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Basics Binding Tariff Rulings

Using binding tariff rulings correctly and safely

If there are difficulties in classifying a good in the customs tariff, an economic operator can apply to the customs authorities for binding tariff rulings (BTI). This gives a legally binding indication of how a good is to be classified in the EU's Common Customs Tariff.


In addition to BTIs, the Central Customs Information Office (IWM in Dresden) provides non-binding tariff information. In specific clearance cases, the customs clearance office can also provide assistance with individual customs tariff questions. This information is not legally binding, but it does help companies with clearance.

How to make the application

In Germany, the main customs office in Hanover is centrally responsible for issuing a BTI. Since October 2019, the application has been submitted electronically via the so-called "Bürger- und Geschäftskundenportal" (BuG-Portal) of the customs administration. This can be accessed at


Economic operators must authenticate themselves to access the BuG and receive a BuG mailbox. The company can then select and enter the electronic application (eApplication). Documents and images can be uploaded in PDF or JPEG format. Samples of goods and further documents can be sent by mail to the HZA Hannover. For this purpose, the applying company receives a confirmation of receipt and an application accompanying document in the mailbox after sending the application. This allows it to be assigned to the eApplication.


Further communication is handled via the BuG mailbox, and the BTI is also delivered here. The validity is three years from the date of the decision. A BTI can only be used by the holder. The holder is the person to whom the information was issued by the customs authorities and who is also named accordingly in the information.


If you have a BTI decision for one of your goods, you must indicate this in the customs declaration, quoting the reference number of the BTI decision (Article 20 of the CCCIP).


BTIs are binding for the tariff classification of goods both for the customs authorities and for the holder of the decision in respect of goods for which customs formalities are completed after the date on which the BTI takes effect.


The measures resulting from the code number are not subject to the BTI. Therefore, if, for example, the customs duty changes for a particular code number, the holder of a BTI cannot invoke the original customs duty. If a BTI is presented at the time of clearance, the goods can be cleared quickly and without the need for time-consuming determination of the code number in the EPC.

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