Customs Clearance

Customs Clearance

We can manage all aspects of customs clearance on your behalf.


You import when you bring goods into the UK. Commercial imports from outside the European Union (EU) are subject to systematic controls at the frontier and may also be subject to import charges, eg customs duties and VAT (Value Added Tax). Other items which you obtain from outside the EU for your own use or which fall into the category of gifts, are not regarded as commercial imports for Customs purposes. However, personal imports and gifts may be liable to such import charges, eg customs duties and VAT in some circumstances. Intra-EU goods are not subject to systematic controls and generally, subject to few exceptions, can move freely without Customs intervention.

EU & Non EU Imports

The distinction between the treatment of imports from outside the EU compared with imports from other Member States of the EU - called Intra-EU trade, is not just semantics, but reflects differences in the law. Customs procedures that apply to the importation of goods into the UK from places outside the EU are governed by Community and national law and such goods are required to be declared to Customs. For intra-EU trade, although customs declarations are not required and systematic checks are no longer carried out, some Customs checks are still necessary to prevent the importation of prohibited and restricted goods and smuggled excise goods. In both situations however the goods are legally imports into the UK


If you import non-EU goods liable to customs duty and/or Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) charges, you can suspend payment of the import charges by placing the goods in an approved customs warehouse. Charges are only payable (but may be deferred) when the goods are removed from the customs warehousing arrangements.

Free Zones

You can move imported goods into a free zone without paying import charges (although relief from excise duty is available only if there is an approved excise warehouse in the zone).

Inland Clearance Depots

Instead of having your goods cleared at a port or airport, you can obtain customs clearance at an approved inland depot.

Enhanced Remote Transit Sheds (ERTS)

We can remove non-EU goods from the port or airport of arrival in the UK to premises inland, namely, an Enhanced Remote Transit Shed (ERTS) where the goods will be placed in temporary storage. We will then clear the goods at the ERTS.

Import Guide

You can download the HM Customs & Excise guide on imports here.

Guide To Imports



Chiltern Air Freight Ltd - Wraysbury House - Poyle Rd - Colnbrook - Heathrow - Berkshire - SL3 0AY - UK
Tel: +44 (0)1753 680535 - Fax: +44 (0)1753 681094 - E-mail: