Transfer of Residence / Moving to the UK

Delivering Easy
Transfer of Residence Process

Transfer of Residence / Moving to the UK

Delivering Easy
Transfer of Residence Process

What is Transfer of Residence (ToR)?

If you’re planning to change your country of residence to the UK and are sending unaccompanied personal effects, you must submit customs documentation to HMRC as part of the Transfer of Residence process.

Transfer of residence (ToR) is a process where individuals change their country of residence, which can happen for various reasons, such as work, retirement, or lifestyle changes. When relocating to the UK, you need to apply for a “Transfer of Residence” which, if approved, grants duty and tax-free entry for your household effects (and vehicles if applicable) into the UK. This relief applies to all your used household effects, except certain commodities like alcohol and tobacco.

Transfer of Residence (ToR)

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for Transfer of Residence (ToR) relief, you must meet the following criteria:

You should have been a resident outside the UK for at least 12 consecutive months before moving to Great Britain or Northern Ireland.

The goods must be imported within 12 months of your arrival in the UK.

Intended Use: The goods should be intended for the same purpose as before your move.

You must have owned the goods for at least 6 months prior to your intended import date.

Benefits of Transfer of Residence Relief

The Transfer of Residence Relief offers several benefits, including reduced or waived customs duties and taxes on your personal belongings and household items. This can significantly ease the financial burden of moving to the UK.

Easy Customs ToR Process

Necessary Documents

To apply for Transfer of Residence Relief, you will need to complete a form which our team will provide to you. You will also
require the following documents:

  • The complete list of items that you are bringing into the UK
  • A copy of your passport, and visa if applicable
  • Proof of address from the country that you are moving from
  • Your new UK address
  • Evidence of the move such as a job offer/ contract, or a house rental contract
  • Animal health certificate or passport if you’re bringing pets to the UK
  • Vehicle details for any motor vehicles you’re importing to the UK
Necessary Documents for ToR Application
What Happens After Submission

What Happens After Submission

After we submit your customs documentation, HMRC will review your application and we will be notified of the outcome. Upon approval, HMRC will provide us with a Unique Reference Number (URN), along with a customs valuation for the entire shipment. We’ll then use this information to clear your shipment through UK customs.

Moving Your Belongings through UK Customs

Pre-Moving Checklist

Before moving to the UK, ensure the following items are on your pre-moving checklist to ensure a smooth transition:

  • Ensure all your belongings are properly documented.
  • Have your inventory ready for customs inspection.
  • Be aware of any prohibited or restricted items.
Pre-Moving Checklist
Customs Duties and Taxes

Customs Duties and Taxes

Understanding customs duties and taxes is essential when moving your belongings to the UK. Transfer of Residence Relief can help reduce these costs significantly, but it’s essential to know what to expect. When moving your belongings to the UK from abroad, Easy Customs can guide you through the process to ensure that you get a waiver on duty and VAT. Failure to do so may result in taxes being imposed as a private importer. Therefore, it is advisable to complete talk to your customs expert in advance to avoid unexpected expenses and delays.

Collecting Your Belongings Post-Customs

After clearing customs, you can collect your belongings. Be prepared for this step and ensure a seamless process. We can assist you in having your cargo delivered. Several factors, like access to your house or self-store/garage, the size and weight of your cargo, and the need for assistance with unloading, need to be considered. We can guide you through these considerations and, if necessary, arrange additional services through our partners.

Collecting Your Belongings Post-Customs

Additional Resources

Commodity Codes for Claiming Relief

This measure will affect individuals who are planning to move their primary residence into the United Kingdom (UK); and third parties associated with this process, such as removal firms, who make customs declaration on behalf of people moving their primary residence to the UK. This measure is in line with HMRC’s aim to simplify and improve tax administration for individuals and businesses. The introduction of a single commodity code will reduce the administrative burden for individuals who move their primary residence to the UK and claim ToR.

Commodity Codes for Claiming Relief


We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help address common concerns and queries related to Transfer of Residence Relief.

If you plan to import items that aren’t typical household belongings, consult your removal consultant before starting your application to avoid potential issues.

Your URN is valid for up to a year after you arrive in the UK and 6 months in advance of your arrival. Submit your application as soon as possible to avoid delays.

Applications can be processed in as little as 24 hours but may take up to 6 weeks during peak moving season. Submit your application early to minimize delays.

You must have lived outside the UK for at least 12 consecutive months, owned your personal effects for at least 6 months, and intend to maintain ownership for at least 1 year after arrival. Note that certain items like alcohol and tobacco may incur duties and taxes.

Our Services

How We Can Assist You

At Easy Customs we support many private individuals with their import or export requirements and can manage customs duty and VAT payments to HMRC on your behalf. Should you require assistance with moving personal belongings under the Transfer of Residence process we are here to help! From document preparation and submission to HMRC to liaising with the NOVA office on your vehicle import exemption, we take care of it all.

How We Can Assist You with ToR
Client Testimonials

Client Testimonials

Read what our clients have to say about their experiences with our services and how we’ve assisted them in transferring their residence to the UK.

“Rang this company for some advice last week around some issues I was having around importing my car post Brexit. After months of confusion, one call to Easy Customs and they were able to give me answers nobody else could. Excellent service, highly recommend.”
Susan Cleary


For ToR consultancy services, please contact us for a quote today

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