Step-by-step guide to importing



When importing goods from overseas, most businesses use a courier or freight forwarder.

The rules and regulations you need to follow depends on whether you're importing from:

  • within the EU
  • outside the EU

You can hire a professional (eg a tax adviser) if you need advice about import duties and VAT.

Important: UK businesses must apply the same procedures to EU trade that apply when trading with the rest of the world if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

Read the latest UK government guidance on the new Transitional Simplified Procedures for customs.

This guide covers moving goods from EU countries, importing from non-EU countries and VAT on services. It is important to note that there are different rules when importing services.