The Relocation Bureau

Changes in Customs Imports to the UK

Changes in Customs Imports to the UK

HMRC have introduced some changes to customs procedures which take effect as of 31 March 2017. These changes state that freight consisting of unaccompanied baggage arriving through both air and sea ports will now need to be declared for import clearance in a different way. The new process requires that a person moving to the UK will need to have already completed an online application and received approval for their Transfer of Residence (ToR) application. With this approval they will be given a unique declaration reference which the shipper will use to allow the freight to be cleared and released by the UK Border Force and HMRC.

The change in emphasis is that the owner of the personal property/household effects should now be making the ToR application in their own name, not the shipper. This is because any approval to use the relief relies upon knowing that they, their goods and their post-import intentions with their goods all pass the relevant criteria to allow ToR relief. This makes the person actually involved in transferring their residence to the UK responsible and liable for the goods within the consignment and for any tax relief they wish to apply for.

Information on whether you are able to claim relief can be found here:

The new application process can be found here:

Additional guidance is also available on this webpage which will continue to be updated by HMRC to support the change. The guidance includes a reminder that ToR can only be permitted by HMRC to those persons moving to the UK. If someone wishes to move to another country within the EU, they will have to apply to the customs authority of that country for ToR.

The existing C3 form which applicants needed to complete has now been officially withdrawn from This is to ensure any new applicants for ToR are directed to the new ToR01 form. HMRC has extended a dual-running period for 3 months, up to 31 March 2017, as a concession period to assist with the transition to the new process. This will provide a sufficient period to allow for any outstanding consignments still en-route to the UK to clear customs on arrival. Any C3 forms received by HMRC from 01 April 2017 onwards will not be recognised as a valid customs declaration. Those looking to claim relief must therefore ensure the new ToR01 form is used.

For transferees moving to the UK, the consequence of this change is that they must now ensure the new online form is submitted correctly and on time. Failure to do so may result in their consignment being delayed or refused clearance. The Relocation Bureau can however assist with this process and ensure a transferee’s move to the UK is seamless and stress free. If you are moving a consignment to the UK, why not contact us to see how we can help ensure it arrives on time and with no complications!


Jan 2017