Send us your export customs clearance instructions in minutes

1 - Submit your details

Complete the below export clearance form to notify us of your shipment. If this is your first time working with us, open an account here.

2 - Send us your documents

Email the commercial invoice, packing list, and any other supporting documents to

3 - Get your export clearance

Mon to Fri, 09:00 to 17:00, you can expect your export clearance within approximately 30 minutes. However, please call us if you need it urgently.

    You need to have opened a trading account with UCC Ltd to use this form

    Export customs clearance services in the UK

    If you need export clearance for your sea or road shipment leaving the UK, then Universal Customs Clearance are here for you. Our agents provide export clearance services at any UK seaport, and aim to return your declaration to you within 30 minutes of you submitting your details on the above form.


    International export customs services include:

    You can also benefit from our end-to-end customs clearance service, covering the import customs clearance on the other side of your goods’ transit. You can find our partner locations and rates on the pricing page. Contact us for more information on how we can help you more today.

    [Get in touch]

    Information needed for export customs clearance


    When you are instructing us to process an export clearance using the above form, you will be able to check that we have all the necessary information.


    In addition to the information you fill out on the form, we will also need you to email your commercial invoice and packing list to us, along with any other commodity-specific documents.



    Need advice?

    We are here for you. Simply send us a message and we will respond ASAP.

      Universal Customs Clearance don't only do export clearance services

      Export Clearance FAQs

      What is export clearance?

      Export clearance is the process of declaring goods to customs before they leave a country, and getting permission for the movement through the border. If an export customs clearance is not processed, or the goods are not cleared, then the shipment may not pass through the border.

      To get an export clearance, you need to use a customs agent. They will need the following information from you:

      - Container/vehicle number. (If known)
      - Port of Dispatch.
      - Seller’s details.
      - Buyer’s details.
      - Country of arrival.
      - Date of export.
      - Gross and net weights.
      - Number of packages.
      - Commodity code.
      - Value of the goods.

      Many of these details will be shown on your commercial invoice and packing list, which you also need to forward to your agent. They also need copies of any other documents relating to the shipment, such as a Certificate of Origin.

      Universal Customs Clearance provide export clearance services for all major UK ports. Contact us for more information today.

      When do I complete an export customs clearance in the UK?

      An export clearance is required whenever you are shipping goods out of the UK.

      The export clearance process usually begins when you have a confirmed order from a foreign buyer and have made arrangements for the goods to be shipped. You will need to gather all relevant documents and information, such as commercial invoices, packing lists, and certificates of origin, and forward them to your forwarder or customs broker to raise the export clearance.

      Once the details and documents have been provided to your agent, they will raise a pre-notification for the export clearance. The generated Declarant Unique Consignment Reference (DUCR) is then provided to the carrier. If the carrier is for rail, sea, or air freight, they will combine this with their manifest to create the Master Unique Consignment Reference (MUCR) for the export clearance. If your shipment is going by road, then your haulier will upload the clearance to the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) against the Goods Movemet Reference (GMR). When the goods leave the UK border, the clearance will be processed as a live declaration.

      Universal Customs Clearance provides export clearance services and GVMS administration for all major UK seaports. Contact us for more information.

      What documents do I need for export clearance in the UK?

      For export customs clearance, you must have all of the commercial goods for your shipment. The following are mandatory:

      - Commercial invoice/value.
      - Packing list (this is sometimes combined with the invoice).

      The carrier will usually generate and associate the transport details with your declaration:

      - A sea or air freight carrier will complete a manifest and assign our customs declaration to their Master Unique Consignment Reference (MUCR).
      - A road freight company will raise a CMR or movement certificate that they will assign to the Goods Movement Reference (GMR) on GVMS.

      You should hold a copy of the transport document with your records.

      If you have any other documents for the load, such as certificates of origin, health certificates, or laboratory test reports, then your customs broker may need to reference these on your declaration. Copies of these should also be held with your records.

      Universal Customs Clearance has links to all major UK sea ports. If you need help with an export clearance, contact us for assistance.

      How long does an export customs clearance take?

      An export customs declaration doesn't go live until the shipment leaves the border. Therefore, there is no average time for how long an export clearance takes.

      When raising an export clearance, your customs broker will send the details to the carrier for them to allocate the declaration to their manifest. If this is a sea or air carrier, then they will assign your declaration to their Master Unique Consignment Reference (MUCR). If your shipment is going via road, then your haulier will upload your Declaration Unique Consignment Reference (DUCR) to the Good Movement Reference (GMR) on the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) instead.

      Once the plane or vessel embarks, then the declaration will be processed from pre-notification to a live export declaration.

      If you need assistance with export clearance, contact Universal Customs Clearance for more information.

      Do I pay duty and VAT on an export customs declaration in the UK?

      No, you do not pay duty and VAT on a standard UK export customs declaration. You do not charge VAT to your buyer, either, if they are outside of the UK.

      To make an export declaration to customs, you still need to have all of the commercial documents and transport details in place. This is because your carrier needs to assign the export declaration to their manifest, and HMRC collect statistics on all export shipments.

      Note that your export declaration can be amended until the declaration is made live on leaving the UK border, so you can get the Declarant Unique Consignment Number (DUCR) to your carrier well in advance, even if you are still finalising the paperwork. You must ensure that this is updated upon collection, though.

      Contact us for more information on our export clearance services.

      Who is responsible for export customs clearance?

      Although the INCOTERM you use will determine who arranges and pays for the export customs clearance, it is always the responsibility of the seller to ensure that the correct information is given as the declaration will be matched to their EORI.

      If the INCOTERM dictates that the seller is responsible for the export clearance, then any consequences from delay will need to be accounted for by them. However, it is trickier to recover costs that have been incurred from the seller's delay if the INCOTERM used means that the buyer is responsible for arranging the clearance and freight. Unless timescales and notifications have been applied correctly, you may not recover wasted costs, and it is not guaranteed if you have followed written processes, either. Any dispute will need to be discussed as a commercial matter and not as a binding responsibility.

      To ensure expectations are managed between yourselves and your seller/buyer, it is best to get written confirmation of timeframes and responsibilities when agreeing to trade with each other.

      For timely, accurate, and compliant export customs clearance in the UK, contact us for more information.

      Do I always need a T1 form with an export clearance to Europe?

      No. A T1 form is only used when your goods are transiting through other countries in the EU before they reach their final destination. If your goods are clearing at the EU border, such as in France, Spain, or The Netherlands, then you only need an export declaration as the import clearance will be completed on arrival.

      When determining if you need to have an accompanying T1 form with your export declaration, ask the carrier for their route. Depending on your INCOTERM, you may be able to influence this to remove the need for a T1, although the cost of the freight will also be a factor overall.

      If you do need a T1 form to go with your export clearance, Universal Customs Clearance can provide both of these for you. Contact us for more information.

      Who pays for export clearance?

      Unless the INCOTERM being used is EXW, the seller always pays for the export customs clearance. However, many exporters also choose to provide the export customs declaration when they are selling the goods EXW, because they require the documents to be correct for claiming the sale of goods without VAT. If the seller is not the one who contacted the customs clearance agent, then they may struggle to rectify issues or receive paperwork from the agent. Although the INCOTERM does relieve them of the responsibility, the seller can face other problems if the clearance is not correct.

      Regardless of INCOTERM, Universal Customs Clearance work with all parties to ensure that export clearance documentation is presented in order and on time. Contact us for more information.

      Do I need to do an export customs clearance for goods moving from the UK to EU under a T1?

      Yes. You still need an export customs clearance when moving goods from the UK to the EU under T1. Without this, your goods will not be loaded onto the vessel, whether they are in a container or on a vehicle. Export declarations are also required for goods moving by air.

      If you need a T1 form, then you can ask your export customs broker if they also provide this. It will save you time to use the same broker for both the export declaration and the T1 form, as the same documentation and information is needed.

      Universal Customs Clearance provide businesses like yours with export clearance and T1 documentation every day, helping your goods move without delay. Contact us for more information.

      How does my INCOTERM affect UK export customs clearance?

      Although the INCOTERM does affect the cost on your proforma invoice and who is responsible for declaring the goods to customs, there is one term which affects your export customs more than you might know - and leaves you open to risk.

      The Ex-Works (EXW) INCOTERM means that the sale of your goods is inside the UK at your premises, not at the border. Furthermore, the export declaration is not within your control.

      The combination of these two things can leave you exposed to problems with proof of export or noncompliance when being audited on the shipment. For example, you may owe VAT if you normally charge this and haven't, yet cannot prove the sale was made internationally.

      For this reason, extra care is required when selling EXW. Protect yourself by completing due diligence in collecting all paperwork from your buyer's agent at the time of export.

      Universal Customs Clearance provides export clearance at all major UK ports. Contact us for more information.

      Who is responsible for export clearance paperwork?

      Whether you use a forwarding/clearance agent or not, you are responsible for the accuracy of the paperwork as the exporter of the goods. Therefore, it is important for you to have sight of document drafts before approving, and ensure that any mistakes made are corrected as soon as possible.

      When selling using the EXW incoterm, further attention must be given at the time of export as you may not have any contact with the export clearance agent - yet your company may be on the export paperwork. Ask your buyer about their agent and do your due diligence to avoid problems later on.

      Universal Customs Clearance provides export clearance in all major UK ports. Contact us or more information.

      Scroll to Top