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Frequently asked questions

Customs clearance is the process of declaring goods as they move through a border, whether importing or exporting. This is so that HMRC can gather statistical data on the country’s imports and exports, ensure that goods are travelling with the required licenses and certification, and collect any taxes that are due on a consignment.

Customs clearance is also required when moving suspended goods outside of a customs-designated area, such as a bonded warehouse, or when cancelling an inward processing relief. This is because the goods have not yet been released into free circulation, and so another declaration is needed to pay the taxes or declare that the goods are moving to another location.

To process your declaration to customs, your customs broker will need to have a copy of the following documentation for each shipment:

–        Commercial invoice

–        Packing list

–        Transport document – Bill of Lading / CMR


If the following information is not on any of the documents, then these will also be required for clearance:

–        Freight rate (when the INCOTERM) is not C or D level.

–        Commodity code

–        The goods country of origin.

It is the haulier or carrier that is responsible for GMR, however they will need an export or import declaration to be handed to them first, for them to be able to obtain GMR. If you struggle with this step, please ask us for help, we can complete GMR’s both ways export and import.

You may need an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI number) if you move goods:

  • between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) or the Isle of Man and any other country (including the EU)
  • between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • between Great Britain and the Channel Islands
  • between Northern Ireland and countries outside the EU

You can apply for EORI number by clickind link below:

Apply for an EORI number

 To apply for an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI number) you need your:

  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) – find your UTRif you do not know it
  • business start date and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code – these are in the Companies House register
  • Government Gateway user ID and password
  • VAT number and effective date of registration (if you’re VAT registered) – these are on your VAT registration certificate
  • National Insurance number – if you’re an individual or a sole trader

If your business is not based in the UK, you do not need a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code or a National Insurance number.

Transit Accompanied Document (T1 being most popular) is a document that allows deferral of customs procedures on Import. This is used to transit through different countries without having to stop at customs offices, on the way to a final destination. Just imagine you are shipping to Greece via road, you will have many countries to cross on the way, from France, through Italy and then to Greece. A T1 customs clearance will allow you to enter and transit France and Italy without having to custom clear your goods there. In the EU, you can however choose to clear your goods at “first point of entry”. So, in this case, you could custom clear your goods in Calais, France, and then be able to go to Greece (or any other EU country) without worrying about customs procedures anymore – in this case you would not need TAD (T1).
A commodity code tells HMRC what your goods are. Every single item that you can think of has a commodity code in the HMRC tariff, which is harmonised with other (not all) countries so that the same code is recognisable around the world.