General Interperative Rules

Up until the end of December 2020 the EU’s Common External Tariff applies, after which the UKs Global Tariff will apply UK-specific tariffs to imported goods. The General Interpretive Rules (GIRs) will continue to provide the legal basis under which goods are classified. The GIRs therefore apply to both the existing EU and new UK nomenclatures. Avocet Clearance have a deep understanding of tariff classification and can assist importers and exporters with any classification issues.

Determining the Customs duty payable for goods entering free circulation

Tariff Classification (along with origin) broadly determine the duty rate applied on imports into the UK. Tariff duty rates are mainly expressed as a percentage of the customs value, the other main determining factors for duty when declaring goods into free circulation are origin and values. Accuracy in all three areas is paramount in building an accurate import or export declaration and ultimately determine the amount of duty paid.


co-Founder & commercial director

James has 20 years experience working with UK import and export customs declarations across all areas of the tariff. An expert in classification, origin and valuation with a background in commercial importing James brings a comprehensive knowledge in completing accurate customs declarations and enabling smooth custom clearances with HMRC.

co-founder & operations director

Holly has worked in clearance and forwarding for over 20 years, more recently focusing on international trade strategy. Holly oversees the operations structure, staff training and works closely with clients to provide the best solutions. 


Claire is experienced in completing entries and now helps onboard new clients and manages CHIEF entry testing and setup. Claire also manages our AEO compliant procedures and is responsible for regular entry auditing within our customs software, with a focus on maintaining high compliance levels and therefore reducing client risk.