assess the economic impact of trade policies.


How is tariff classification determined?

Tariff classification is determined by the Harmonized System (HS) code, which is an internationally recognised system for classifying goods. The HS code consists of a six-digit number, which is used to identify the general category of goods, followed by additional digits to provide a more detailed description of the product.

To determine the correct HS code for a particular product, importers must consider a number of factors, including:

Product Composition: The composition of the product, including materials, chemicals, and components, can impact the HS code.

Product Function: The function of the product, including its intended use, can also impact the HS code.

Product Packaging: The type of packaging used for the product can also impact the HS code.

Country of Origin: The country of origin of the product can impact the HS code, as some products may be subject to additional tariffs or restrictions based on their country of origin.


How can importers ensure correct tariff classification?

To ensure correct tariff classification, importers can take the following steps:

Seek Professional Advice: Importers can seek the advice of customs brokers, trade consultants, or legal advisors to ensure correct tariff classification.

Research: Importers can research the HS code for their product using online resources such as the World Customs Organisation website or the Irish Revenue Commissioners website.

Submit Sample or Prototype: Importers can submit a sample or prototype of their product to the customs authorities for classification.

Conduct Internal Review: Importers can conduct an internal review of their product to determine the correct HS code, using factors such as composition, function, packaging, and country of origin.



Correct tariff classification is essential for importing goods into Ireland and undergoing customs clearance. By ensuring correct tariff classification, importers can avoid potential penalties for non-compliance, accurately price their goods, facilitate customs clearance, and contribute to accurate trade statistics. Importers can ensure correct tariff classification by seeking professional advice, conducting research, submitting a sample or prototype, or conducting an internal review of their product. 


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