HM Revenue & Customs Advice Re Making a full export declaration

Find out what you need to do when making a full declaration to send goods from the UK to countries outside of the EU.

When you export goods from the EU you must make a full declaration unless you are authorised and can use simplified declarations.

When to submit

You or your representative must clear your goods with customs before they are allowed to leave the EU and this depends on the last mode of transport you use.

Road and inland waters

You must make a declaration at least 1 hour before your departure when using road or inland waters.


You must make a declaration within 2 hours before leaving port if you are moving your goods using a boat or ship and your cargo is in a container from the EU to:

  • Greenland
  • Faroe Islands
  • Iceland
  • ports on the Baltic Sea
  • the North Sea
  • the Black Sea
  • the Mediterranean Sea

For all other cargo in a container movements you must make a declaration at least 24 hours before they are loaded on to the vessel on which they leave the EU.

For cargo not in a container, at least 2 hours before yours good leave the port.


You must make a declaration if you are exporting goods by air at the latest 30 minutes before departure from a EU airport.


You must make a declaration if you are using rail:

  • 1 hour before you arrive at the office of exit when the journey time from the last train station at which the train was formed, to the customs office of exit takes less than 2 hours
  • in all other cases 2 hours before the goods leave the EU

How to submit

You or your representative must make an export declaration using the National Export System.

Your declaration will need to include:

You also need to provide information like:

  • departure point and destination
  • consignee and consignor
  • type, amount and packaging of your goods
  • transport methods and costs
  • currencies and valuation methods
  • certificates and licences

Find out the boxes you need to complete on your declaration.

Find out about other declarations you can make.

After you’ve submitted

You can amend your export declaration before it’s been cleared by customs.

You can amend your statistical record up to 3 years after your declaration is cleared. But you need tell to HMRC.

If you need to withdraw an export declaration before your goods depart, you will need to tell HMRC.