News article

Brexit: Moving goods using Common Transit Convention

11 March 2019


Continued membership of the convention will ensure simplified cross-border trade for UK businesses

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, businesses will still be able to use Common Transit Convention (CTC) to move goods between the UK, EU countries and other CTC countries (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Turkey, North Macedonia and Serbia). If you use CTC you only have to pay duty when your goods reach their final destination, and some customs formalities can be completed away from the border.

What is Common Transit Convention?

The CTC is used for moving goods between the EU member states, the EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) as well as Turkey, Macedonia and Serbia.

The UK is currently a member of the CTC while it is in the EU, and has negotiated membership in its own right after Brexit. This would apply to any new trading relationship with the EU or in the unlikely event of a no deal.

Membership of the CTC will help ensure that trade moves freely between the UK and CTC members after the UK leaves the EU. It will provide cashflow benefits to traders and aid trade flow at key points of entry into the UK, as traders will only have to make customs declarations and pay import duties when they arrive at their final destination.

What should you do now?

Existing Offices of Departure and Destination are likely to be busy if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. To avoid unnecessary queues you should consider applying now to become an authorised consignor/consignee. If successful, you will be able to start or finish transit movements from your own sites.

What you need to do now:

  • if you wish to use CTC, choose whether to make transit declarations yourself, or to use an agent or freight forwarder
  • prepare to use CTC by ensuring you are ready to make transit declarations and approaching your bank to put in place HMRC approved customs guarantees for your goods
  • if you’ll use CTC regularly, consider applying to be an authorised consignor/consignee
  • if you’re already a consignor/consignee, consider expanding your existing capacity, adding new facilities or making them available to other traders

Read more about the customs procedures if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Webinar: Exporting using the Common Transit Convention