Tariff suspensions and autonomous tariff quotas
Waiver of import duties for raw materials
If there aren’t any or enough raw materials within the EU or in Turkey needed for industrial production, industrial companies can apply for reduced duty or exemption from duty for them. Tariff suspensions or autonomous tariff quotas are applied for from the EU via Customs.
Tariff suspensions refer to total or partial waiver of the normal duties granted by the EU. A suspension can be granted for raw materials, semi finished goods and components used for industrial production, if they are not available within the EU.
If the above-mentioned goods are available within the Union, but there is not enough of them, an autonomous tariff quota can be granted for the missing quantity.
Tariff suspensions and autonomous tariff quotas can only be granted for industrial raw materials, i.e. for manufacture. For example, simple mixing or packaging is not regarded as manufacture.
How to make an application
The company submits an application in English to Customs. Applications are to be submitted by individual companies, not by a central organisation for a branch or another association. The application must be made carefully, and the properties of the goods must be described in detail. Applications that are formally correct and meet the requirements are sent by Customs in Finland’s name to the European Commission. The applications are processed by the Economic Tariff Questions Group (ETQG), which has delegates from the Commission and from all Member States.
Application forms (in English):
Requests submitted twice a year
Tariff suspensions and autonomous tariff quotas are applied for and processed twice a year. The requests must be submitted to the Commission at the latest on15 March for implementation on 1 January the following year 15 September for implementation on 1 July the following year.
The requests must be sent to Customs around one month before the Commission’s time limit, so that there will be time to process them and, if necessary, request additional information before the requests are sent to the Commission. Customs will publish the deadlines for requests in customer notices published on this website. Requests concerning amendments will be submitted according to the same deadlines.
Based on the summary prepared by the Commission, Customs will notify companies operating in Finland of the requests via the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) and industry branch associations and ask for statements regarding requests to be accepted or deleted, if any.
After the round of meetings of the ETQG, the Commission will prepare the annexes to the tariff suspension and autonomous tariff quota regulations for the Council. The Council Regulations are published in series L of the Official Journal of the European Union twice a year, before the start of the implementation period.
Benefits already granted can be utilised by all
The suspensions and autonomous tariff quotas already granted can be utilised by all operators within the EU. The suspensions and quotas are reviewed regularly and they can be deleted or amended. Because the position of producers operating in the EU cannot be damaged by granting beneficial treatment to equivalent goods brought in from outside the EU, the Commission and the ETQG aim to examine, when processing suspension and quota requests, whether the goods in question are manufactured in the EU.
A company operating in the EU and bringing in raw materials or goods to the EU, should find out whether there are any suspensions or quotas granted for them. If the benefit has already been granted, the company can use it by providing certain details in the customs declaration.
A company that manufactures goods in the EU should find out whether a suspension or a quota is being requested for or already implemented on the goods it manufactures. The company can then object the request when it has been submitted or later propose that the measure should be deleted, amended or that its quantity should be limited.
When a suspension or a quota has been granted, the company must observe whether amendments to it (e.g. to the goods description) or deletion of the benefit are proposed on following rounds.
Suspension or quota benefits are usually not granted if the goods concerned are already entitled to a tariff preference on other grounds, e.g. according to their country of origin. Neither are benefits granted to goods intended to be sold to consumers without further processing nor to components only brought in for simple assembly.
Suspensions or quotas are usually not granted to goods subject to anti-dumping or countervailing duties, and duty reductions never apply to anti-dumping or countervailing duties.
A Taric consultation of the Commission’s Data Dissemination System (DDS) shows the tax treatment of the goods on the selected date.
For example, the goods under subheading 8714 91 30 24 is subject to an autonomous tariff suspension with total relief from import duty. Because these front forks with aluminium legs are for use in the manufacture of bicycles, the use of this suspension requires that the goods are under custom supervision on account of their end-use. Only a part of the suspensions and quotas are subject to the end-use condition. Suspensions in force can also be searched in the DDS Suspensions database, where there is also information about suspensions and quotas in preparation.