Get someone to deal with customs for you


Last updated 10 June 2022

You can hire a person or business to deal with customs for you, what they can do for you and who will be liable depends on:

  • the services they provide
  • what you want them to do
  • the commercial agreement you have with them

Before you get someone to deal with customs for you, you should check what you need to consider.

Who you can hire

There are different types of people or businesses who can help you, such as:

  • freight forwarders
  • customs agents or brokers
  • fast parcel operators

They’ll need to be established in the UK for customs.

Freight forwarders

Freight forwarders move goods around the world for importers.

A freight forwarder will arrange clearing your goods through customs. They will have the right software to communicate with HMRC's systems.

Read more about how to use freight forwarding.

Customs agent or broker

Customs agents and brokers make sure your goods clear through customs.

Find a list of customs agents and fast parcel operators.

Fast parcel operators

Fast parcel operators transport items across the world in a specific time frame, including:

  • documents
  • parcels
  • freight

They can deal with customs for you, as part of their delivery.

Find out about the other services fast parcel operators provide on the Association of International Courier and Express Services website.

Check the register of customs agents and fast parcel operators

You can use the register of customs agents and fast parcel operators to help find someone to deal with customs for you.

What information you’ll need to give

Find out what information you will need to provide the person dealing with customs for you.

Agree the terms and conditions

You’ll need to confirm in writing the terms and conditions of your representation and keep a copy of this agreement for your own records.

They cannot act on your behalf without written instructions from you. The instruction must show whether they’re acting for you directly or indirectly. HMRC will only ask for evidence of the authorisation if we need it.