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Can You Appeal a Binding Tariff Information Ruling?

Posted by The Tradewin Team

4/4/14 9:00 AM

Can_You_Appeal_a_Binding_Tariff_Information_Ruling.pngThe importance of correct HS classification is evident. Wrong classification can lead to overpayment of duties and penalties. In some cases a Binding Tariff Information (BTI) can be used as a tool to assure that your goods are classified correctly.

What is a BTI?
A BTI is a written tariff classification decision, given on request, which is legally binding in all customs administrations within the European Community for up to six years from the date of issue. 

A BTI is intended to give you certainty about the correct tariff classification of your goods. It is not a legal requirement. A BTI provides you certainty that you, or your chosen representative, can declare the correct commodity code for your goods on the customs entry. It also helps you meet your legal obligations in respect of correct tariff classification ensuring that your liability for duties, VAT, and other charges are known in advance.

As a BTI is legally binding for up to six years from the date of issue this can also be a disadvantage if customs does not agree with the HS code you have requested in your BTI application. This can result in paying a higher duty amount and other charges.

Where can Tradewin assist?
One of the services Tradewin provides is assistance with BTI applications. To ensure that the BTI will be given with the tariff classification you have asked for, proper research has to be done.

What will determine the correct classification?

  • The objective features of the commodity classified.
  • The General Rules of Interpretation.
  • The use of the commodity to be classified if there is a relevance for the determination of the classification.
  • The notes to the Chapters and Headings.

With this in mind Tradewin helps you determine the correct HS code for the BTI application. By using Tradewin you have proof to have done your due diligence successfully.

What if Customs disagrees?
What if customs does not follow the tariff classification you have requested? There is always a possibility that Customs can disagree with your classification. In case Customs provides BTI Ruling with a tariff classification you do not agree with there is a possibility to file an appeal. In order to file an appeal successfully you must be sure that Customs did not follow the same rules as stated above to determine the correct classification. This again underlines the importance of the determination process of the correct classification before you apply for a BTI.

Live example:
Recently Tradewin applied for a BTI on behalf of a customer. Tradewin followed the rules to determine the correct classification. Customs did not agree with the requested classification and issued a BTI with a different HS code. The new HS code would result in a higher payment of duties for the commodity for a period up to six years.

Tradewin did not rest the case as we were certain based on our product research and interpretation of the classification rules. We were confident that the HS code argued were correct and decided to follow up by filing an appeal against the decision by Customs. Following written communication and a face to face hearing with Customs where we provided solid argumentation, Tradewin successfully convinced Customs of our classification. As a result Customs decided to rule the BTI in customer’s favor and granted the opportunity to request a new BTI with the HS code Tradewin initially requested.

Our efforts resulted in significant duty savings for the customer.

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Topics: Classification, Europe

Written by The Tradewin Team

Since 1997, Tradewin has been providing expert import and export advice to clients all over the world. Combined, our skilled team of Customs brokers, lawyers, accountants and other professionals possess more than 400 years of experience. Together, we've helped thousands of clients save more than $50 million in duties, guiding them through the ever-changing and complex arena of international regulations as effortlessly as possible.