When products enter the European Union, they need to be declared to customs authorities according to their classification in the combined nomenclature (CN). The CN document is updated annually and the latest version can be found on the European Commission website. All products entering the EU are classified under a tariff code that carries information on duty rates and other levies on imports and exports, any applicable protective measures (e.g., antidumping); external trade statistics, import and export formalities, and other non-tariff requirements.
The EU classification system consists of three integrated components. The first component is the Harmonized System (HS), which is a nomenclature developed by the World Customs Organization comprising 5,000 commodity groups and organized in a hierarchical structure by sections, chapters (two digits), headings (four digits), and subheadings (six digits). The second component is the CN, which adds EU-specific codes and information, serving as the EU’s eight-digit coding system (i.e., HS codes with further EU-specific subdivisions). This serves as the EU’s common customs tariff and provides statistics for trade both within the EU and between the EU and the rest of the world. The third component is the integrated tariff (TARIC), which provides information on all trade policy and tariff measures applicable to specific goods in the EU (e.g., temporary suspension of duties and antidumping duties). It is comprised of the eight-digit code of the CN plus two additional digits (TARIC subheadings).
U.S. exporters should consult the Integrated Tariff, which is updated daily, to identify the various rules that apply to specific products being imported into the EU customs territory. The Integrated Tariff can be searched by country of origin, HS code, and product description on the interactive website of the EU Directorate-General for Taxation and the Customs Union.
Customs duties and taxes may also be viewed using the Customs Info Database Tariff Look-up Tool.