Notice to Private Importers with shipments arriving on our service from overseas


You are likely reading this because you have a shipment due to arrive or that has already arrived in a shipping container via ocean freight from overseas. It may be personal effects or something you purchased. We are involved because we are handling the container on behalf of our overseas agent.

Your contract for services is with the company you paid to move the shipment. This could be the company you purchased the goods or services from, or it could be with a freight company at origin that you chose to use.

If you have not contracted directly with our agent then the company you have contracted with has chosen to ship via our agent’s service because they don’t have their own service to the UK. In that event, we nor our agent know what was agreed at origin between you and the company you contracted with regarding charges payable at origin or in the UK.

The purpose of this notice is to inform you that there will be charges payable on arrival and they may be more than you were told to expect by the company you contracted with (if you were told at all).

Charges we will invoice you for will cover the arrival charges such as port charges, unpacking, and handling, BUT further to these there may be additional charges based on what the company you contracted with has either asked our agent to collect, or what they have paid to our agent for the freight.

If the company you contract with asks our agent to collect charges from you then our agent will instruct us to do so and we have no say on this. If you have an issue with this you must contact the company you contracted with.

The company you contracted with may also ask our agent to pay a lower freight rate than normal, or even a negative freight rate, and therefore tell our agent to collect additional charges in the UK from you to compensate for this. Our agent must follow the instruction of the company booking with them who is their client. If you have an issue with this you must contact the company you contracted with.

Please also be aware, our arrival notice tells you how much free time you have at the Customs import warehouse to have your cargo Customs cleared and delivered. If you take longer to have this happen then storage charges will be incurred and payable by you. These can be substantial so please attend to the Customs clearance and charges well before the free time ends.

- Should the container or your shipment be inspected by a UK government agency then charges may be incurred and will be for your account either fully, if only related to your shipment, or pro-rated if for the entire container.

- Should you ask us to arrange the Customs clearance and delivery etc then we will charge for those services but will agree the charges at the time with you (excluding any duties/taxes/extraordinary charges etc).


Your goods must be Customs cleared before they can be delivered or released to you. We can arrange this for you on commercial shipments and personal effects shipments, and if you like we can arrange the delivery thereafter.

Commercial Shipments

To arrange clearance we require the COMMERCIAL INVOICE and PACKING LIST (if you have it), both of which can be sent via email, and the ORIGINAL CERT. OF ORIGIN (if applicable) via post or courier.

Further to these required documents, before we can start the clearance we require:

1) You to advise us in writing the COMMODITY CODES for EACH item imported. These codes determine what duties will be levied (if any) on your goods. If you do not already have them then you can obtain them from HMRC online at:

or you can email HMRC and request them at: [email protected]

2) EORI NUMBER - if your shipment is NOT for personal use then we require your EORI number. This is often your VAT number. You can check to see if you are already registered or need to register for one using the following link:

Personal Effects

We require your TOR reference, a PACKING LIST, and a VALUE for the goods.


Delivery or release of cargo can only be done once Customs clearance has been gained from HMRC, and all charges have been paid by you to us in cleared funds, and the original Bill of Lading has been received by us (if required).

Unless otherwise specified, delivery covers the vehicle's arrival to your kerbside. The driver is not insured to unload your cargo or unpack it for you. If requested we may be able to arrange a specialised vehicle that has a tail-lift however some shipments can be too big or heavy for this type of vehicle. Please also note that if your cargo was not shipped from overseas on pallets then the delivery company may choose to put your cargo on pallets for ease of handling. In that event the pallet must be returned to the driver or a charge will be incurred for the pallet(s).


IMPORTANT - if you have an ORIGINAL BILL OF LADING then we must receive this via post or courier before the cargo can be released and/or delivered. We recommend using Royal Mail Special Delivery. Please check with us if you are unsure if you provide this to us.