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 highlights the things you need to do when you are importing from another country. It is important to note that there are different rules when importing services.
Know your legal responsibilities
- Do you need a licence?
- Get the right business insurance
- Comply with the law when providing goods and services
- Know your customers' rights
- Distance and online selling rules
- Understand pricing legislation
- Buying goods from outside NI
- Selling goods outside NI
- GDPR compliance checklist
- Pay your business rates
- Understand staff contracts and your responsibilities
- Taking on contractors and subcontractors
- What you need to do about health and safety
- Know your legal obligations on pensions
Understand tax and VAT
Sell and market your products or services