Step 1: Sale

Points to consider at this stage

  • Agree Incoterms with the client
  • Consider how you will receive payment (e.g. use of letter credit)
  • Check if there are any specific paperwork requirements for the country of destination
  • Obtain quotes from clearing agents
  • Obtain quotes from carriers (depending on the Incoterms agreed)
  • Ensure you know the country of origin for each item you are selling
  • Check your goods meet preferential rules of origin (if a free trade agreement exists)
  • Apply for an EORI number if this is your first export
  • Arrange insurance if you have agreed to cover this

Step 2: Commercial Paperwork

You should generate or obtain the following documents by the time the goods are ready for dispatch

  • Commercial invoice
  • packing list
  • Certificate of origin/origin declaration 
  • Preference certificate/preference declaration (may be included on the invoice if you are a registered exporter with HMRC)
  • Bill of landing / AWB / CMR (usually generated by the carrier)
  • Other certificates e.g. phytosanitary, conformance etc.
  • Insurance (if you are arranging this)

Step 3: Goods shipped to port of loading

Most carriers will arrange to collect the goods from your premises.

Sea freight cargo has to be weighed in order to obtain a verified gross mass (VGM).

Air freight cargo will need to be x-rayed either by a regulated agent or at the airport.

More stringent checks will need to be introduced in relation to road freight exports depending on the type of Brexit.

Step 4: Export Entry

The customs agent will complete the export entry which is received by HMRC who in turn will issue a P2 (which informs the tax code through what is called a P2 Tax Coding Notice).

The agent will require the following information at this stage:

  • Exporter name and EORi number
  • Commodity codes for each product (8 digit level)
  • Country of origin for each product (ideally this should be clearly stated on the invoice)
  • CPC codes (or confirmation of the procedure required e.g. permanent export)
  • Commercial documents
  • Any relevant export licence details

Step 5: Goods cleared to depart the UK

On arrival at the destination port, the goods will be processed for clearance.

Each export is assigned a Declaration Unique Consignment Number (DUCR) to uniquely identify an export consignment.

HMRC uses the CHIEF system to electronically process Declaration for goods entering or leaving the UK (and the EU currently) through ports and airports.

CHIEF validates the entry data, preforms risk assessments to identify consignments for control checks, and communicates electronically with other Government and commercial computer systems to enable licencing controls and release of good for export by granting Positive Clearance – Permission to Progress (P2P).

Note: The following section will present the CHIEF system more in details.

 Step 6: Goods Exported

Once your goods are exported the agent will receive an S8 (Movement Departure Advice) as the departure confirmation print.

  • Make sure your agent provides you with a copy of the import entry (SAD and P2) which you should keep for a minimum of 6 years
  • Track your shipment until you are assured it has arrived at its destination. For road freight, request a signed CMR from your client haulier (CMR: consignment note with a standard set of transport and liability conditions)

Exporter Responisbilities

  • Export Packing
  • Shipping Costs
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Tariff Code
  • Country of Origin
  • Proof of Export
  • Licences
  • Insurance
  • Incoterms
Contact Information

Registered number 11932140

VAT 320898980