Binding customs tariff informations (BTI) in Germany – Application and Remedies

Many companies are often reluctant to obtain binding tariff information (BTI) for imported goods. In Germany it is possible to get the applicable tariff determined by the Zoll. This is called a “verbindliche Zolltarifauskunft” in Germany. However, the binding tariff information provided for by the Customs Code is beneficial for many companies and their opportunities should be exploited. The customs authorities shall issue them on request and the issue shall be free of charge.

If we can help you with the application for a BTI at the German Zoll or in advance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are at your disposal at any time. Simply call us at 040 / 369615-0 or contact us at BTI here.

Request a Binding Tariff Information

  1. For binding tariff information there is no cost by the customs
  2. The validity of a BTI is three years
  3. The commodity tariff number is specified by the tariff information binding
  4. The Clearance of the goods is considerably simplified
  5. Any unfavourable decisions on the code number also bind the company
  6. Appeals and legal action can be filed against deviating tariff informations

You would like to apply for a BTI or need advice?

Get 15 minutes free initial consultation now!+49 40 369615-0or send an e-mail

Non-binding tariff information not advisable

Companies are often faced with the problem that they have to classify their goods correctly in the customs tariff. Customs will provide information on the phone, but this is only non-binding tariff information. In subsequent disputes, companies cannot claim that the information provided by the duty was correct. A non-binding tariff information from Customs can therefore be an initial assessment and the starting point for further research, but companies should not rely on it.

Apply for tariff information

A customs tariff information (BTI) binds the customs authorities

Finding the right Customs tariff number therefore often leads to problems and the process is error-prone and time-consuming. If companies use the wrong customs tariff number, not only subsequent investigations are the case, but also criminal or administrative investigations.

For this reason, the Customs Code provides for so-called binding tariff information in addition to non-binding information. The advantage of a binding tariff information is that it makes the classification of goods in the tariff binding. If the duty subsequently differs from the BTI classification on importation, a company may invoke the BTI. In addition, the handling of the goods is usually possible without major problems, as the code number of the goods is already known. So there are also less customs inspections.

We help companies to obtain a BTI in Germany. The only thing that is necessary is for you to

  • Want to import goods into the EU
  • or have a branch in Germany

Unsure which customs tariff number is the correct one?

Most companies have difficulties in identifying the correct customs tariff number. If you also need help, please do not hesitate to contact us. We help with

  • of the Combined Nomenclature of the European Union of the European Union
  • the general provisions of the Harmonised System and Combined Nomenclature and of the TARIC
  • the classification of the goods according to these regulations

In our binding tariff information database we can see which tariff information other companies have already been issued, which tariff numbers have been granted there and what the chances are of obtaining a tariff number that is favourable for you. We would also be pleased to submit an application for binding tariff information for you and accompany the procedure with a lot of experience as well as advice and action.

Validity of a tariff information

Binding tariff information is valid for three years. According to the old customs code, the validity period for binding tariff information was six years. Now, companies have to take care of updated tariff information again in good time. Especially for companies with a large inventory, this means a considerable workload.

We are therefore available to companies with our BTI service. If you have to manage your binding tariff information, we will be happy to take over this task for you. In doing so, we make sure that

    • no binding tariff information expires and is not renewed,
    • the customs tariff number granted is unfavourable and therefore an objection should be lodged,
    • the customs tariff number granted is unfavourable,
    • the application for a BTI is running correctly.

Feel free to contact us for our services regarding binding tariff information.

Binding tariff information – no costs

It is pleasing to note that costs for a binding tariff information do not arise. The procedure is free of charge on the part of the customs administration. It is precisely for this reason that the opportunity to make an application for binding tariff information should be seized. Costs for customs tariff information are therefore only incurred if you seek legal advice. However, since a customs tariff information also sets the customs rate bindingly for three years with an unfavourable commodity tariff number, an apron consultation is urgently indicated.

Applied for a BTI but received a wrong customs tariff code by the Zoll?

You may already have applied for and received a BTI, but you do not agree with the customs classification. In these cases, you should lodge an appeal against the BTI. Indeed, the impact of false binding tariff information is significant. This can lead to excessive customs duties. It is important, however, that the appeal is lodged in good time, as certain time limits apply.

Even if the BTI is incorrect, the current legal situation does not require the BTI’s customs tariff number to be used for customs clearance. Because a BTI binds only the customs authorities, not the holder. However, this has changed since Art. 33 Union Customs Code became applicable on 1 May 2016. Since then, the tariff information decision has been binding on both the customs authorities and the applicant.

Companies should therefore take action against false binding tariff information. A declaration against an existing BTI may result in customs subsequently assuming at least (conditional) intent in criminal proceedings – after all, the economic operator knew that the customs had a different view of classification.

Our lawyers know all about binding customs information.

Get 15 minutes free initial consultation now!+49 40 369615-0or send an e-mail