Customs Clearance

Within each Cardinal Maritime office is a team of Customs experts qualified to process the Customs clearance of all shipments being exported from and imported into the EU. Our Clearance facilities are linked directly to all major UK ports. This provides for an efficient and confidential clearance process.

Export clearance (commercial goods)

In order to process export clearance, all that we require is a copy of your commercial invoice, your VAT number and the Commodity Code. If you are unsure about the Commodity Code, we will be able to assist you with this. We will simply need a full description of the goods, confirmation of what the goods are to be used for, and what the goods are made from.

Export clearance (non-commercial goods / personal effects)

The process of export clearance for non-commercial goods is fairly straightforward. All that we require is a copy of a packing list detailing the contents of your packages/items and written confirmation of your EU and destination addresses, and contact information.

Import clearance (commercial goods)

Import clearance is necessary for all goods entering the EU. It is likely that Customs Duty and VAT will be payable although there are some exceptions. In order to assist you with import clearance, we will require the following documentation and information:

  • Bill of Lading – note that we will require a Bill of Lading from you marked ‘original’ before the goods can be delivered, unless the Bill of Lading is marked ‘express release’.
  • Commercial invoice – clearly outlining the supplier, description of the goods, terms of shipment and value of the goods.
  • Commodity Code – please access Business Link to determine the classification of your goods if you are unsure about the commodity code.
  • VAT Number – if you are importing commercial goods for re-sale within the EU, you will need to provide us with a VAT number so that you are able to reclaim the VAT.
  • EORI number – if you are importing goods that have been purchased from outside the EU you will need to provide us with a valid EORI number. If you have a VAT number you will need to make sure this has been re-registered as an EORI number. If you do not have a VAT number, you will still need an EORI number. This can be re-used for future EU imports. If you need to apply for an EORI or would like to know more, please visit the HMRC website here. 

If you are importing any textile imports; Clothing, Fabric, Material etc., it is likely that you will require additional documentation. This can include a Certificate of Origin and GSP Certificate and should be provided to you by your supplier. Please refer to your account manager or team member handling your shipment for further information and guidance if needed.

Import clearance (non-commercial goods / personal effects)

If you are importing non-commercial goods / personal effects into the EU which you have owned for more than 6 months, you will need to complete a Customs document (Transfer of Residence) and submit the same to us for processing.

A C3 form can be downloaded from or alternatively is available on request from our office. You can telephone our import team direct on 0161 492 1775.

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