Customs Clearance Agents

Importing/Exporting within the EU.

If you are importing goods into the UK from within the EU, then no Customs clearance is necessary. Goods that are of EU origin can travel in ‘Free Circulation' within the EU. Goods only need to be Customs cleared when entering or exiting the EU.

The exceptions to this rule are: Beer, Wine, Spirits and Tobacco, which are subject to Duty and VAT if imported as freight from the EU.

Importing/Exporting from outside the EU.

If you are importing goods into the UK from outside the EU, then a Customs clearance will be required. The goods must be cleared at the port of entry/exit in the EU.  With a transiting flight, the final port is the clearance port. 


There are 2 ways in which you can import of goods from outside the EU:  a Private Import or a Commercial Import

Private Import

If you are a Private Importer this means you are importing goods that already belong to you (Personal Effects) and those goods are not for resale once they are in the EU.

Any shipments that are for personal use will be declared as ‘Private' (PR) and any Duty or VAT the importer has to pay IS NOT reclaimable.

Commercial Import.

If you are a Commercial Importer this means you are importing goods for the purpose of business. As such the goods imported will be liable to the correct Duty and/or VAT. Any VAT paid IS reclaimable, whereas any Duty paid IS NOT reclaimable.

In order to import commercial goods into the UK, either you or the consignee (the person to whom the goods are consigned on the invoice) must be VAT registered, and in turn have an EORI number (previously known as a TURN number). Duty and/or VAT will be owed whether the goods are hand carried or freighted in to the UK.

If you are not VAT registered then call us and we can explain how you can become VAT registered.  Alternatively download our PDF document, which goes into more detail about importing and exporting.