Whether you’re looking to transport goods from the UK to Europe, the US, Canada, or elsewhere in the world, it’s important to understand the customs clearance rules of the countries you’re moving between to keep your goods moving smoothly and to avoid potentially heavy penalties.

But with customs clearance rules having changed for UK businesses since Brexit, there are new procedures, declarations, tariffs, and regulatory requirements in place to ensure compliance with when moving goods between the UK and Europe. 

When you choose SpeedLink to transport your goods via our same-day, next-day, or economy delivery services, we’ll handle the whole customs clearance process for you at the shipping port or airport. We’re transporting packages across the channel and over borders every day of the week, so no customs check phases us.

Leave handling customs clearance to our experienced delivery team and get on with other important tasks - but there are documents and labels you can provide us with to make the whole process even easier. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the changes to UK-European customs clearance, and what these mean for your business.

What Is Customs Clearance?

Customs clearance is a legal process that importers and exporters are required to undergo when moving goods between countries. A customs check needs to take place to ensure that the goods being transported are what they claim to be, are safe, and that the correct tariffs and duties have been paid on them.

When the UK belonged to the European Union, the two parties had regulatory alignment that meant goods could move freely between the UK and EU. However, since Brexit, this has changed, and the UK now has to comply with the same European customs clearance rules as other countries transporting goods to the EU.

What Are The New Rules For European Customs Clearance?

Post-Brexit, customs clearance rules have changed significantly for anyone transporting goods between the UK and EU. European customs clearance rules now state that any goods coming from the UK must comply with the following:

  • Getting your documents in order - anyone moving goods between the UK and EU needs to have all of the necessary documents, including certificates of origin, and the correct licences and permits to show that everything meets the current regulatory requirements
  • Completing customs declaration forms - this must now be submitted by importers and exporters before goods can be cleared for transportation. If this form isn’t completed, this could result in delays and even financial penalties. Book your delivery via SpeedLink, and we’ll handle this for you
  • Understanding regulatory requirements - post-Brexit, the new customs clearance rules state that all goods coming into the country must comply with specific regulatory requirements; for example, safety and environmental standards. 
  • Working with new tariffs - there are also new tariffs that must be paid on goods entering the UK from the EU. If you book a courier from Paris to London for example via SpeedLink, we’ll handle this as part of the service you book
  • A goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) reference number - all importers and exporters must now have a GVMS reference number in order to transport their goods between the UK and EU. All of our UK to Europe couriers have a GVMS number to ensure the goods can be tracked throughout their journey, once they have passed through customs clearance.

Customs Clearance Around The World

Customs clearance rules differ around the world, depending on where you’re sending goods to or from. When you send your goods via SpeedLink, our trusted, reliable, experienced team will always handle the entire customs clearance process, so you don’t need to worry about getting your head around the different rules and requirements.

Usually ship goods from the UK to Europe but this time you’re sending something to the US instead? You don’t need to spend hours researching the different customs check rules, as we’ll handle it all.

How Long Does Customs Clearance Take?

There is no one set answer to ‘how long does customs clearance take?’, as it depends on the country you’re sending goods to, as well as whether you have all the necessary documentation to hand, and have paid all of the required tariffs.

Customs clearance from the UK to Europe should take just a few minutes if everything is in order, but it may take hours - or even days - if there are any issues.

At SpeedLink, we pride ourselves on providing same-day and next-day courier services from the UK to Europe, so we’ll always aim to have your package at its destination as soon as possible. We’re used to navigating customs clearance, so we’re pros at it, and always have absolutely everything prepared in advance, so we can cross the border as quickly as possible.

Choose SpeedLink For Seamless European Customs Clearance

There have been significant changes for businesses transporting goods between the UK and Europe post-Brexit, but we’ve made ourselves experts in all things European customs clearance, so you don’t have to. Our highly experienced delivery drivers are familiar with all of the regulations and procedures required for sending goods across the channel - you can trust us to ensure that your goods are cleared for transportation and that all necessary requirements are met. Read our case studies to find out how we’ve supported other businesses.

With over 83 service centres across the UK, we could be with you in under an hour to collect your parcel to begin its journey to Europe as soon as possible. We’ll choose the quickest route available, whether it’s by land or air, and we’ll navigate all of the European customs clearance requirements, so all you need to do is wait for your package to reach its destination - you’ll even be able to track it all of the way.

Get a free instant quote today, or contact the SpeedLink team to book your delivery.

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