Binding tariff information

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A binding customs tariff information (short: BTI) is a decision within the meaning of the Union Customs Code . In this decision, the customs authorities determine in a legally binding manner how the goods named in the BTI are to be classified in the Common Customs Tariff ( TARIC ) of the European Community .

Sense and purpose

A BTI enables the economic operator to calculate the costs incurred before the goods are cleared and to obtain the necessary papers in good time. In addition, an economic operator saves time. The legally binding classification of the goods in the Common Customs Tariff of the European Community means that clearance can take place more quickly, as the code number was determined before clearance.
For this reason it makes sense when applying for the BTI z. B. an article number or similar to be specified, as this information only applies to the goods described in the BTI.

In addition to the exact description of the goods in the application, a sample of the goods should also be sent, if possible. This is especially important if the article is made of different materials that may be important for the classification. If it is not yet available (e.g. new article), send a data sheet with the relevant information. If requested, data will be treated confidentially and not published.

Grant requirements

A BTI is only issued upon electronically submitted application. A paper application can only be submitted in exceptional cases (Article 6 (3) b) UZK).

The application must relate to an actually planned import into the customs territory of the Community or export.
When exporting, the customs tariff classification with regard to export taxes , export concessions or any other tariff measure (e.g. outward processing) must also be important.

A BTI cannot be applied for for mere export, for statistical purposes, for preferential purposes and for intra-Community trade .

In addition, no further BTI may be applied for or issued for the same beneficiary, the same goods and the same nomenclature.

Non-binding tariff information

A BTI may not be issued if the requirements for granting are not met.

In these cases, however, the economic operator has the option of obtaining non-binding tariff information.

In the case of a mere export, the economic operator receives the relevant information from Customs Information and Knowledge Management. Furthermore, if the desired non-binding customs tariff information relates to a specific intended or ongoing clearance procedure, you can contact the locally responsible customs office.

Information about the classification of goods in the list of goods for foreign trade statistics is available on request from the Federal Statistical Office.

The instrument of binding origin information was created for preferential purposes , which must also be applied for at the main customs office in Hanover .

In the case of (intended) intra-Community trade , non-binding customs tariff information for sales tax purposes can be obtained from the relevant office of the Education and Science Center of the Federal Finance Administration.


A BTI can be requested for different nomenclatures. These are:

  • the Harmonized System (HS) = digits 1 to 6 of the 11-digit code number,
  • the combined nomenclature (CN) = digits 1 to 8 of the 11-digit code number,
  • the TARIC = digits 1 to 10 of the 11-digit code number,
  • the code number = all 11 digits,

such as


A BTI is valid for three years from the date of its issue. The BTI cannot be used for import or export processes that took place before the time of issue.

The BTI binds the customs authorities of the European Community as well as the holder of the decision only with regard to the tariff classification of the goods; d. This means that only the code number is specified, but not the related measures such as B. the duty rate.

The BTI can only be used by the authorized person, the person to whom the binding information is provided, or for their account. The person entitled is named in the BTI.

When completing the customs formalities, the holder of the BTI must state the reference number of the BTI decision in the customs declaration (Article 20 Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2447). Otherwise it is not possible to invoke the binding classification.

Become invalid

A BTI can expire before the three-year period has expired if it:

  • a) is withdrawn because the BTI was issued on the basis of incorrect or incomplete information provided by the applicant,
  • b) due to the enactment of an EC regulation, the law in the BTI issued at that time no longer corresponds to the law now set,
  • c) is no longer compatible with the interpretation of a nomenclature, e.g. B. because the explanations on the Harmonized System or the Combined Nomenclature have been changed, a judgment of the European Court of Justice has been pronounced or the view of the classification result had to be reconsidered due to new knowledge or more modern manufacturing processes and materials; or
  • d) is revoked due to a formal revocation by the competent customs authority .

Protection of confidence

In the above-mentioned case of letters c) and d), the person entitled has the option to apply for protection of legitimate expectations. If the application is accepted, the BTI (in the case of letter c)) from the time of publication or (in the case of letter d)) of the notification of the formal revocation shall apply for a further six months. However, due to the protection of legitimate expectations, the validity of three years may not be exceeded.
In the case of the aforementioned letter b), protection of legitimate expectations can also exist. It depends on whether protection of legitimate expectations is granted in the EC regulation . In this case, no application needs to be made and the period for protecting legitimate expectations varies.

Meaning and purpose of protection of trust

So that the authorized person can continue to refer to the binding information for a certain period of time, the regulation on protection of legitimate expectations exists.
Otherwise the person entitled could not refer to the BTI from the time of publication or the knowledge of the formal revocation. Thus the planning security intended by the BTI for the entitled person would not be given because the beneficiary has already concluded a purchase or sales contract based on the knowledge of the once valid BTI.

Requirement for applying for protection of legitimate expectations

The prerequisite for applying for protection of legitimate expectations is that the person entitled has concluded a legally binding and final contract for the purchase or sale of the goods named in the BTI prior to the announcement of the BTI becoming invalid. Furthermore, the goods must not have been imported or exported before the BTI became invalid.
This must be proven to the responsible customs authority .

If binding customs tariff information becomes ineffective by law due to new court decisions or changes in the explanations of the combined nomenclature , protection of legitimate expectations can only be claimed if this is applied for to the competent customs authority within 30 days (Art. 34 para. 9 UA 3 UZK) .


Applications for a BTI to be issued must be submitted to the main customs office in Hanover . The main customs office in Hanover is also responsible for issuing BTI.


BTIs are issued free of charge. Expenses incurred by the customs authorities for special measures such as analyzes of the quality of the goods, expert reports for the goods and / or the return of the sample to the applicant can be charged to the applicant. However, these expenses can only be charged if they amount to 5 euros or more in individual cases.

Legal bases

The legal bases for the BTI are Articles 33 and 34 of the Customs Code , Articles 19 to 23 of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446 and Articles 16 to 23 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2447 .

In addition, there is a decisive judgment by the Federal Fiscal Court (BFH of November 14, 2000, VII R 84/99).


  • Lux in: Dorsch, commentary on customs law

Web links

Individual evidence