Customs Documents

Customs building blocks

There is a number of customs documents involved in the international trade process and much of what you need to know is wrapped up in detailed H.M Revenue & Customs terminology.

By ensuring that you have the correct customs documentation in place for your shipments, you can easily avoid costly penalties and delays .


How can we help?

Our dedicated, experienced team of customs specialists sift through the jargon and take away the confusion so you can focus on successfully getting your goods to market.

We provide the full range of customs documents necessary for trading overseas and arrange all necessary shipment paperwork on your behalf.

Common international trade documents:

Customs Declarations

Customs declarations are legally-required declarations which must be made using the Customs Declaration Service (previously they were made using CHIEF) for all goods that are entering or leaving the United Kingdom. They’re used internationally to communicate the origin of the product and its relevant tariff, to allow customs and regulatory authorities to calculate what duty is payable and understand applicable restrictions. Find out how we can help.

GMR (Goods Movement Reference)

Using the ChamberCustoms software, Business West can now generate Goods Movement References (GMRs) on your behalf, for all GVMS (Goods Vehicle Movement Service) ports in the UK.  Acquire a GMR now.

UK EUR1 Movement Certificate

The UK has preferential trading agreements with certain countries which enables importers to import goods at a lower rate of import duty, known as importing under "preference". You will need to check each individual trade agreement that the UK has negotiated or rolled over to find out if a UK EUR1 form is required or whether under the new UK-EU TCA an invoice declaration/statement of origin will suffice. You can read about the new rules of origin here.

Commercial Invoice

A commercial invoice must be provided by all persons or businesses that are selling items internationally. For some countries, there are specific requirements on the layout, form or content of the invoice and the declarations. Your customer may also ask for special wording or clauses that you should include on the invoice.

Import Certificate

Import Certificates act as end use assurance and are often needed by overseas suppliers to obtain an export licence. The supplier must produce the import certificate to show the authorities what the goods are going to be used for.

Standard Shipping Note

This is a shipping document that gives details about the contents of a consignment to carriers, receiving authorities and forwarders. It provides information about each movement stage, right up until final loading on board the vessel or aircraft.

Dangerous Goods Note

Dangerous goods require the completion of a Dangerous Goods Note (DGN) before shipment. A DGN can be used for all forms of transport except air when an IATA Dangerous Goods Declaration is used.

Certificates of Value & Origin

Various countries require a Certificate of Value & Origin to satisfy their customs entry procedures. It’s vitally important to understand which markets require what documents.

How to get started

Most customs documents are readily available in both paper and electronic format. Depending on how you prefer to operate we have a solution to meet your needs.

Do it online

Visit eCert, our export documentation platform, and set up a new account and start creating and submitting your customs documentation today.

If you have any questions you can contact a member of our team and we'll guide you through the entire online process.

View our price lists.

  • Learn more about trading internationally

    Our training workshops are designed to provide you with the essential skills you need to understand the exporting and importing process. We run courses that look in depth at export and import terminology and help you understand the paperwork as well as explain the process of importing, commodity codes and customs declarations.

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  • Apply for a Certificate of Origin today

    Start submitting your Certificate of Origin applications today. To apply for a Certificate of Origin, you'll be taken to our easy-to-use export documentation platform, eCert.

  • Apply for an ATA Carnet today

    Start creating and submitting your ATA Carnets today. To apply for your carnet, you'll be taken to our easy-to-use export documentation platform, eCert.