1. Overview

To export goods to countries outside the EU or send them to another EU country you have to:

  • include the sale on your VAT return
  • make sure you qualify so you won’t have to pay VAT
  • find the correct commodity code for goods you export to countries outside the EU
  • register with HMRC’s CHIEF system for exporters if you’re exporting outside the EU
  • declare the goods you export using the National Export System (NES) which is part of CHIEF

Check if you need a strategic export licence for some controlled goods, eg military, defence or security related goods. This also covers Dual Use goods that can be used for both civil and military purposes, eg some software. If you do need a strategic export licence, read the guidance first then apply using SPIRE.

You can use a commercial agent or a freight forwarder if you don’t want to deal with export procedures yourself.

UK Trade & Investment and UK Export Finance offer help with various aspects of exports.

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