Export Advice Hub: Items for temporary export – ATA Carnet

Aug 11, 2022


We have not been on a business trip to the Netherlands since Brexit and we need to understand what we can take through customs both ways. The trip is to verify an electrical system upgrade.

Prior to Brexit we would normally take the following:

  • goods to be fitted
  • tools for the install
  • test equipment for install test work.

What should we do now?


If you intend to hand carry the goods to the Netherlands, then you will have to divide the shipment into two parts:

  1. Goods being taken in Netherlands which will return to the UK unchanged — ie tools and test equipment.
  2. Goods to be fitted.

The tools and test equipment should be alright to go out under the duplicate list procedure, by conduct, or you can purchase an ATA Carnet from a Chamber of Commerce.

The goods to be fitted though will require an export customs declaration and an import customs declaration into the Netherlands with any relevant duty/VAT paid on the identical price of the goods as if they were being bought/sold commercially.

“By conduct” means that for hand carried goods such as these, you need to create a list of goods, with serial numbers, explain the purpose of the movement and keep that document available at all times in case you are challenged by customs. If you are not challenged, just walk straight through.

The easiest thing is to send the goods separately via a fast parcel operator who will sort out the customs entries. If not, then, potentially for the UK export entry you could do a MoDS declaration — an online customs declaration — but this would mean the value of the goods would have to be less than £1500.

An import customs declaration would be required on arrival into the Netherlands. They may permit you to present the goods in the red channel and pay duty/VAT on your credit card, though it would be better if you had a customs broker set up to meet your representative on arrival.

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