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Brexit and merchandise

21 October 2021

Merchandise in baggage (MIB)

Commercial goods also known as Merchandise in Baggage are goods to sell or use in your business where:

  • a commercial transport operator does not carry them for you or you do not pay them to carry them for you
  • you have travelled from or to Great Britain carrying goods either in your baggage or in a small vehicle that can carry up to no more than 9 people and weighing less than 3.5 tonnes.

Taking commercial goods out of Great Britain

If you are taking commercial goods out of Great Britain you need to make either a full export, declaration, a simple online declaration or a ‘declaration by conduct’.

A full export declaration is required before you leave GB if your goods are worth more than £1500, weigh more than 1000kg in total or are classed as controlled goods. A standard electronic customs declaration should be submitted to HMRC through a customs agent or intermediary.

For goods below £1500, weighing less than 1000kgs and not classed as controlled goods you can either make an oral declaration to a Border Force Officer at the port (if facilities exits) or complete the HMRC simple online declaration service before coming into or leaving the country.

You do not need to make a declaration when your goods leave GB but you will need to make a
declaration in Northern Ireland.

It is important to note that the limit of £1500 does not apply in the EU, but a value of 1000 Euros applies for commercial goods.
This means an oral declaration can be made upon arrival into the first EU Member State at the red ‘goods to declare’ channel if the good are worth 1000 Euros or less. You should take your GB declaration/invoices or receipts with you. The EU is one customs territory so if travelling onto other EU Member States, pass through the blue channel. For goods requiring a full export declaration, the process is the same and you will need to take your full export declaration and invoices and receipts with you. Further information on EU customs declarations can be found on the European Commission

Bringing commercial goods into Great Britain

If you are bringing commercial goods in Great Britain they must be declared.

For goods below £1500, weighing less than 1000kgs and not classed as controlled goods you can
make an online declarationin the 5 days before you arrive with your goods. You will have to pay VAT but will have no duty to pay if you are bringing goods that meet the rules of originunder the UK-EU or other UK free trade agreements and you have relevant documentation to certify that the goods meet these rules. Declaring online in this way allows you to pay in advance, go through the green ‘nothing to declare’ channel.If you choose not to declare and pay in advance, you can go to the red ‘goods to declare’ channel or the red phone point in the customs area to declare your goods and pay what you owe.

From 1st July 2022, a ‘Safety and Security’ declaration will need to be submitted to HMRC if the goods are worth over £1500 and carried in a vehicle.