What is the difference between Customs Duty and Excise Duty?
Excise Duty is an inland tax charged as a result of the sale, or production for sale, of specific goods such as alcohol and tobacco, whereas Customs Duty is a border tax charged on importation of goods produced outside the European Union (EU).
How much Customs Duty do I have to pay?
Customs Duty is charged as a percentage of the total value of the goods i.e. the sterling equivalent of the price paid abroad.
To work out the percentage, each type of product is given a ‘commodity code’. This tells you what the Customs Duty rate percentage is for that particular product, based on whether it’s being imported or exported.
There are around 14,000 different classifications. The duty rate percentage for each may vary according to the country the goods come from. The average percentage is between 5 and 9 per cent, but it can be as low as 0 per cent or as high as 85 per cent.
To find out the Customs Duty rate for a product you can contact HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) VAT Helpline or the Customs, International Trade & Excise enquiries.
How much Excise Duty do I have to pay?
Excise Duty is a tax on certain goods such as alcohol and tobacco. When you buy excise goods in the UK the price you pay includes this tax.
The rate of Excise Duty payable on alcohol products such as spirits, wines and beers is based on their alcohol content and volume. In the case of wine and cider the rate also depends on whether they’re still or sparkling.
Excise duty is currently charged at £2.00 per 75cl bottle of still wine, £2.56 per 75cl bottle of sparkling wine, and £7.41 per bottle of 70cl spirit (37.5%abv).