Get UK customs clearance when exporting goods: step by step
How to make export declarations and get goods through the UK border.
Follow these steps to get your goods for export through UK customs if you’re managing the process yourself.
Getting customs clearance can be complicated. You can hire a transporter or customs agent to make the export declaration and get your goods through UK customs.
Your business and goods must be ready to export before you can get customs clearance.
You need an EORI number that starts with GB to export goods from England, Wales or Scotland.
If you move goods to or from Northern Ireland you may need one that starts with XI.
Depending on where you’re moving goods, you need to be registered on the right systems and have compatible software to make declarations.
You need to register on:
There are processes that can make clearing customs quicker and easier to manage if you have to make customs declarations regularly.
The goods must be taken to the port or UK border location named in the export declaration.
At the border, you or your transporter will need:
- the ‘master reference number’ from the export declaration
- the invoice
- any export licences or certificates needed
Customs staff might check the goods before allowing them to cross the UK border.
The goods may be held up at customs, for example if:
- you do not have the right licences for the goods or business
- they did not pass inspection
- they’ve been combined with a shipment that has been held up
If this happens you will be told why.