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Guidelines on acceptable and unacceptable terms for the description of goods for exit and entry summary declarations.


  • Annex 30A, as included in the implementing provisions of the Customs code by Regulation 1875/061 provides that goods description for summary declarations is "a plain language description that is precise enough for Customs services to be able to identify the goods. General terms (i.e. “consolidated”, “general cargo” or “parts”) cannot be accepted. A list of such general terms will be published by the Commission. It is not necessary to provide this information where the Commodity code is provided." The object of these guidelines is to meet the legal requirement to publish such a list.

    This legal requirement stems from the need for customs administrations to be able to base their risk-analysis on adequate descriptions of goods where a commodity code is not provided by the person that lodges the summary declaration. In those cases, too vague a description would not provide Customs administrations with the means to identify consignments which might represent risks for the Community and its citizens; this might lead to unnecessary and costly hiccups in the supply chain; such as physical examinations of the goods concerned, in order to ascertain their real nature.

    The list of generic, unacceptable terms and the suggested alternatives that would be acceptable by customs, hereafter referred to as "the list", is contained in the Annex to these guidelines.


  • The list is not of an exhaustive nature, and aims at providing examples of unacceptable and acceptable wordings that are meant as a guidance.

    The list is by nature dynamic; Everyday practice will show that new unacceptable terms will be identified and will need therefore to be added to the list as time goes by. This dynamic aspect of the list will require a certain level of maintenance by the Commission in coordination with Member States.

    Initially, it is suggested to have a standing point in each SAD committee meeting to discuss this matter. Experience will show whether those discussions can be more interspersed in the future. In early days, quicker updates might be considered on an exceptional basis and agreed upon by way of a committee written procedure.

    By virtue of the multilingual nature of the EU, the list covers all official Community languages and is therefore translated in all those languages.


    Given its dynamic nature, and the importance to provide quick updates, the list needs to be published on the internet, in any respect on TAXUD website, for the benefit of all potential interested parties.

    List of examples of acceptable and unacceptable descriptions of goods
  • Unacceptable Acceptable
    Agricultural products Oranges, Fish, Rice, Bread
    Aid consignments Blankets, Medications
    Animals Horse, Poultry, Bovine
    Appare Men’s Shirts, Lingerie, Girls’ Vests, Boys’, Jackets
    Appliances Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave Oven, Coffee Machines
    Auto Parts Automobile Brakes, Windshield Glass for Automobiles
    Caps Plastic Caps
    Chemicals, hazardous Actual Chemical Name (not brand name)
    Chemicals, non-hazardous Actual Chemical Name (not brand name)
    Cleaning products Alcohol, Detergents
    Consolidated (See other specific examples in the table)
    Didactic articles Pencils, Smart boards, Books
    Electronics Computers, televisions, CD Players, Walkmans, Tape Recorders, Mobile phones, Monitors, Printers
    Equipment Oil Well Equipment, Poultry Equipment
    FAK Freight All Kinds (See other specific examples in the table)
    Foodstuffs Beverages, (See other examples for "Agricultural products")
    General Cargo (See other specific examples in the table)
    Gifts Dolls, Remote Control Cars
    Household good Plates, Dishes, Tableware (See also examples for "appliances")
    Industrial products (See examples for "Electronics")
    Iron and Steel Iron Pipes, Steel Pipes, Iron Building Material, Steel Building Material
    I.T. good (See examples for "Electronics")
    Leather Articles Saddles, Leather Handbags, Leather Jackets
    Machine parts Pumps, Seals, Engines
    Machinery Metal Working Machinery, Cigarette Making Machinery, Sewing Machines, Printing Machines
    Machines (See examples for "Machinery")
    Oil Mineral oil, Plant oil
    Ore Iron ore, Copper ore
    Parts (See examples for "Machine parts")
    Personal effect (See other specific examples in the table)
    Pipes Plastic Pipes, Steel Pipes, Copper Pipes
    Plants Tulip
    Plastic Goods Plastic Kitchenware, Plastic House ware
    Polyurethan Polyurethane Threads, Polyurethane Medical Gloves
    Propellant (See examples for "chemicals")
    Rubber Articles Rubber Hoses, Rubber Conveyor Belts
    Rod Welding Rod, Fuel rod, Copper rod
    Said to Contai (See other specific examples in the table)
    Sanitary good Towels, Buckets, Detergents, Tooth brushes
    Scrap Plastic Scrap, Foam Scrap, Iron Scrap
    Spare part (See examples for "Machine parts")
    Textiles Linen fabric, T-shirts, (See also examples for "Apparel")
    Tools Hand tools, Electric tools
    Toys (See examples for "gifts")
    Various products (See other specific examples in the table)
    Vehicles Boats, Cars, Bicycles
    Weapons Daggers, Machine guns
    Wires Iron and Steel Wire, Copper Wires
    Wooden article Wooden furniture, Wooden kitchen utensils