New UK Import Regulations for 2017

Transferring your residence to the UK from outside the EU

There have been some changes in the method of importing used personal effects and household goods.

Firstly lets deal with what has not changed.

In order to import your personal effects duty free you must

  • Be moving your *normal home to the UK from a country outside the European Union (EU)
  • Have lived outside the EU for at least 12 months (consecutively)
  • Have been in possession (and used) the goods for at least the last 6 months (consecutively)
  • Continue to use all goods in your new place of residence for a minimum of the next 12 months
  • Import all goods within 12 months of arriving in the UK to reside

* Your normal home is where you reside 165+ days of the year.

For last few decades, the applicable method was to submit a physical customs form (C3) to customs via your moving company/customs broker. However as of 31st March 2017, changes have meant the process now requires the individual importing the goods (i.e. the owner of the goods) to complete a Transfer of Residence (ToR) form online prior to the arrival of your goods.

The ToR form allows you to also include pets and motor vehicles as part of your duty free allowance. Once completed online the form needs to be printed and posted to HMRC.

If you meet all the pre-requisites set by HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) it is possible to receive full relief of customs/excise duty and VAT.

It is very important to apply online and **post your application as your first step, since you may find you want to avoid including anything which may not qualify as part of your shipment. If you wait until the goods are packed and ship it is practically too late. Your mover may be able to find away of separating the goods you do not want to include after arrival, but this is going to incur excessive handling and ancillary charges which will probably exceed any duties and taxes you may be charged, so it is strongly advised to deal with the online form before the packing date.

If your application is successful you will be provided with a unique code which you need to provide to your moving company / customs broker. If do not qualify for full relief, your moving company will advise you of the amount you need to pay. This is broken down in an official receipt, but you must pay it prior to the release of the goods.

For more information on the ToR please note the following links.
More info on customs duty and VAT

Once again the ToR form 01 can be found in the link below. This must be competed online and **posted to HMRC
ToR01 Form

**Tip – In addition to printing the form, you can save as a pdf file. This can the be emailed to HMRC on the following email address – [email protected]along with any supporting documents.

Note: Should you be moving temporarily to the UK – on a temporary assignment you will need to complete a separate form linked below
form C88 (this replaces the old C33 customs form)

Should you need more information on importing used household goods & personal effect, pets or motor vehicles, please note this FAQ link below.