The following must be determined in order to know the amount of customs duties due upon import of goods:
- the tariff classification of the goods
- the origin of the goods and the existence of any preferential origins
- the customs value of the goods
- possibly the quantity of the goods.
The combination of these elements is used to calculate the customs duties due on import.
For example: A company imports engines manufactured in China to Luxembourg. The engines:
- will be used for the industrial assembly of motor vehicles: their TARIC code is 8408 20 10 00 (with a customs duty rate of 2.7%)
- have been manufactured in China and do not benefit from any preferential treatment
- have a customs value of €40,000.
The importer must pay €40,000 × 2 .7%: customs duty of €1,080.
Payment of customs duties
In practice, the customs duties must be paid at the time of filing the import declaration. Operators may however use a Deferred Payment account to postpone payment of such customs duties for a maximum of four weeks, on condition that they have provided a guarantee to the Customs and Excise Administration.
Suspension of customs duties
In certain cases, the payment of customs duties may be avoided or postponed by using suspensive customs procedures.
Certain combined nomenclature codes specify that the goods must be used in a certain manner to benefit from reduced or zero customs duties: this is the "end-use" procedure.
For example: engines for the industrial assembly of motor vehicles are classified under TARIC nomenclature code 8408 20 10 00 and benefit from a customs duty rate of 2.7%. The same engines that would be imported for another use are classified under TARIC nomenclature code 8408 20 57 00 and are taxed at 4.2%. The industrial assembly of motor vehicles end-use thus allows to benefit from a reduced rate.
To benefit from end-use procedure, the company must request a customs authorization from the Customs Administration, except in the case of a one-off import. It must provide a financial guarantee to guarantee the payment of the customs duties.
Autonomous tariff suspensions and quotas
If some goods are unavailable in the European Union, the companies that need to import them may benefit from reduced or zero customs duties when there exists an autonomous tariff suspension or quota measure.
The quantity of goods that can benefit from this measure may be:
- unlimited: it is an autonomous tariff suspension
- limited: it is an autonomous tariff quota.
Such measures are time-limited.