FreightAmigo - UK prohibited item & customs - Relocation

Author Name: Dion Suen – Marketing Analyst at FreightAmigo

For international relocation, clients think that all they need to do is to pack the goods and hand it over to the logistics company. Of course not. If you don't understand clearly what can be shipped / forget to declare, your shipment will be stranded at the destination and cannot be delivered. You may have to pay heavy taxes as well! To avoid these issues, read the tips that FreightAmigo provides you:

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Duty-free? – Apply For Transfer of Residence Relief (TOR)

When moving overseas to the United Kingdom, remember to apply for ToR1 (Transfer of Residence relief) in advance. In the first year of immigrating to the United Kingdom, you can ship personal effects tax-free for more than half a year.

Transfer of Residence Relief (TOR) is a declaration document that requires personal information, Hong Kong address and United Kingdom address (short-term lease address can be filled in first), as well as a list and quantity of items. Noted that only items that meet all of the following conditions can apply for tax exemption:

  • Items for self-use purpose more than 6 months
  • Items will continue to be used for self-use purpose for more than 12 months after entry, and cannot be resold, lent, leased or given to others
  • Items must enter the United Kingdom within 12 months of your entry
  • Tobacco, alcohol, and commercial vehicles are not accepted

You can also fill in the Transfer of Residence Relief (TOR) within 12 months after entering the United Kingdom. If successful, you will receive the tax that was levied on the returned items when they entered the United Kingdom. Of course, if the items you bring to the United Kingdom are of high value, it is better to fill in the Transfer of Residence Relief (TOR) in advance in order to avoid taxation that exceeds your budget when you enter the United Kingdom. If you entrust a moving company, you generally need to fill in the TOR in advance to obtain the confirmation number issued by the British Customs and hand the confirmation number to the moving company so that they can make a declaration to the customs on your behalf.

For general items, the approval time for Transfer of Residence Relief (TOR) is about 1-2 weeks. In addition to items, you also need to fill in the Transfer of Residence Relief (TOR) when you take your pets to the United Kingdom!

Apply for Transfer of Residence Relief (TOR) here:
Further reading: 5 Step Guide of Overseas Moving

Relocate with your pet?

Pets will accompany you for the whole life, and of course, immigrate overseas with you. The pet import policies of different countries are different and the policies change from time to time, so it is best to reconfirm it with the logistics company in advance.

Taking the United Kingdom as an example, the preparation time is best to estimate 4-6 months. Since Hong Kong is included on the “Recognized List” by the United Kingdom, the procedures for pets to immigrate to the United Kingdom are relatively simpler than immigrating to Japan or Taiwan, and there is no need to enter the country for quarantine.

Pets coming to the United Kingdom do not need to undergo additional blood tests for rabies-related indexes. But like most countries, the United Kingdom also requires pets entering the country to be implanted with approved international chips, vaccinations for cats and dogs, and mad dog vaccines. Remember to keep the needle card record and 21 days after the injection before entering the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom also stipulates that each owner can only bring a maximum of five pets to move to the destination. In addition, pets need to arrive no earlier than or five days after the owner’s date to be regarded as accompanying moving pets, otherwise, they will be treated as goods for sale. Also, need to pay additional import taxes.

Pets entering the United Kingdom can be accepted as cargo only. If the flight box (for carrying pets) does not meet the requirements, there is a chance that the boarding will be denied at the time of check-in. The most complicated part of pet immigration to the UK is customs clearance, seat reservation and tax refund application. You need to contact the airline to book a seat in advance to obtain a temporary air waybill number, and then contact the customs clearance company to provide a customs clearance service confirmation number, and submit the confirmation number Only after the air cargo company can order the cargo space, you need to collect all the documents including the bill of lading, health certificate, etc. before you can apply for “ToR1” for tax refund. Of course, some of the procedures can be done by overseas moving companies.

Prohibited and restricted items

Illegal drugs, offensive weapons (such as switch knives), self-defense sprays (such as pepper spray and tear gas), endangered animals and plants, unprocessed rough diamonds, indecent and obscene articles, pirated copies, meat and dairy products brought from countries outside the EU will definitely be confiscated.

These items may result in a complete inspection of the entire shipment. Remember to avoid shipping this type of goods! For more detailed guidelines, please refer to:
General prohibited items and restricted items
Food, animal or plant
Timber, wood products or bark

If you have any inquiries on overseas relocation, feel free to contact FreightAmigo now:
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