What you need to know to send goods out of the UK
If you send goods abroad, for example goods you’ve sold, or plan to sell or use in your business, you are exporting them.
This includes, sending goods via road, rail, air or sea, sending goods through the post or via a courier, taking goods out of the UK in your luggage.
You need to declare any goods you send abroad to HMRC, telling them what you are sending and what is worth.
This is done using a customs declaration form which is know also as a C88 form.
What is C88 form?
If you send goods via a courier or a similar third party, most of them will do this for you using the information you provide.
If you send goods abroad in the post, there is a simple customs declaration form you’ll need to fill out and attach to the outside of the parcel you are sending.
Any goods you take abroad in your luggage should be also declared before you leave the UK in order to avoid being fined or having your goods confiscated. You should always try to make a declaration in advance to HMRC.
Most businesses use a third party or a customs agent when dealing with customs.
You can hire an agent or train someone in your business to deal with customs for your company, however we recommend that you always contact a customs agent that is experienced and has the knowledge to clear your goods correctly to avoid expensive mistakes.
If you are using a haulage company, we recommend that you use a separate customs agent for your shipments to avoid hidden fees. A customs agent will always walk you through the process or simply do it on your behalf with full transparency to ensure you are aware of all your costs for your business.