Tariff quotas

Tariff quotas are limited amounts of specific goods that:

  • you can import during specified periods at reduced or zero rates as against normal customs duties.
  • the amount that you can import can be expressed in units of quantity, value, volume or weight.
  • the periods of validity may vary, for example, yearly, monthly and so on.

To benefit from a tariff quota, you must claim the quota on your customs declaration for release for free circulation. The acceptance date of the customs declaration must fall within the validity period of that quota.

 It is also possible to include a claim for a tariff quota on a pre-lodged import declaration. You will find more information in eCustoms Notification 028/2021.

Most European Union (EU) tariff quotas are managed according to the "first-come first-served" principle. Such quotas are managed in chronological order of dates of acceptance of the customs declaration for release for free circulation.

There are a number of specific Union tariff quotas available for certain agricultural products that do not operate under the "first-come first-served" management system. These quotas are managed and controlled by a licence arrangement through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

You can check the TARIC database to determine if a quota can be claimed on import of your goods.  Quota order numbers are provided on TARIC for relevant product classification (CN) codes and country of origin, for example, the United Kingdom (UK). 

You can check the Tariff Quota Consultation Database for details on the balance of quota available using the order number. If a particular quota is shown as critical, you will need to provide security for the full non-quota rate of duty. A quota is critical if there is a possibility the balance will run out relatively quickly. At no stage can a guarantee be given that a claim will be successful. 

Further information

If you need further information, or if you have a specific query about tariff quotas, you should contact Origin and Valuation Unit.