Having any Issue? Frequently ask Customs Clearance Questions

Export clearance is completed from EU, goods are shipped to UK and import clearance is submitted at UK port, after clearance and tax payment, goods will be delivered to your delivery address in UK. 

Export entry is completed in UK and T1 document created, goods are dispatched to EU. Upon reaching delivery port, import entry is submitted, T1 docs closed, duty & taxes paid, and goods will be delivered to customer.

T1 document is carnet, issued when goods are crossing a 3rd country to reach its destination country. So when goods are crossing over France, Spain, Netherlands to go to EU country further inland, you need to have T1 document for further journey.

UK customs clearance is very fast, taking few minutes to hours to be completed.

You need a customs broker in export and import country, as shipment needs to be filled with customs authority in both countries.

When importing goods from EU, normally duties are waived off, you only need to pay 20% VAT on certain goods and pay for customs broker charges.

You can pay import taxes through FAS and/or deferment account. FAS takes 4 hours to be completed after payment is made to HMRC. Deferment is immediate.

There are no taxes when sending goods to EU, but there is usually 20% VAT when receiving goods from EU.

Documentation requirement varies depending on goods being imported. Minimum document is commercial invoice only, but we might also need packing list, origin certificate, CMR and VAT declaration for certain goods importation.

When sending goods to EU, always ask your customs broker in EU of required documents. Standard documents are commercial invoice, CMR and packing list.

Arrived customs entry can be filled earlier in the day when shipment arrives at UK port or pre-entry customs can be filled as soon as the shipment leaves the EU and it will be marked arrived with customs when it reaches UK port.

As the port and customs authority works through online software, your customs broker can be based anywhere in UK to file import and export entry on your behalf.

Please always inform your UK customs broker before sending or receiving shipment, so he can advise you on documentation and customs requirement.

All commercial shipments require EORI for import and export, whereas personal shipment can be filled with customs authority without EORI number.

Simply visit GOV UK website, you can apply for EORI number online. It takes between 0-14 days to receive EORI number.


When importing goods from EU, you can defer VAT payment, so you don’t pay anything to HMRC at time of importing instead you will adjust the VAT in your normal VAT filing of your business.

You can apply for VAT number online through GOV UK website. It takes between 0-14 days to receive your VAT number.



After customs broker has issued C88, if you elected FAS payment method for taxes payment, please make tax payment, so goods can be released from the port. If you choose deferment or post pone VAT method, the goods can leave port immediately.

Customs has 4 routes in which goods are cleared.


Route 1: The shipment’s documents will be examined before customs will issue release of goods.


Route 2: The shipment will be physically examined before customs will issue release of goods.


Route 3: Goods are available for immediate release upon payment of duty and taxes. However, Customs also requires copies of the supporting documents.


Route 6: Goods are available for immediate release upon payment of duty and taxes.

You would simply do an account transfer to HMRC FAS bank account.

HMRC FAS: SORT CODE: 08-32-00, A/C NO: 12000962

The reference for payment is made up as follows: EPU code + TURN or EORI number + FAS notification number. Your customs broker will give you the reference number for each shipment for payment.

You would adjust the VAT in your quarterly VAT filing with HMRC and reclaim through HMRC with your other business VAT activity.

There are two different types of bonded warehouse. ERTS and authorised bonded warehouse. ERTS (Enhanced remote transit shed) warehouse is short term storage solution outside port area while customs entry is cleared and taxes paid on whole shipment. Authorised bonded warehouse is long term storage solution where shipment can be cleared in small parts and taxes payable only on part shipment cleared from warehouse.

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