Check if you can use transit to move goods to the EU and common transit countries

Guide

Last updated 2 July 2021

Use common transit, Union transit or Transport Internationaux Routiers (TIR) when exporting or taking goods out of the UK to move them quickly and delay duty until they reach their destination.

Transit can help you move your goods from the UK to other common transit countries, including the EU, quickly and without paying import duties in every country, or paying UK duties where those duties have already been suspended.

When moving goods under transit you can delay:

  • completing customs declarations on goods until they end their transit movement
  • paying customs duties and other charges on the goods until they end their transit movement

This is because:

  • customs declarations and duties are not required at each border crossing
  • you can complete some customs processes away from the border at either:
    • and office of departure or destination
    • your own premises if you are an authorised consignor or consignee

Types of Transit Procedure

Before you can start to use transit, you need to consider what transit procedure you you could use to move your goods.

If you do choose to use transit, understanding which procedure you would move your goods under will be important when completing your transit declaration and understanding the potential duty being suspended.

Common Transit Procedure
Common transit is a customs procedure that facilitates the movement of goods to, from, through or between the countries that have signed the Common Transit Convention. This includes movements to, from, through or between all EU member states.

Union Transit Procedure
Union transit is a customs procedure that allows goods not in free circulation in the EU, to move within the EU, while customs duties or other charges are suspended. This may apply to goods moving to, from or through Northern Ireland.

It also allows goods that are in free circulation in the EU to move from a point of departure in the EU, to point of destination in the EU, through the territory of a third country, such as Great Britain Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). This may apply to goods moving to and from Northern Ireland.

Find out about using common and Union transit to bring goods into or through the UK.

Transport Internationaux Routiers (TIR) procedure
If your goods are going by road to, or through, a country that is not covered by common or Union transit you may be able to use TIR to move your goods.

You can use TIR to send goods by road to or through countries covered by the TIR convention.

Goods you can move using each transit procedure

Whether you can use common transit, Union transit, TIR or another duty suspense regime will depend on whether the goods are:

  • under duty suspense in Great Britain
  • under duty suspense in Northern Ireland
  • Union goods
  • non-Union goods

Goods under duty suspense in Great Britain
Duty could be suspended on goods that have been either made:

  • outside the UK
  • in the UK but used materials from outside UK

Goods under duty suspense must be stored under customs supervision until either the duties are paid or the goods are moved out of Great Britain using transit. You can store your goods in:

Goods under duty suspense in Northern Ireland
UK or EU duties could be suspended on goods in Northern Ireland which have:

  • not been made in the EU or Northern Ireland
  • have been made in the EU or Northern Ireland but used materials from outside the EU or Northern Ireland

Any goods under duty suspense must be stored under customs supervision until either the duties are paid or the goods are moved out of the Northern Ireland or the EU using transit. You can store your goods in:

Union goods
Union goods are goods that are in free circulation within the EU. Union goods are sometimes known as T2 goods for transit purposes. Your goods will be Union goods if they are made:

  • in the EU from EU materials
  • in the EU from materials from outside the EU, but you’ve paid EU duties on them

Outside the EU but you have paid EU duties on Northern Ireland goods will be classified as Union goods for customs and transit purposes if they are made:

  • in Northern Ireland from EU or UK materials
  • in Northern Ireland from materials from outside the EU or UK, but you have paid EU duties on them
  • outside Northern Ireland or the EU, but you have paid the EU duties on them

Non-Union goods
Anything that is not a Union good is classified as a non-Union good.

Goods made outside the EU and Northern Ireland, including goods made in Great Britain, or goods with UK duties paid, are classified as non-Union goods. Non-Union goods are sometimes known as T1 goods for transit purposes.

Where you can move goods using common or Union transit

You can use common or Union transit to move your goods by air, rail, road or sea to, or through:

You can also use Union transit to move Union goods to:

  • San Marino
  • Andorra (industrial goods only)

If your goods are classified as non-Union and you want to take them to Andorra or San Marino, you must end your transit movement in an EU member state before they enter Andorra or San Marino.

What you need to do next
Find out what you need to get your business ready to send goods from the UK using common and Union transit.

Get more information
The transit manual and transit manual supplement have more information on common and Union transit.

Where you move goods using Transport Internationaux Routiers (TIR)

If your goods are going by road to, or through, a country that is not covered by common and Union transit you may be able to use TIR to move your goods.

You can use TIR to send goods by road to or through countries covered by the TIR convention.

Get more information
The transit manual and transit manual supplement have more information on TIR.

Other ways you can move goods from the UK under duty suspense

You may be able to move goods on which duty has not been paid:

  • out of the UK to the EU for processing or repair under inward processing
  • temporarily out of the UK without altering them under temporary admission
  • between customs warehouses in the UK

You may be able to move Union goods between Northern Ireland and countries outside the EU if they are temporarily leaving Northern Ireland and the EU for processing or repair under outward processing.

Get more information

The pay less or no duty on goods you store, repair, process or temporarily use guidance provides further information on these processes and procedures.