In accordance with the European Community (EC) Customs Code and the Implementing Regulation, Customs Import Duty is liable on all goods arriving in the Customs territory of the Community. The rates of duty are set by the EC and are the same in all countries of the EC.
The rates vary according to the commodity and some may be as high as 22% while for other goods the rate may be free.
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs produce a Tariff that is based on the Combined Nomenclature (CN) of the EC and in Guernsey we use the Tariff to assess all Import Duty charges. The CN is published annually as a Commission regulation (amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87) in the legislation series of the Official Journal of the European Communities (OJ). The CN, in turn is based on the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System used world-wide.
The Channel Islands are not within the fiscal territory of the EU and as such the Community Regulations that concern excise duties do not apply. Excise duty is classed as an internal tax and we set our own in accordance with local government requirements.
The rates are reviewed annually by the States of Guernsey and set at budget time, which is usually in October. These cover Guernsey and Alderney while Sark have their own rates set by the Chief Pleas.
To identify a product a TARIC code must be entered. The TARIC codes can be viewed on the website of The European Commission Taxation and Customs Union using the link below. Once on the site to check a code (if not known) press the browse button to identify the product. When the code has been found, click on Duty Rates.
The current list of the States of Guernsey excise rates is available for download on this page.
Why do I have to pay Duty?
There are two types of duty chargeable within the Bailiwick of Guernsey. These are Excise Duty and Import Duty. Excise duty is chargeable on tobacco goods, alcoholic goods and some fuels.
Import duty could be liable on any goods imported from outside of the European Community. The duty is found in the Customs and Excise Tariff. The duty is calculated on the value of the goods and the freight charged from the originating country to the first port of call within the European Community. Please click the link on this page to see the current rates of duty.
To identify a product a TARIC code must be entered. The TARIC codes can be viewed on the website of The European Commission Taxation and Customs Union, a link can be found at the bottom of this page. Once on the site to check a code (if not known) press the browse button to identify the product. When the code has been found, click on Duty Rates.
E.g. Goods imported from USA. Value of goods + shipping from USA to UK x duty rate (% found in Tariff) = duty to be charged.