Importing goods to the UK

Importing goods to the UK


Importing goods to the UK is based on multilateral, bilateral, or unilateral trade agreements and other trade strategies of the UK government.

In addition, the documents necessary depend also on the nature of the goods. Normally, goods from European Union (EU) countries can be brought into the UK with minimal paperwork. While the imports from outside the EU,  need an invoice and a copy of the transport documentation. The documentation procedure to import goods to a country is almost the same in all countries worldwide. Don’t forget to ask for a VAT refund! Lastly, don’t throw away invoices and records.

If you are looking for a step-to-step guide to importing goods, please check the website of the UK government.

What items are prohibited by UK customs?

There are some goods you cannot bring into the UK. These include:

  • controlled drugs
  • offensive weapons, for example, flick knives
  • self-defense sprays, for example, pepper spray and CS gas
  • endangered animal and plant species
  • rough diamonds
  • indecent and obscene materials, such as books, magazines, films, and DVDs
  • personal imports of meat and dairy products from most non-EU countries

Restricted items are:

Importing goods from the EU to the UK after Brexit

The procedure to import goods from the EU to the UK after Brexit has now changed. Please have a look at this short guide to understand what documentation you will need. When importing goods from the EU to the UK you need to carefully check the necessary documentation. For example, you might need a specific license or certificate for your goods. Don’t forget to check the marketing rules as well as the labeling rules. Finally, in case you paid the wrong amount of duty you can always initiate a refund procedure.

Importing goods