My family and I are relocating to the UK from a non-EU country. I have a certificate of sponsorship under General Tier 2 Visa. We have our Entry Clearance Visas to collect our Biometric Residential Permits. We want to ask our relatives to send our personal belongings by a carrier. There are 2 bicycles, 2 displays for our desktop, clothes, child's toys - stuff like that. Its total costs is lower than 10000EUR. All these things have been used by us for a while for the most part of them we can show payment checks.

A parent of my wife will be sending the packages, and the packages will enter the UK after we arrive by the Entry Clearance Visa. Another part of the belongings will arrive after we collect our Biometric Residential Permits.

Will we have to pay taxes and duties in both cases?

Please provide a link to the official document that supports your answer, if you can.

If you need more details just ask them in the comments, I'll clarify.

1 Answer 1


Gov.UK has all the details you ask.

Moving personal belongings to the UK
You have tax and customs responsibilities when you move your personal belongings to the UK from abroad.

You must follow the rules on:

You must pay Excise Duty if you ship alcohol or tobacco.

Move from outside the EU
You may be able to claim relief on tax and duty if you’re moving from outside the EU - ask your shipping company for more information.

Claim relief Your shipping company will ask you to fill in form ToR01 when your things arrive in the UK.

Fill in form C88 instead if you’re moving temporarily.

Customs officers use your form to work out:

  • if you qualify for relief
  • any tax and duty you owe

There are conditions for claiming.

If you don’t qualify for relief
Your shipping company will tell you how much duty or tax you owe. You must pay it before you can collect your things.

You can be charged:

Fill in form C285(PI) to ask for a refund if you think you’ve been charged too much.

  • 1
    Thanks. I've already read this. But this page gov.uk/goods-sent-from-abroad contains the information: > You don’t pay VAT or Customs Duty when your things are sent back to you – they must be described as ‘personal belongings’ on the customs declaration. Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 13:47
  • 1
    That's for goods that someone took from the UK and who is now returning the goods to the UK. For example, I took some clothes on a trip and shipped them back to the UK so I'd have room in my luggage for souvenirs.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 17:25

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