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If you are moving to the UK, this presentation shows you how to complete the ToR (transfer of residence) needed to import your things into the UK duty and tax free. Latest changes and updates are included in this presentation including the new Returned Goods Relief system where if you have been out of the UK less than 3 years, you can ship the same goods back without having to complete the ToR. If you need more information don't hesitate to speak to UPakWeShip offices in the UK or USA. UPakWeShip handles everything to make your international move go as smooth as possible and the lowest all inclusive price. We certainly know what we are doing when moving people overseas from both sides of the pond.
As everyone knows, we are now in an era of heightened
security and stringent immigration rules.
UK customs have adopted a pre approval system to ship
your items to the UK called Transfer of Residence or
ToR. We are sure other countries will follow shortly.
Once you get your pre approval (ToR number) we can
then ship your items. When your shipment arrives in the
UK we enter the ToR number with Customs and we
should get a speedy customs clearance as you are pre
If you are moving to the UK and would like to ship your
things duty and tax free, then please make a note of the
new procedures. The new system is called ToR’s
(Transfer of residence)
The C3 Customs form is no longer acceptable.
Please read all of our presentation before you complete
the ToR’s form.
Please note you now have to submit the ToR’s form to
customs by email and then wait to hear back from them
via email with any further questions and a ToR approval
reference number, before we are possibly able to ship
and definitely customs clear your items.
The ToR form is available online and has to be filled out in advance of your
move. Once the online ToR form is completed it must be printed, signed by you
and then scanned and emailed to customs together with other requested
In order to obtain duty and tax free entry of your used household items:
You must be shipping your own belongings within 12 months of your personal
arrival to the UK.
You must have lived outside of the EU for the past 12 months
You must declare that all your items that you are going to ship have been used
for more than 6 months and that you are not going to sell them in the next 12
If you do not meet that criteria for example, all your items are less than 6 months
old, you have not moved to the UK within the last 12 months or you are sending
things to someone else, furnishing a secondary or holiday home, shipping items
from long term storage e.g. more than 12 months, sending items to another
member of the family or items left to you in a will, then you will need to provide a
packing list with used values and a letter explaining the circumstances why you
are shipping these items as well as completing the ToR form. UK Customs will
then probably charge duties and taxes if you do not qualify for duty free entry.
It is recommended that the application process is started as early
as possible to allow for UK Customs to process the application and
issue an authorization code prior to us shipping. We understand
customs are estimating a 10-14 day turn around. This can increase
to 3-4 weeks during busy summer months.
For More Information from UK Customs web site click here.
To look at the ToR form online click here Click on the link that’s
says apply using the postal form, (although you are going to print,
scan and email the form to them as its much faster)
Over the next few slides we are going to
try and help you fill out the form
correctly. Bear in mind depending how
you answer the questions will determine
what the next question might be so this
is just a sample based on an average
person moving from the USA or Canada.
So here we go…….
New UK Address (Lots of you will still be looking for a place to live so you will
not have an address, however customs want an address for you so its quite
ok to put down a temporary address or the company you are going to work
for, or a relatives address in the UK.
Do you have a phone number…… answer yes or no
Do you have an email address…. Make sure your email address is correct as
this is how customs will reply to you with the ToR ref number or if they have
Do you have a National Insurance Number? This is a little like a SS number in
the USA. If you are a British national returning you probably have a NI number
to enter but others select No
Date of Birth….. Just the person completing the form
Your new situation in the UK
From what date have you lived, or what date do you expect to live in
Enter date you have, or are arriving in the UK
What are you planning to do in the UK?
If you click Work then you will need to confirm if the address is in the
UK and then fill in the name of the company you will be working for
and the address.
If you click Study you will need to enter the name of the educational
institution and the address
If you click on other please explain the circumstances
Family and or partner details:
Answer if you are coming to the UK alone or with family or a
If you answer yes then add their names and dates of birth.
If you answer No then explain why you are leaving them behind and
also how many trips per year you are planning to go back to visit
Your situation in the country outside the EU
Where did you reside before…..
Enter USA or Canada for example followed by the address you live or lived
You then have to type the date you stopped living at that address.
This can be a date in the future if for example you are not moving to the UK
for another few weeks or months. Presumably in most cases the date
entered here will be a few days before the date you entered that you were
expecting to live in the UK.
Did you own your home or rent a home?
Answer this and don’t forget to enclose a purchase agreement or rental
If there are other circumstances like I was living with my Mom then please
explain that on the form.
It might be wise to complete a rental agreement if you don’t have one. They
are available at Staples.
During your stay in the country outside the EU
Did you already own a home in the UK?
Most will probably answer no but if your are a Brit returning and you still own a home
in the UK then click yes and type in the address and the date you left the UK. Don’t
forget you need to have been outside of the EU for at least 12 months to obtain duty
free entry of your shipment.
Have you ever lived in the UK or another EU country?
Most Brits returning will answer this as yes and enter the date they departed and why.
Others will probably answer as no.
One presumes they are looking to check that you have indeed been out side of the
UK or EU for the last 12 months in order to get duty free entry.
Are you importing a means of transport?
This is a British way of saying are you importing a car, motorbike or anything with an
engine that you wish to register and title in the UK.
Are you importing any pets?
Please click No, even if you are importing a pet, its not through us and your pet
shipper will be asking you to complete a similar form.
Have you applied for tax relief for the same goods elsewhere?
I’m sure most people will answer this one as No
Date of Entry
Dates you expect the goods to arrive:
As we are asking you to complete this form in advance you will probably be checking
the goods have not arrived in the UK. In which case you will need to put an estimated
guess as to when they will arrive. Bear in mind it will take at least a week to get your
Tors number back and then at least 3-5 weeks for us to ship it to the UK. It wont
matter if the date is a few weeks different when it gets there.
Click that you confirm the information is correct.
Add your full name.
Current place of residence, like Florida, or New York or Toronto works.
Number of enclosures are all the other pieces that you are going to scan
like your passport, packing list, proof of residency, letters explain anything.
Add the date you completed this form
Print the form and sign it.
The following documents need to be scanned and emailed with your
Copy of your Passport and others moving with you. Only picture and signature pages required.
Visa paperwork if applicable. Main pages only.
National Insurance number if applicable/available
Packing list / survey list of the goods being imported. Complete our online packing list
creator with what you estimate you are taking if you haven't packed yet. This will
suffice at this stage and we understand that the final packing list will probably be a
Proof of ownership for vehicles – registration documents older than 6 months.
Proof that you have lived out of the EU for last 12 months – Utility Bill/Bank statement
with address on.
Employment contract if applicable and or employer’s statement Work permit if
Tenancy or purchase agreement for home in the UK if applicable. If living with family
state this. Just main pages showing names, address and signature pages.
We suggest you include as much information as possible to get your ToR number.
Now you need to email the ToR
application and all the other back up
paperwork requested to:
Your ToR number will be emailed back to you. UK Customs
might also email you some further questions or ask for
further explanations if necessary. In which case please
answer that email and make sure your name and any
reference number they give you is on the reply email.
Please let us know by email the ToR number when you receive it,
together with any correspondence you have had with UK customs
and your ToR application form. We will also need a copy of the
documents / attachments you sent with your ToR application.
If you have items to declare like alcohol or tobacco products or items
that are less than 6 months old, they need to be listed in a separate
document and sent to us to give to Customs.
The list needs to include item, individual value, alcohol needs number
of bottles, type, size, alcohol percentage and individual value.
Tobacco products need description, quantity and value.
Our UPakWeShip UK office or its local customs broker will be in touch
to confirm any duties and taxes due. These must be paid by credit card
or bank transfer in UK pounds prior to them arranging delivery to you.
Any questions, let us know. firstname.lastname@example.org
We suggest you apply for this ToR number 3-4 weeks in advance of your
collection date. That way you should have the ToR ref number back by the time
we have collected your things and have it ready for shipping. If you do not have
time to do this in advance then we can collect your items and hold in our
warehouse pending you giving us the ToR number. We will have to charge a
storage fee of $25 per pallet per week until you receive the ToR number.
If we or you are loading a 20 or 40 foot shipping container then you need to
have the ToR number back before loading or at least applied for it.
Any shipment that arrives in the UK without a ToR number will face expensive
customs bonded storage and port charges as well as possible duties and taxes.
This is why we are asking everyone to get this done in advance.
Beware of anyone that tells you this can be done once you or the shipment
arrive in the UK. This might be technically correct but it could cost you a lot of
money which is why we ask you to get this done in advance.
If you need further advice or have any questions please email us and we will
forward to our UK office to check with UK Customs.
Changes since this was first published
November 2017: If you are a student coming to the UK to study and are
shipping some items to the UK then you will not have to complete the
ToR or have to pay duty or taxes if you supply a copy of the school’s
letter of acceptance to us.
You do not need to complete the ToR if you are sending wedding
Presents. They can enter the UK duty and tax-free as long as you
provide a copy of the marriage certificate and you ship them within
4 months of the wedding.
If you are shipping office items such as desks and furniture then you
will need to provide UPakWeShip with a valued list of the items and you
will be charged vat currently 20%
You can list office files at a nominal value and they are duty and
tax-free but we still need to enter a value for customs.
If you are purchasing new items of furniture overseas and would like
UPakWeShip to ship it to the UK, you will need to provide the original
invoice from the store that you bought it from and customs will charge
you duties and taxes.
If you are selling a holiday home and shipping items to the UK then you
are going to have to pay duties and taxes on the value of the items. You
do not need to complete the ToR but you will have to provide UPakWeShip
with a valued packing list. (Obviously keep valuations low like you were
selling the items at a yard sale)
If you are shipping inherited goods then you need to complete the
government inheritance form (C1421) and if all requested paperwork is
submitted, you should not be paying duties and taxes.
Please note all items that are deemed to be charged duties and taxes by
customs should be based on the value of the items plus the cost of
shipping and the cost of the insurance policy of the international move.
December 2017: You now only need to send the important pages on
documentation that customs request as back up. For example on a lease,
you now only need to send the page with your name and property rental
address and signature page on it. On passport copies, just the picture and
signature page is good.
Changes since this was first published continued
Returned Goods Relief: If you departed the UK or Europe less than 3
years ago and are now returning back to the UK with the same items
that you shipped out, all you need to produce is the house bill of
lading from the shipping company that moved you from the UK or EU
and the packing list. Obviously as you are meant to be shipping the
same items back to UK, the new packing list you create for your new
move back home needs to show it’s the same items that you originally
If you want to ship other items that you have acquired while overseas
then you will need to apply for ToR duty and tax relief or just declare
the extra items and pay duties and taxes on those items. Obviously if
you are applying for ToR on a few items that did not originally come
with you from the UK you might as well apply ToR on all your items
and not bother with providing the original bill of lading and packing
Changes since this was first published continued
The information contained within this
presentation is intended to act as a guide only.
The exact process for ToR applications and
Customs clearance processes are subject to
change and interpretation, particularly at this
time as this is a relatively new system.
I hope our presentation helped you.
Any further questions please email.