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Moving to United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Capital: London
Population: 64,100,000 (2013)
Area: 94,060 sq. miles
Top 5 Largest Cities: 1. London 2. Glasgow 3. Birmingham 4. Liverpool 5. Edinburgh
Lanuage: English, Welsh and Scots Gaelic
Climate: Temperate and rainy

Planning on moving to the United Kingdom? Nationwide Van Lines can move your important life overseas with delicate care. With our professional and knowledgeable staff, moving to the United Kingdom can be very easy. We’ve done most of the work for you by accumulating important details in your upcoming move. Allow us to guide your international household move to a smile!

Required Documents for Import

To assist clearing your household goods, Customs requires a number of documents. As member of the European Union (EU), passing through Customs is extremely easy.

Import Declaration – A document stating the household goods being shipped.

Certificate of Origin – Gives verification of which country your household goods are manufactured in.

Import Requirements and Documentation

There are specifics when it comes to the importing and clearing Customs. Below you will find common documents needed to identify you and your HHGS shipment.

  • A valid passport
  • Work permit if required
  • Your Original Bill of Lading
  • Your Visa may be required
  • 2 copies of your Inventory List in English
  • Contact information of the shipper
  • The original C-3 Form for your primary residence
  • The original C-33 Form for your secondary residence if applicable
  • 2 originals of Customs Form (Import Declaration)
  • C426 Form for Diplomats

Additional detailed document requirements

  • All necessary documents must be received by your agent before your shipment has arrived at the port of entry.
  • Your HHGS must arrive at the port no later than a year after you’ve arrived in the United Kingdom or up to 6 months prior to you arriving for Customs clearance.

The Examination of Household Goods and Entry Documents

Once your household goods have arrived in the United Kingdom along with your documents, both are subjected to examination by Customs. A Customs officer will examine your household goods to determine the value, correct markings, proper invoicing, existence of prohibited items, damages, deterioration and illegal narcotics. It’s important to assure all items are properly described and accounted for to avoid any delays or seizure of items. Once your items are approved for release, they are safeguarded by the proper officers

Duty and Taxes

Once your items has arrived to the United Kingdom, satisfying duties and taxes will be your responsibility prior to Customs clearance. Duties can vary from 0 to 20%. Your Value Added Tax (VAT) will be a standard of 20%.

Duty-free Items

As part of the EU, there are duty-free opportunities with restrictions. Please venture below to learn what is duty-free and its exceptions.

If moving from a European Union country, all HHGS will be duty-free with the restrictions below to deem as personal use, not for commercial use or sale:

  • 800 cigarettes, 200 cigars, 400 cigarillos or 1 kilograms of tobacco
  • 90 liters of wine (if sparkling wine), no more than 60 liters)
  • 10 liters of spirits (over 22%)
  • 20 liters of alcoholic beverages (no more than 22%)
  • 110 liters of beer

If moving from a non-European Union country, the following HHGS can be imported by persons 17 years or older duty-free.

  • 16 liters of beer
  • 1 liter of spirits (over 22%)
  • 2 liters of alcohol (less than 22%)
  • 4 liters of wine
  • 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 100 cigarillos or 250 grams of tobacco
  • Other types of goods, such as souvenirs, with a complete value up to $492.04 USD, $340.64 USD if traveling by boat or a private plane. Gibraltar and The Channel Islands are considered outside of the EU

Labeling and Marking Requirements

All labeling must be done in the English Language.

Required information:

  • The name and address of the importer
  • The country of Origin
  • Clearly numbered in reflection of the inventory list
  • The quantity

Prohibited Items

Not every item is accepted into the United Kingdom for the sake of the community and the environment. The following are items classified as prohibited:

  • Flick, gravity and switchblades
  • Counterfeit currency
  • Salami
  • Curry Powder
  • Ammunition
  • Hazardous materials
  • Illegal drugs
  • Narcotics
  • Weapons that are offensive
  • Self-defense spray
  • Explosives
  • Tumeric
  • Curcuma
  • Animal food products
  • Stun guns
  • Beef Jerky
  • Live animals
  • Horror comics
  • Imitation firearms
  • Rough diamonds
  • Obscene articles, publications, videos and/or software’s
  • Palm oil
  • Chili and its products
  • Products deriving from Iran

Restricted Items

Some items are permitted into the UK with a degree of exceptions. Please review the restricted items below to avoid any additional delays or charges.

  • Meat, fish, poultry and products made of animals are not permitted unless coming from a country from the European Union (EU).
  • Products of protected or endangered animals and plants.
  • Electronic cigarettes must be accompanied with the International Special Commodities (ISC) contract.
  • Chili that is dried and whole only can be imported.
  • Samurai swords must be 50 cm or shorter and have a curve to its blade.
  • Bulbs are restricted unless coming from a country from the European Union (EU).
  • Tress, seeds, shrubs, soil and plants are not permitted unless coming from a country from the European Union (EU).
  • Some furs
  • Plastic kitchenware made of melamine and polyamide originating from China or Hong Kong.
  • All plants are in need of a Phytosanitary Certificate.
  • New household goods (HHGS) and personal effects must be used for 6 months or more.
  • Alcohol (indicating the type, the volume and percentage), perfume products and tobacco are charged duties and has to be declared on your Customs Form. It’s recommended to not ship these items with your HHGS to avoid a full inspection of your shipment.
  • Explosives
  • Some radio transmitters
  • Firearms
  • Though handguns are not permitted, some .22-caliber target pistols are allowed
  • Fruits and vegetables are not permitted unless coming from a country from the European Union (EU).
  • Ammunition

Receiving your Household Goods

The liability for duties are paid once Customs has cleared your shipment for release. There are no options of prepaid duties or taxes prior to exportation from a foreign country. Once your shipment is filed with CBP, the party and only the party listed as the receiver can pick up the shipment. If household goods are warehoused, the party of liability can be changed to another party, most whom purchased the goods. The Customs broker cannot pay duties, but can accept a check written out to the Customs and Border Protection to forward. Once items are received, all articles are deemed owned by the receiver and no longer in ownership of the CBP.

For more information regarding moving to the United Kingdom, please visit:

All information featured above is for viewing purposes only. To obtain up-to-date information about overseas shipment, please notify your nearest Consulate.