Head Office: 8th Floor, St Vincent House, 1 Cutler Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 1UQ

+44 (0) 1394 674822


Customs Clearance

With nearly two centuries of experience with customs formalities, Cory Brothers are ideally equipped to handle your customs clearance. Our specialists are well versed in all the essential, but time consuming, processes associated with customs clearance. This key knowledge ensures that your supply chain remains on time.

Cory provide expertise in handling all manner of commodities, including foodstuffs, hazardous, temperature-controlled, perishables, project cargoes, pharmaceuticals, health-certified, and all general goods. You can trust us to look after your business, no matter what you are moving. 

We can process extraordinary customs clearances, too. Our accomplished team cater for a vast number of customs procedures, including full vessel SERS declarations, bonded goods and T1 movement, and import and export processing. Cory are your go-to for clearing goods through customs.

  • Services provided 7 days a week.
  • AEO accredited.
  • Worldwide network of customs clearance agents.
  • Electronically connected to all major UK ports.
  • Vast experience in both bulk and unitised cargo.
  • Own deferment approval account.
  • IPAFFS, CHED, CED and fresh produce expertise.
  • T1 movements.
  • Compliance health checks.

Contact us for more information on our customs clearance services.

We provide customs clearance services across all 4 of our divisions









Customs Clearance Services - FAQs

How long does customs clearance take UK?

How long customs clearance takes in the UK depends on multiple factors: the import profile, process, what type of clearance is sought, the commodity, origin and trading history. These factors usually dictate the time. Occasionally, more checks will be required and on occasion, an examination by HMRC. The fastest a clearance will be processed is if it avoids all checks and any examination (commonly as route 6): in which case it will take around 10 minutes for customs clearance to process.

HMRC can select a clearance for random checks or a simple document check will usually require a a matter of hours for the clearance agent to send the documents to the national clearance hub, but this can be longer if HMRC require further evidence.

HMRC can also order an X-Ray examination or a physical exam. Clearance will then be delayed until this has been completed by the customs authorities at the border entry point. This can be anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks, with the importer responsible for all incurred rent costs.

Get less customs delays for your shipments with Cory Brothers’ AEO status and a proactive approach. Contact us today to find out more. 

What’s customs clearance?

Customs clearance is the declaration to HMRC that goods are entering, leaving or (in the case of bonded items) moving around the country. The customs clearance is used to indicate and trigger the payment of taxes owed on goods. HMRC also use it to collect statistical data on the countries’ imports and exports. 

Customs clearance agents have links to the Government's CHIEF system to process your shipment at whichever border point the goods are arriving at. These links are unique for each airport, seaport so clearance agencies require more than one location licence.

CHIEF, which has been processing customs clearances since 1994, is being replaced by the new CDS system. From September 31st 2022, you will no longer be able to process import customs clearance declarations on CHIEF, and exports will be ceased from March 31st 2023.

Cory Brothers are up to date with the latest customs clearance processes, get in touch for more info.

How much is customs clearance UK?

How much customs clearance is in the UK depends on where the goods are coming into and the type of import that it is required. The different inventory systems, that the ports can link up to, have their own set fees for the processing of customs clearances and individual UCNs (Unique Consignment Number).

If the clearance is for a container coming through a seaport, you can expect to pay a customs clearance fee, a UCN (DTI) fee, a port-security and an infrastructure charge. The clearance fee remains the same for multiple containers, so it is best to combine arrivals from the same vessel.

If your shipment is selected for examination, then there will be costs levied by the port and HMRC for the movements and manpower required for those examinations. These charges, and any rent/demurrage incurred as a result, will be for the account of the importer/exporter.

Cory Brothers have competitive rates and AEO status to reduce exams, get in touch for more info.

What do I need for customs clearance UK?

You will need the following, as a minimum, for customs clearance in the UK. 

A commercial invoice.
A packing list.
A transport document (bill of lading).
A EORI number or UK VAT registration number.

There may be other documents required for the specific commodity you are moving. These will be licences, health certificates or certificates of preference etc.

You will need the relevant GSP, EUR1 or ATR certificate to claim relief from duty (if applicable). Keep an original for HMRC audits.

Health-related clearances require a CED or CVED to be filed and authorised by the Port Health authorities. This will be required for your consignment to clear customs.

Any shipment that required a CED or CVED will require additional original health documents. It is recommended that you check with Port Health that your country of origin is authorised from before shipping because it may be refused entry.

Cory Brothers are experts in customs clearance and at your service. Contact us today. 

How will Brexit affect customs clearance?

Brexit has affected customs clearance in the UK by removing the UK from the EU customs union. EU goods are no longer in free circulation in the UK without a clearance. Any goods being imported to the UK from Europe require customs clearance and payment of Duty and Vat upon entry. 

If your company has an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number that is from another EU member state (not beginning with GB), then you have needed a GB EORI number since the 1st of January 2021. The same is true in reverse, with EU importers/exporters requiring registration of an EU EORI number to continue there.

Cory Brothers can help you with your Brexit customs clearance. Get in touch today.