Export Documentation

Export Documention Required by UK Businesses 

Export documentation can seem quite daunting and complicated to first-time exporters, but don't let that prevent you from achieving your export goals. 

HM Revenue & Customs' page on import and export procedures covers a wide range of issues across several sectors. 

Their simplified guide is perfect for first-time exporters. 

Precedures for Exporting Outside the EU

To export goods to countries outside the EU you have to:

  • Include the sale on your VAT return
  • Make sure you qualify so you won’t have to pay VAT
  • Find the correct commodity code for the goods you are exporting (research your commodity code at www.gov.uk/trade-tariff)
  • Register with HM Revenue & Customs’ Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight system
  • Declare the goods you export using the National Export System (NES) which is part of CHIEF

You may need to check if you need a strategic export licence for some controlled goods, for example military, defence or security related goods. Go to www.gov.uk/do-your-goods-need-an-export-licence to find out if your goods require an export licence.

UKTI’s website contains a wealth of information about export documentation. Go to www.gov.uk/starting-to-export for an overview of exporting or review the FAQ at www.ukti.gov.uk/uktihome/item/117327.html.

The British Government is keen to help UK exporters with their Exporting is GREAT campaign, and provides plenty of help at all levels.