What Are the Documents Required for Customs Clearance? + Free Download

Importing and exporting goods from the UK can be a complicated process and with Brexit vastly affecting rules, regulations and paperwork, you need to thoroughly understand the documents required for customs clearance. Gathering and preparing the right documentation not only saves you money and your employees time, but it can also speed up delays, saving you money too.

This is especially important now after Brexit, so if you need to import and export goods from the UK, then make sure you brush up on your documentation. Whether you are new to moving goods locally, internationally or the EU, read on to find out what is essential for important and exportation.

Basic Documentation Needed for International Trade:

  • Written contract between the buyer and seller, detailing where the goods are to be delivered
  • Documentation that enables your tax and VAT to be calculated and can vary depending on the countries you are importing and exporting to
  • Documents that cover insurance for the journey

Essential Documents for All UK Importers

Importing and exporting goods from the UK requires different documents for customs clearance. When moving goods into the UK from the EU or internationally, there are a few documents you need in order to successfully clear customs.

Bill of lading

Contains all details about the shipment that are needed and is the contract between the shipper or carrier and the importer. The ‘original bill of lading’ is the document for the release of the goods upon presentation and payment of outstanding charges.

Valuation statement

If your goods are worth over £6,500 a valuation statement is usually needed. The valuation statements and proof of origin or REX statements can be found on the commercial invoice.

For road transport, a CMR (Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road) would be produced by the carrier (haulier).

Commercial invoice

Contains further details about the goods, who the buyer and seller are, the type of goods that are being transported and the amount. You can find all the essential details for both the shipper and consignee here, as well as a detailed breakdown of the goods, from the country of origin to weight, package, types and units.

It will show the total cost of the goods, insurance and a signature too, declaring all this information to be correct. The commercial invoice lets you check the price of each product and allows you to check it against the terms of sale.

Packing list

This is provided by the shipper and details how the goods are packed, quantity, cartons, commodity codes and weight, including details of the supplier and buyer. This keeps track of what goods are being shipped and can be checked against the cargo at all points of the journey. This is really useful as you can compare the goods you have received with what is on the invoice.

EORI number

This is an identification number that is unique to you and your shipment, it is needed to ship goods into any EU country. It is essential for importing goods to the UK and once you have one, you can use it with future shipments too.

What Documents Are Required When Exporting from the UK?

When exporting from the UK, you will be required to have all of the basic documentation and any additional documentation depends on the country you are exporting to. Just as the UK requires certain documentation, you need to check what exactly you need for each individual country you ship to.

This will include documents like a record of insurance and shipment quantities, which are all important. When exporting or importing, more documentation is required when moving military equipment, animals and plants, so make sure you research if your goods need any extra documents.

You can start the exportation process by registering with the National Export System, or using a customs brokerage platform and agent such as KlearNow, who can take care of all this for you.

How KlearNow Can Act as Direct Representation

A direct representative can act on your behalf by sorting out paperwork and ensuring all regulations are met. Direct representatives aren’t personally responsible as they are neither owner nor applicant, although they do apply on your behalf, and are still subject to civil law.

A direct representative can be useful to many businesses as they can sort out the paperwork for you and act on your behalf. This can be especially useful if you have constant importation and exportation from abroad and regularly need to clear customs quickly and efficiently.

To find out more about the documents required for customs clearance and to ask any questions, simply get in touch. You can also read more on similar subjects on the KlearNow blog, to find out more essential information that could help your business.