Check if you’re established in the UK or EU for customs

Find out whether you’re established in the UK or EU for customs purposes.

A person or business needs to be established in the UK or EU to meet a number of customs rules. This includes being able to get a wide range of customs authorisations and simplifications for example:

  • a special procedures authorisation
  • making simplified customs declarations
  • Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) authorisation
  • a comprehensive customs guarantee

What established means


You are established in the UK or EU when you have a residence in the UK or EU which you live in for at least 183 days a year.

Partnerships and corporations

If you are a partnership or corporation established in the UK or EU you must have one of the following in the UK or EU:

Multi-national or large companies

Multi-national or large companies usually consist of a parent company and subsidiaries or branches which can be established in one or several parts of the UK or EU.

Whether the branch or subsidiary has the status of a separate legal person depends on national company law.

Evidence of establishment

You may be asked to provide evidence of establishment in the UK or EU.

The evidence you will need to provide includes:

  • a certificate of registration issued by the Registrar of Companies
  • details of where staff are employed and the work that they carry out
  • physical premises owned or leased by the business
  • details of contracts, orders or invoices held or issued by the business
  • proof that the business has its own accounts

Permanent business establishment

A permanent business establishment is a place of business where staff are permanently employed and where the technical resources of the business are always present. Customs operations must be wholly or partly carried out there.

Published 12 June 2020
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