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Classifying edible fruit, vegetables and nuts for import and export

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Classifying edible fruit, vegetables and nuts for import and export

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Get help to classify edible vegetables, roots, tubers, herbs, spices, fruit, nuts and peel for import and export.

Edible vegetables, roots and tubers

The edible vegetables and roots classified in chapter 7 are classified according to their:

  • genus or plant family, for example, brassicas such as broccoli and cabbage
  • state — they may be fresh, chilled, frozen, dried or provisionally preserved
  • intended use — products intended for animal fodder and herbs intended for pharmaceutical use are not classified in chapter 7

Common terms

Common terms included in these classifications are:

  • alliaceous — vegetables belonging to the Allium plant family, which includes onions, shallots, leeks and garlic
  • brassica — vegetables belonging to the Brassica plant family, which includes cabbages, kale, brussel sprouts and cauliflowers
  • genus or genera (plural) — a group of similar plant types (the term forms the first part of the plant’s Latin or botanical name)
  • leguminous — vegetables belonging to the Leguminosae plant family, which include peas (pisum), beans (phaseolus and vigna) and lentils (lens) (the term forms the second part of the plant’s Latin or botanical name)
  • var (variety) — a subdivision of a species

Frozen garlic and other frozen vegetables

Frozen vegetables must be maintained at a temperature of no more than -12°C — this must be consistent throughout the product so that the entire product is thoroughly frozen. They can be either uncooked or cooked (by steaming or boiling in water before being frozen) and are classified in heading 0710.

If a frozen product is not frozen down to -12°C, it must be classified as fresh or chilled, within headings 0701 to 0709.

Products described as ‘frozen garlic’ that do not meet the freezing temperature requirement, must be classified as fresh or chilled garlic in subheading 0703 20.

As well as the types of vegetable listed in subheadings 0710 10 to 0710 90, the following products are also classified in heading 0710, if they’re frozen to the required temperature:

  • truffles
  • capers
  • marrows and pumpkins
  • aubergines
  • fennel
  • cress
  • certain herbs, such as parsley and chervil

Roots and tubers

Certain roots and tubers with a high starch or inulin content, are classified in heading 0714. Inulin is a naturally occurring carbohydrate that is extracted from certain roots. Products classified in this heading include:

  • manioc (or cassava)
  • sweet potatoes
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • arrowroot
  • salep (flour made from the dried roots of orchids)
  • sago pith

These products may be:

  • with or without skin
  • fresh, chilled, frozen or dried
  • whole, sliced or in pellet form

Manioc pellets may be disintegrated and will remain classified as long as they are identifiable as manioc pellets. They can be identified by observing physical characteristics, such as:

  • particles with a different nature or texture within the substance (broken pieces of manioc pellets)
  • the substance having a brownish colour with black spots
  • pieces of fibre within the substance that are visible to the naked eye
  • the substance having a small quantity of sand or silica present

In Section II of the UK Global Tariff, the term ‘pellets’ means products which have been agglomerated (formed together), either by:

  • compression
  • the addition of a binder in a proportion of no more 3% by weight

Chinese water chestnuts

Heading 0714 also covers Chinese water chestnuts (tuberous roots of Eleocharis dulcis or Eleocharis tuberosa). They do not have a high starch content, but are included because of their high inulin content. The Caltrop variety of water chestnuts (nut-like fruit of Trapa natans) are classified as nuts in heading 0802.

Leguminous vegetables

Leguminous vegetables are classified in heading 0708 if they’re fresh or chilled, and in heading 0713 if they’re dried. Dried products are included whether they’re intended for food use or for sowing.

Leguminous vegetables classified under these headings include:

  • peas (pisum sativum)
  • beans (vigna, phaseolus species)
  • broad beans and horse beans (vicia faba)
  • chickpeas (garbanzos)
  • lentils (lens)

Some legumes are not classified in chapter 7, for example, soya beans are classified in heading 1201 and locust beans are classified in heading 1212.

Provisionally preserved vegetables

Provisionally preserved vegetables are classified in heading 0711. They must not be suitable for eating immediately. They’re generally packed in casks or barrel and are raw ingredients that have been provisionally preserved for transport and storage, before being used in food manufacturing. They must stay in that state and remain unsuitable for immediate consumption.

Vegetables such as olives or gherkins (pickled in brine or vinegar) which can be eaten straight from the jar, are not provisionally preserved and are not classified in heading 0711. If they can be eaten with no further treatment or processing, they’re classified in headings 2001, 2002, 2003 or 2005.

Herbs and spices

There is no single classification in the tariff for herbs. They can be classified in chapters 7, 9 or 12, depending on their purpose and on the part of the plant they come from. For example, leaves are classified in a different chapter from seeds. Herbs used in cooking are classified in heading 1211.

Some herbs are classified as vegetables in headings 0709 to 0712. They include:

  • parsley
  • chervil
  • tarragon
  • coriander leaves
  • dill leaves
  • sweet marjoram

Some herbs are classified as spices in chapter 9. They include:

  • thyme
  • bay leaves
  • dill seeds
  • coriander seeds
  • cumin seeds

Herbs classified in heading 1211 as types of plant used in perfumery, in pharmacy, or for insecticidal, fungicidal or similar purposes include:

  • basil
  • borage
  • hyssop
  • mint
  • rosemary
  • rue
  • ginseng roots
  • sage
  • wild marjoram (oregano)

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