Transport regulations in international trade

Export regulations in the transport and transport services sector


Regulations, charges or other restrictions may apply to the export of vehicles and associated equipment as they leave the UK and when they arrive at their destination country. It is important that you research both sides of the transaction.

First, you need to classify your goods. Use of standardised classification codes makes it easier to check if any restrictions or charges apply. You can use the Integrated Tariff of the United Kingdom (the Tariff) to classify your goods. For more information, see our guide on classification of goods.


Read Notice 600 on how to classify your goods.

Remember that in general it is much simpler to trade with other European Union (EU) countries than with countries outside the EU. This is because the goods are in free circulation. The EU is a single market and the UK is in a Customs Union, so you can trade with other EU countries without restriction (although some local charges may still apply).

Regulations for transport service providers

If you supply transport services, eg freight or passenger services, you must always ensure that you comply fully with safety regulations in your destination and transit countries. You'll need to check local laws on drivers' hours and ensure that your vehicles comply with construction and use regulations. See the page in this guide on health and safety considerations for the transport and transport services sector.

See our guide on freight forwarding - moving goods.

Export licensing and certification

An export licence is required to export specified goods with military uses. You may also require an export licence for goods with a potential military use (so-called 'dual-use goods'), such as flight navigation systems for aircraft that could be used in military craft. To determine if your goods are controlled you need to check the UK Strategic Export Control Lists. To find out more about strategic export controls, see our section on the Export Control Organisation.

If your business engages in transport and UK persons are involved in either arranging or actually transporting certain specified military goods between two overseas countries, you will have to comply with certain transport controls. In some cases these controls extend to the provision of certain other ancillary services.

You should also be aware of any sanctions and embargoes which apply to your intended export destination. For more information see our guide on current arms embargoes and other restrictions. For more general information, see our guide sanctions, embargoes and restrictions.

For information on export licences, read our guide on Do you need an export or import licence.