A High-Level Guide to Exporting

Item 1 Goods classification

Commodity Codes are an international standard for calculating duties and VAT through use of individual product tariff headings; and also needed for customs clearance processes. It is the trader’s responsibility to use the correct codes when exporting or importing. If in doubt, contact the HMRC team or to make life easier use the online UK tariff:

Finding commodity codes for imports into or exports out of the UK – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Item 2 EORI Number

Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI) is required if you move goods between GB and the Rest of the world, GB and Northern Ireland, GB and Channel Island or Northern Ireland and Rest of the World. Depending on the kind of movement and incoterms used, you may also need an EORI number starting with GB, XI or EU. More information, see the link:

Get an EORI number: Who needs an EORI – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Item 3 Controlled Goods

Have you checked if your goods are subject to special licences, controls, certificates or authorisations? This information is required for your customs entry declaration. Check list of controlled goods here:

Controlled goods list – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Item 4 CPC Codes

Customs Procedure Codes help customs authorities understand the purpose for which you are importing or exporting goods. CPC codes appear on a customs entry amend determine if goods are going into free circulation or are you using a special customs procedure. Any errors or submissions can result in non-compliance, delays and fines. Check list of CPC codes here:

Customs procedure codes (Box 37) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Item 5 Incoterms

International Commercial Terms are worldwide recognise and outline the risk and who is responsible for what in the export import process. From transport to customs clearance, incoterms are vital so ensure you and overseas partners understand what they mean. Check different incoterms:


Item 6 Transport

How are you moving your goods? Is it via air, road or sea or a mix? If going by road, are your goods moving through various countries? If so, you will need a T1 (A transit document allows for goods which originated outside the European Union to move freely within the European Union. The accompanying document ensures that no customs duties or taxes are payable as the shipment moves from one country to the next within the European Union).

Item 7 Customs Clearance

If goods are moving across borders from or to the UK a Customs Declaration will be required. This can be a very involved process or a simplified declaration depending on how you or your forwarder is operating. Road, sea and air shipments all require customs clearance; even courier movements which are simplified have certain hoops through which to jump.


Our team at consultancy@mgcexport.co.uk would be happy to assist