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Effective cargo arriving the UK from April 1st, 2017

Importing Unaccompanied Personal Effects / Private Motor Vehicles

Changes to UK regulations now mean that from April 1st, 2017 the standard Customs clearance process for such goods will no longer apply (C3/C104a) and has been replaced by ToR01.

Any individuals moving their unaccompanied personal effects and/or private motor vehicles to the UK must complete an application for themselves (and their families) to obtain authorization for Transfer of Residence relief. This relief is available on some goods to suspend normal import duty/VAT.

The authorization is for the UK ONLY and cannot be used for people moving goods into Europe.

The application is an online form that must be completed fully and then printed off and signed and sent to the UK Customs National Clearance Hub (NCH) with all supporting documents to prove qualification for the relief.

The application form is available via this website (click on “Apply using the postal form”):

(Note - the applicant should read through the “Related forms and guidance” listed further down the site also)

On completion, the application form and supporting documents should then be scanned and sent by email to:

[email protected]

If the applicant cannot email then the application and supporting documents must be sent via post/courier to the following address:

HM Revenue and Customs National Clearance Hub Ralli Quays, 3 Stanley Street SALFORD M60 9LA

Please note that an email will likely be processed faster and is a more secure method of sending an application. Also, including the applicant’s email address in the application will allow HMRC to correspond with the applicant faster should they have questions.

There is no set time for an application to be processed but suggestions are that it can take up to 2 weeks.

Failure to complete an application will result in the goods incurring duty/VAT where applicable.


It is strongly recommended that an application is made before goods are shipped to the UK as a successful application will receive an authorization number, however an unsuccessful application will be liable for any duty/VAT deemed payable. It is therefore in the interests of the applicant to apply in advance of shipping so they know if they will pay duty/VAT or not, and maybe leave cargo behind to avoid duty/VAT.

If cargo is already shipped and due to arrive on or after April 1st, 2017 then an application should immediately be made.

Please note - if goods arrive and the applicant decides to abandon the goods there will be costs for them or if they don’t pay, for the origin co-loader’s account.


The following Conditions and Enclosures are taken from the application form in regards to obtaining the relief (with some added comments/suggestions from us).


The applicant must:
• be moving from a country outside the European Union (EU) to the UK, in order to live in the UK. You're thereby transferring your normal place of residence to the UK
• have lived outside the EU for at least the last 12 consecutive months
• have used and had possession of the goods for at least the last 6 consecutive months
• have used the goods and are going to continue using them in the new place of residence in the UK for at least the next 12 months
• be importing the goods within 12 months of coming to live in the UK
• not lend out, pledge, give away, hire out or transfer the goods within the first 12 months after the date on which they were imported

The relief does not apply to:

• alcoholic beverages
• tobacco and tobacco products
• commercial vehicles
• articles for use in the exercise of a trade or profession, other than portable instruments of the applied or liberal arts


The following documents should be enclosed with the application:

• a copy of your passport, including your visa if necessary
• proof of registration - this document should show you've taken up residence in the UK, and the date on which you did so. You may also send some other, comparable document which provides reasonable evidence for this purpose
• proof of ownership of any motor vehicles - include purchase invoice, registration documents, and if possible any proof of use for 6 months’ prior (e.g. servicing invoice)
• two (2) signed lists of goods - state the goods you wish to import on this list (inventory)
• invoices, proofs of guarantee etc. for the goods you wish to import (commercial documents)


When HMRC process an application they may want to see evidence showing how long the applicant has owned the goods. Where possible provide purchase invoices etc. but we also suggest that any high value goods listed on the lists should have a value and approximate date of purchase/receipt listed next to them. Examples of high value goods could be jewelry, electronic goods, antiques, but are not limited to these.

Enclose copies of any documents which show you're going to live in the UK, for example: • your employment contract
• your employer’s statement
• your work permit

• your tenancy or purchase agreement for the home you plan to live in

If HMRC need further information they will contact an applicant but this may result in a delay to the final decision regarding the application, so the applicant should ensure they send all necessary and relevant documents to HMRC in the initial application, and include their email address if they have one.

As mentioned above, a successful application will result in HMRC issuing an authorization number. This number is required to clear the goods through Customs.

We highly recommend that you do not ship any unaccompanied personal effects / private motor vehicles until you are provided by the applicant with a copy of the email they receive from HMRC that contains the authorization number.

Once you have the email showing the authorization number please show the number on the bill of lading and include the email with the manifest you send us so we have it on file in advance of arrival.

Note - You can ship such goods without an authorization number but any goods not covered by an authorization number will be subject to any duty/VAT deemed payable, and if goods arrive and the applicant decides to abandon the goods there will be costs for them or if they don’t pay, for the origin co-loader’s account.


It is the applicant’s responsibility to read through the application form and complete it correctly and then send off the application with supporting paperwork directly to HMRC.

We suggest you create some dummy applications for internal testing purposes (not sent to HMRC of course). Fill in relevant data and choose yes and no to questions to see what differences there are and print out each page for future reference if you want to offer assistance locally to your client.

Thank you for your immediate attention. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.