How to Import Organic Japanese Tea to UK
Tea became a huge success as soon as it stepped foot into Great Britain. No doubt, coffee was on a high roll when the tea market entered the Kingdom. But the British didn’t take much time to adjust to the new market, and, now, there isn’t even a single day when the British don’t drink coffee. It has become their ritual to have an “afternoon tea”, no matter what. Seeing the booming success of the tea market and the huge demand for it, it is about time that the United Kingdom should introduce organic Japanese tea to its people. But, how can you import it to the United Kingdom?
Brief History of Japanese Tea
Because of its exotic taste and flavor, Japanese tea was largely exported to various countries in the world, especially the United States. The main reason behind this massive success was the unique process of manufacturing Japanese tea. The tea farming families used to steam the leaves to preserve their natural and herbaceous flavor. There were only twenty varieties of Japanese tea present at that time and this made each cup quite specialized and rich in flavor.
However, when coffee started to make its mark along with Chinese green tea, the spell of Japanese tea broke. Also, there was a decrease in the production of Japanese tea because a lot of tea-farming families started moving into the cities instead of working out in the fields. Nevertheless, its production kick-started again in Japan when people started consuming it more than ever.
Japanese Tea Today
Today, Japanese tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the entire region. About 70% of the Japanese drink Japanese tea on a daily basis while over 88% consume this drink more than once a week. The color, flavor, and beauty of Japanese tea make it worth your while, no matter how many times you drink it. So, if you want to import Japanese tea to Great Britain, this may be the perfect time to do so.
How to import Organic Japanese to the UK?
To import goods into the United Kingdom, you’ll have to follow certain laws and regulations to sell or use those goods in the country. Even though Great Britain has exited from the EU, the EU legislation still applies and must be implemented to all of its imports as well as exports. The authority that is responsible for implementing this legislation is known as DEFRA – the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs.
Organic Control Bodies
However, to import goods into the country, you need to register yourself as an importer. To do this, you can contact the respective organic control body and get yourself registered. As Japan is one of the ‘equivalent’ countries of the United Kingdom, their organic produce standards are equivalent to those of the EU. Thus, you can easily import organic Japanese tea from Japan.
The next thing you need to do is get a Certificate of Inspection from a control body that can certify the exporter before the goods are imported into the United Kingdom. The COI can be generated via TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System). To get your COI through TRACES, you need to register yourself on the website because an EU login is necessary. Once you’re all logged in TRACES, you can notify your respective control body to validate the registration.
You need to tell the Port Health Authority beforehand via their pre-notification system regarding your imports. This may incur some costs but it solely depends upon the number of goods you’re importing. Once your import is valid and good to go, the PHA will stamp it, and it will further go for customs clearance. When your goods arrive at their destination, all the information will be checked by customs. Also, if you’ve provided COI in written form, it will be matched with the one that is present on TRACES. If you’ve provided the correct information and it matches, you can freely use and sell your imported goods in the United Kingdom.
Import Duty Rate in the UK
|Type and value of goods||Import Duty Rate|
|Any goods under £135||No charge|
|Gifts worth £135-£630||2.5% (or lower for some goods)|
|Gifts above £630 and any other goods above £135||The tax depends on the quantity. Please see How can you calculate import duty tax in the UK? section for more detail.|
If you’re liable to pay the import duty tax, the Royal Mail or your courier will contact you. They will also let you know the method of how you can pay this import duty tax. Usually, three weeks are provided to pay the tax, if you don’t pay it in the required time, your parcel will be sent back. Now, as for the case of organic Japanese tea, if you’re importing it from Japan, you’ll also have to pay VAT, excise, and customs duty as Japan is a non-EU country. The value of these will be calculated based on the total value of the goods, including the import duty.
Company Registration Number in the UK
Acquiring a Company Registration Number in the United Kingdom is extremely essential when it comes to paying taxes and filing annual accounts. A Company Registration Number (CRN) is a number that consists of 8 numbers or 6 numbers with 2 letters. CRN is issued by Companies House and it will be stated on your Certificate of Incorporation. You can’t choose CRN on your own instead, it will be generated by the computers. It will depend upon the type of company you want to set up along with your country of incorporation.
- If you want to set up a company in England and Wales, you’ll get an 8-digit CRN.
- If you want to set up a company in Scotland, you’ll get a 6-digit CRN with the prefix “SC”.
- Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) will get a 6-digit CRN with the prefix “OC”.
- Scottish LLPs will get a 6-digit CRN with the prefix “SO”.
Your Company Registration Number is classified as Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) which makes it easier for the Companies House to exchange your company data with the government bodies, non-governmental agencies, and the general public.
Once you get your business number, you can never change it. Even if you change the name of the company, the number of shareholders involved, or the business activities altogether, your company registration will remain the same.
What are the approved UK organic control bodies from where you register yourself as an importer?
- Organic Farmers and Growers CIC (GB-ORG-02)
- Organic Food Federation (GB-ORG-04)
- Soil Association Certification Ltd. (GB-ORG-05)
- Biodynamic Association Certification (GB-ORG-06)
- Irish Organic Association (GB-ORG-07)
- Organic Trust CLG (GB-ORG-09)
- Quality Welsh Food Certification Ltd. (GB-ORG-13)
- OF&G (Scotland) Ltd. (GB-ORG-17)
What happens if your import gets rejected by PHA?
The PHA will examine your products on their arrival. If they are not up to the organic standards of the United Kingdom, they will get rejected and you won’t be able to sell those in the country. The products will remain under customs control unless you:
- the COI is corrected
- the products are re-exported
- remove all the labels stating that the product is organic
How can you register on TRACES?
You can get yourself registered on TRACES in a few steps.
- Go to the website of TRACES.
- Click on “create an account”.
- Enter all the relevant information.
- Once you’re done providing the information, you’ll receive a confirmation code in your mail.
- Enter that code in the required field, and you’ll be good to go.
How can you calculate import duty tax in the UK?
Say, you’re importing a large number of tea from Japan to the United Kingdom. The cost of goods comes out to be £15,000 with £7,000 insurance costs.
Now, your shipment is more than £135, and they can’t be considered gifts. So, you’re liable to pay the import duty tax. To calculate the import duty, you need to know about the commodity code and apply the import duty rate for that specific code called HS Code.
HS code of green tea are 090220 (Package size 3kg or less) and 090210 (Packaging size exceeds 3kg)
In this case, you have an import duty rate of 4.5%. (Please note that this number changes, so please check the latest number) This duty rate will be applied to the total value of your goods.
For tea, the total value of your goods is £22,000 (£15,000 + £7,000) – the cost of goods and the shipping charges. Now, your import duty rate is 4.5%. So, 4.5% of your total amount becomes 0.045 x 22,000 = £990. Thus, in total, you’ll pay £22,990 to the UK government. Please note that if you are importing non-tea item, as Japan is a non-European country, the import will also include VAT that is 20% of the total value of goods for non-food item; however, tea is food and it is reduced to 0%.
When can you use your Company Registration Number?
Generally, you need to provide your Company Registration Number in these situations:
- Change the name of your company
- Change your registered office or SAIL address
- Add or remove a company secretary or director
- Change the details of secretaries and directors
- File annual Confirmation Statements
- File annual accounts
- Register for business taxes
- Pay Corporation Tax
- File Company Tax Returns
- File Resolution Copies
- Increase share capital
- Issue share certificates
- Issue dividend vouchers
- Change your Accounting Reference Date (ARD)
Drinking tea is engrossed in the culture of the British. From morning till night, they keep the kettle on for a brew. It is not a surprise that the United Kingdom is one of the major tea consumers in the entire world. Thus, if you’re thinking of starting your own tea market in the country, this can prove to be the right time. The British want only two things in their tea – flavor and quality – and this is exactly what organic Japanese tea provides. So, start importing organic Japanese tea and leave everyone awestruck. However, before importing this product, go through all the import rules and regulations of the United Kingdom.
Need Assistance on Japanese Tea Importation?
This shipping and importation of Japanese tea in your country have been a long-standing service that we offer. Therefore, if you are interested in Japanese Tea importation either as a business or you simply want to have a taste of quality, authentic Japanese tea, you may contact us through this website, and we are more than happy to assist you. Click here to contact Green Tea Merchant.
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