Labelling and documents for international transport
Using the correct labelling and shipping marks on your consignment helps to ensure the smooth and efficient processing of your goods. If your goods are being consolidated, ensure that your own consignment is individually labelled, as it will be shipped along with other business' goods.
For more information about labelling and documents for international transport, see international transport and distribution.
Temporary admission of non-EU pallets and containers
Pallets or containers are not duty and tax-paid within the European Union (EU) if they are temporarily imported into the EU to transport or carry non-EU goods within the EU. They must remain in the same condition other than natural depreciation through use. EU pallets and containers do not need to be entered into temporary admission (TA) as they are duty- and tax-paid within the EU.
You are no longer required to make prior application for a full authorisation using form C&E 1331A. If you already hold a C&E 1331A authorisation, you will not need to use it to claim relief but should keep it in your records for four years after the disposal of any imported containers/pallets for which you used it to claim relief.
Relief under TA can also cover containers used under the Container Pool Convention or pool arrangements under the European Convention on Customs Treatment of Pallets.
The Single Administration Document (SAD)
The SAD - or Customs Form C88 - is the customs declaration document for all imports from, and exports to non-EU countries, and goods transiting the EU. It is required for all exports, although there is a small list of exceptions, such as postal packages.
The SAD is normally submitted to customs electronically online by the importer or exporter of the goods, or by an agent acting on their behalf. A paper copy, often known as the 'travelling Copy 3' or 'SAD Copy 3' usually accompanies the goods to the customs office of exit from the EU. The travelling Copy 3 can be produced through the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system and does not need to be presented to UK Customs as it conforms to an EU standard format. The exporter may ask that the form is stamped by the customs office of exit from the EU and returned. The driver may be asked to hand it in when he or she reaches that office. The stamped form is needed as official evidence of export, allowing them to claim zero-rating for VAT. If it is not returned, they may have to pay VAT to HMRC as though the goods were sold at the standard rate in the UK.
For more information, see declarations and the Single Administrative Document.
Certificates of Origin
Certificates of Origin are required by some countries as evidence of the origin of the goods. There are two versions: the EU Certificate of Origin or the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce Certificates of Origin. They are available from Chambers of Commerce and, once completed, must be validated by the Chamber of Commerce stamp. In certain circumstances, the Certificate of Origin and the accompanying commercial documents must be legalised by the UK Embassy of the country of import.
In instances where preferential trade agreements exist, goods may have to be covered by a correctly completed and endorsed EUR1 or EUR2 form, or an ATR form for Turkey. These are used to claim preferential (reduced or even zero) rates of duty in the country of importation.