Customs easement in place to help Ukraine

HMRC have implemented a customs easement on humanitarian exports in order to help Britains who are supporting Ukraine. 

Following issues at the border with vehicles of donations being stopped and struggling with paperwork, the UK Government have temporarily lifted the requirement for full export customs clearances when moving goods that are being moved in support of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

Although HMRC has recommended that individuals and businesses donate to trusted organisations and charities, who can then process the funds to buy what is necessary in the right places, they have recognised that there is a need for the customs easement to assist those who are physically assisting.

The financial secreatary to the treasury, Lucy Frazer, said:

“People and businesses across the U.K. have already responded with immense generosity, donating millions of pounds to support those forces to flee their home as a result of the war in Ukraine.”

“Government advice remains that the best way to help the Ukrainian people is to donate money through the Disasters Emergency Committee or other trusted charities.”

“However, we appreciate that people and businesses may still wish to donate aid directly to th region, so this new customs easement will ensure that humanitarian aid is fast-tracked from Great Britain to help those most affected.”

How the customs easement works


Contrary to sanctions and anti-dumping duty, a customs easement looks to encourage trade of a particular commodity, or through a particular route, by removing any inconvenience or blockages that could hinder it. 

The easement in the U.K. means that smaller shipments do not need to use the GVMS service, or notify HMRC when the goods have left the U.K.

To process clearance of these humanitarian loads, you may speak to a customs officer at the port who will provide immediate clearance.

You will need to provide details of where the aid is going. However, the customs easement currently applies to goods that are not destined to, or transiting through, Russia or Belarus. This is to ensure flexibility so that aid can reach areas it is most needed as the crisis develops.

The easement excludes controlled goods and dual use goods, which must still be declared as normal. 

What goods are not included in the easement?

If your shipment of humanitarian aid includes any of the following, you must declare them or remove them as they are not permitted by the simplified process:
– Military items.
– Medicines – where you do not have a license to distribute.
– Excise goods – EG. Petrol, alcohol, or tobacco.
– Dual use goods, such as PPE, chemicals, or high specification communications equipment that uses cryptography.

Any goods that fall under these categories will require full declarations and potentially a license. 

Do you need advice on exporting humanitarian goods?

Although the customs easement makes it simpler for you to complete export customs clearances, getting stuck at the border could be a concern. Please contact us if you are unsure of anything related to customs clearance at the border. We are happy to help you.


Customs Easement Ukraine - Cropped
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