Moving to the United Kingdom

Country Guide: United Kingdom

United-Kingdom Flag

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Legible copy of Passport
  • Detailed inventory in English, dated and signed by the shipper
  • Original UK Customs Form C3
  • Copy of Bill of Lading (BL) / Air Waybill (AWB)

Specific Information

  • Documents must be received by agent prior to arrival of the shipment.
  • The agent may charge fees for incomplete or delayed receipt of documentation.
  • Personal belongings or private vehicle can be imported duty free as long as:
    • moving your normal place of residence to the UK only
    • have had a normal place of residence outside the EU for a continuous period of at least 12 months
    • have possessed and used the belongings for at least 6 months outside the EU before they are imported
    • did not get them under a duty/tax free scheme
    • declare them
    • the belongings will be kept and used for personal use
    • do not sell, lend, hire out or otherwise dispose of them in the UK or anywhere else in the EU within 12 months of the date of importation, unless you notify us first and pay duty and VAT on disposal

Note: The United Kingdom comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Significant distinct requirements for the import of household goods shipments into Northern Ireland exist; therefore, a separate relocation guide has been included on the website. Contact the destination agent for specific information.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Form C104A
  • OBL / AWB
  • Declaration Form C384 (if less than 6 months old)
  • Copy of registration documents proving ownership
  • Insurance policy documentation (copies from country of origin proving use)

Specific Information

  • Duty-free entry is permitted if the vehicle will not be sold or otherwise disposed of for 1 year after the date of importation.


Documents Required

  • Vaccination Record
  • Veterinary Health Certificate
  • Form C5
  • Import License

Specific Information

  • Animals must comply with the Pets Travel Scheme (PETS).
  • Pets must be licensed by the Animal Health department.
  • Pets are quarantined upon entry into the country.
  • Animals must be fitted with a microchip (Scotland).
  • Dogs must receive a tapeworm treatment within 105 days of arrival (Scotland).
  • Pets that do not qualify to enter Scotland / United Kingdom under the Non-Commercial Movement of Pet Animals are required to obtain an Import License prior to import. Pets will be detained at the owner’s expense at an approved quarantine facility until compliant. Call agent to verify that a facility is available in the country.
  • Certain requirements must be met regarding the vaccination against rabies for specific countries. Contact the destination agent for additional information.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Restricted goods can be imported only if the individual has the authority to do so as well as the required import license
    • Firearms, explosives and ammunition
    • Imitation firearms
    • Offensive weapons
    • Live animals
    • Endangered animals or plants and products thereof (required a valid CITES Permit)
    • Fur skins and articles made from fur skin
    • Radio transmitters
    • Rough diamonds
    • Animal food products
    • Fruit, vegetable, and plant products
    • Cigarettes (200), cigarillos (100), cigars (50), tobacco (250g)
    • Spirits / liqueurs (more than 22% – 1 liter)
    • Fortified wine or alcohol less than 22% (2 liters), still wine (4 liters), beer (16 L)

Prohibited Items

  • Illicit drugs
  • Offensive weapons
  • Curved swords with a blade over 50cm
  • Knives with concealed blades
  • Self-defense sprays
  • Stun guns
  • Indecent and obscene material / pornographic material
  • Counterfeit, pirated and patent-infringing goods
  • Meat and milk products

Consignment Instructions

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.

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