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Importing and exporting on a commercial or private basis requires an understanding of the various rules and regulations around the globe. As an experienced UK customs broker, we guide you through this process which can vary from country to country.

By offering a complete package of services associated with international shipping, we provide our customers with peace of mind, enabling them to focus on other business activities.

Below are some of the services we provide. Please do contact us if you have a requirement that isn’t listed.

Both export and import customs clearance are provided.

Export customs clearance is required for all shipments leaving the UK. It is a relatively straightforward procedure of declaring details of goods and their value. Products are usually cleared for export as soon as data is transmitted.
Import customs clearance requires more attention to detail. Care is taken to correctly classify your goods, ensuring the correct duty rate (if any) is applied. It is important that this is done accurately. HMRC can charge you later if they find that goods have been declared wrongly.


Since Brexit, VAT registered companies do not have to pay VAT to HM Customs on the value of goods imported.

Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA) procedure allows VAT registered companies not to pay import VAT. The import VAT liability is postponed until the next VAT return, where it is reported and reclaimed on the same return – so nothing to pay.

Non-VAT registered businesses are still required to pay VAT (20 per cent of value of the goods) at the time of import.


Insurance will cover your shipments from supplier’s warehouse to consignee’s warehouse.

Premiums are often small in relation to the value of the cargo.

Claims on carriers will always be limited by the level of liability in the carriers’ terms and conditions. Freight insurance will pay the full value of goods and freight cost (minus excess) and will relieve you of the difficulty of pursuing a claim against carriers. It also protects you from General Average contributions which can be required if the ship or aircraft is damaged or other cargo jettisoned to protect the voyage.


Documentary Letters of Credit provide exporters with a guarantee of payment for the goods exported. Shipping and commercial documents, made strictly in accordance with the Letter of Credit wording, are submitted to the nominated bank within the specified time.

The documents must match exactly the terms and wording stated by the Letter of Credit.  We follow the conditions and the wording of Letters of Credit with diligence to ensure full compliance. Transport documents such as Airway Bills, Bills of Lading and CMRs are carefully produced to meet the wording required.

If needed, we can also produce the Bank Drafts and submit the complete document pack to the bank on your behalf.


Most export shipments require only commercial invoice and packing list but for some countries other documents are needed, such as UK Certificates of Origin, EUR1 Customs Movement Certificates, Arab-British Certificates of Origin, and certified and/or legalised commercial documents. We can arrange these for you.


ATA Carnets allow businesses temporarily export and re-import commercial samples, trade fair or exhibition goods and professional equipment to/from approximately 80 countries that are part of the ATA Carnet system.

The ATA Carnet acts as a “passport” for the goods shipped, replacing the need for usual customs clearance and allowing fast, trouble free importation into visiting countries. The carnets can be created for single or multiple trips. Customs duties and taxes are not incurred.

Temporary admission under cover of ATA carnets applies to goods which will be re-exported in the same state in which they were imported. The type of goods and uses varies between participating countries.

Our Unipac team can support you through the process of applying for and purchasing ATA Carnet.


Commercial Customers

We can provide custom-made crates and cases to offer outstanding protection for your goods during transport. Depending on your requirements, and the nature of the products to be packed, packing can be done at your premises, or at the packing companies’ premises. Alternatively, tailor made cases can be delivered to you. This service is offered not only in the UK but also in some foreign countries, such as China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Taiwan.

Moving Home Overseas

For private customers moving home, we can provide an all in-one service of packing household and personal effects at your property, loading them into a container and shipping to your new address. For those with less than a container load to ship (LCL), packing and shipment as LCL cargo is arranged.

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