Get clearance to leave a UK port for commercial vessels
If you’re the ship’s master (or their agent) of a commercial vessel, you will need to get clearance to leave a UK port.
From 1 January 2022 new reporting procedures will apply.
If you’re the ship’s master of a commercial vessel you must get clearance from customs to depart from a UK port (known as outward clearance). This includes vessels departing the Isle of Man.
If you’re leaving the UK and destined for another UK port, you do not need to get clearance. You will not need clearance for:
- Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales)
- Northern Ireland
- Isle of Man
Check what reports you need to send to HMRC about goods when your vessel arrives at a UK port.
Get clearance to leave the UK
You can get clearance in advance using the online National Maritime Single Window.
If you cannot use the National Maritime Single Window
You can send reports to the National Ship’s Reports and Compliance Team by email, fax or by post (if original documents are called for):
National Ship’s Reports and Compliance Team
3 Stanley Street
Telephone: 0300 3227900 and select option 4
Fax: 0800 4960699
Opening hours: Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays), 8am to 4pm.
If you’re trying to send reports to the National Ship’s Reports and Compliance Team outside normal office hours, the master or agent should:
- Phone the National Clearance Hub to advise that they are about to submit a clearance request.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org or fax copies of the necessary forms to the National Clearance Hub.
Find out how to contact the National Clearance Hub.
Find out which journeys you must report
New reporting procedures apply from 1 January 2022 for outward journeys to and inward journeys from EU countries.
Departing from Great Britain
|Great Britain to EU countries||yes|
|Great Britain to rest of the world (excluding Northern Ireland)||yes|
|Great Britain to the Channel Islands||yes|
Departing from Northern Ireland
|Northern Ireland to rest of the world (excluding Great Britain and EU countries)||yes|
|Northern Ireland to the Channel Islands||yes|
Last updated 25 November 2021 + show all updates