Last reviewed 20 January 2021

The Government has issued a simple guide for businesses wanting to move goods from the UK to international destinations, including the European Union.

Available at, this begins by asking if the organisation concerned needs to follow this process and what happens if they are sending goods through the post or taking a small amount of goods personally to sell abroad.

The guide then explains how to check duties, rules and restrictions for exported goods in the destination country and how to apply for any licences needed to export these goods.

To be ready to export, the Government once again reminds businesses of the importance of having an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.

This must start with GB to export goods from England, Wales or Scotland and with XI if moving goods to or from Northern Ireland.

This section of the guide also allows for a check to see if Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status is right for a particular business.

Turning to customs, the guide notes that traders can hire someone to deal with customs and transport the goods for them, or they can do it themselves. This section explains how to hire someone to deal with customs and how to transport goods out of the UK by road.

Businesses are reminded that they must find the right commodity code to classify the goods they are exporting and given help with checking the proof of origin of their goods and finding out if the goods can be zero rated for VAT.

The final sections of the guide concern making an export declaration and getting goods cleared by UK customs, and recording the goods in the company’s VAT accounts.