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Moving to the UK – New HMRC Online Customs Clearance Process

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Abels have been advised by The BAR (The British Association of Removers) about changes being made by HMRC in connection with the Customs clearance procedure when moving to the UK.

Currently the procedure used by HMRC Involves completing a hard copy paper form; for household goods this would be a C3 form, for a vehicle the C104a form and for an inheritance the C1421 form.

The change involves moving away from a paper based system to use an online system to notify HMRC when private individuals are moving to the UK.

The on-line form should be completed by the importer before household goods are shipped to the UK, the importer should then receive a unique reference number which is to be forwarded to our offices and we will use this to apply for the full Customs clearance when the goods arrive at the port.

It will be possible to use the existing paper Customs forms until the 31st March 2017, however HMRC are looking to get as many applications made on-line as possible. Please be aware that any shipments arriving into UK port after the 31st March 2017 must have had the clearance request made via the on-line system. At present the new on-line form is still being tested by HMRC to ensure a smooth transition and we will update our website once this link has been made live to the general public.

It is important to be aware of the changes to the UK Customs clearance procedure in order to avoid any delays when your goods arrive into port which will incur additional charges for you, and may result in Customs clearance being declined.

The aim of the new procedure is to increase the speed at which clearances are granted when goods arrive into port, by applying prior to the goods arriving they will already have pre-cleared and just need the final authorisation code submitted to the port authorities.

For customers moving into the UK from outside the EU, please call your Abels customer liaison on their direct line or call head office on +44(0)1842 816600 or email