Explaining the customs process when moving to the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is not part of the European Union – anymore. Therefore moving from the EU to the United Kingdom requires more preparation than an intra-EU move. In this article we will explain which documents are required for a person (not company) and how you can prepare them.

If you decide to book a move with Smoover you get additional resources to make planning easier. We will gather all documents digitally and review them for you ahead of time to avoid surprises on moving day. All part of our Smoover customs service for moves to the United Kingdom. 

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See the tower bridge after having moved to the United Kingdom

Documents that are required for moving to the United Kingdom

Assuming you are moving from Germany to the United Kingdom you are exiting the EU and entering the United Kingdom. Below we share the overview of documents that are required for this customs process. 

If you book your move with Smoover, you can rest assured that we will guide you through this process and ensure this and everything else about your move will go as smooth as possible!

  • Passport
  • Address Confirmation in Germany
  • Address Confirmation in UK
  • Power of Attorney
  • Packing List with values
  • ToR number


Every moving company that moves the personal belongings of an individuum they need to proof to the Swiss customs agency a couple of things. One of them is the identity of the individuum for whom the company move the items. Therefore the company will ask you for a copy of your passport (or other foto ID if you have no passport). 

Passport is a one document required for the customs process when moving to Switzerland

Address Confirmation in Germany

The customs agency in the UK wants to see proof that you have been living in Germany. Documents that are valid to proof this are for example an apartment lease or an utility bill.

Address Confirmation in the United Kingdom

To proof to the UK authorities that you and your items have already a place to stay, an address confirmation is required. Possible documents are a purchase agreement if you bought property, or a lease contract. Even a utility bill or the confirmation of a shorter term rental like Airbnb are possible.

Power of attorney

You’ll need to write a power of attorney that the moving company can export from the EU and import your items to the UK, as well as filling out the customs form on your behalf.

At Smoover we will have this document ready in our customer portal – customs section for you and you only need to sign it. 

Inventory list with values

The customs office will want to see a list of all items that are being imported to the UK up to a specific level and including their values (when newly bought). 

To make it easier for you, Smoover will prepare this list on your behalf and you only need to enter the values and sign it.

Transfer of Residence - ToR number (THIS CAN TAKE 20 DAYS TO APPROVE!)

ToR Form required custom document when moving to the UK

The Transfer of Residence (ToR) relief is a UK customs procedure that allows individuals moving to the UK to import their personal belongings and household goods without paying import duties and taxes. To qualify, items must be owned and used by the individual for at least six months prior to the move and intended for personal use in the UK. The ToR application must be submitted to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and approved before the goods are shipped. This relief helps facilitate a smoother and more cost-effective relocation to the UK.

How to Fill Out the Transfer of Residence (ToR) Form for Moving to the UK

Follow these steps to complete the ToR application process:

  1. Gather Required Documents:

    • Valid passport or ID.
    • Proof of UK residency (e.g., tenancy agreement or utility bill).
    • Inventory list of goods to be moved.
    • Evidence of ownership and use of items for at least six months (e.g., purchase receipts).
  2. Access the ToR Form:

    • Visit the official HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) website.
    • Search for the “Transfer of Residence (ToR1) Application Form.”
    • Download the form or complete it online.
  3. Complete Personal Details:

    • Enter your full name, date of birth, and contact information.
    • Provide your current address outside the UK and your new address in the UK.
  4. Details of Your Move:

    • Indicate your planned move date to the UK.
    • Specify if this is a permanent or temporary move.
  5. Inventory of Goods:

    • List all personal belongings and household goods you intend to bring to the UK.
    • Include descriptions, quantities, and values of each item.
    • Attach the inventory list to the form.
  6. Declaration of Ownership:

    • Confirm that all listed items have been owned and used by you for at least six months.
    • Declare that these goods are for personal use and not for sale.
  7. Attach Supporting Documents:

    • Upload or attach copies of your passport, proof of UK residency, and any other required documents.
    • Include evidence of ownership and use of your goods for at least six months.
  8. Submit the Form:

    • Review all the information provided to ensure accuracy.
    • Submit the completed ToR1 form and attached documents via the HMRC online portal or by mail to the address specified on the form.
  9. Await Approval:

    • HMRC will review your application and may request additional information if needed.
    • Once approved, you will receive a confirmation letter or email allowing you to import your goods duty-free.

What our customers say

SMOOVER is all about providing the best possible moving experience: low stress, perfect planning and execution while maintaining transparent communication via WhatsApp. Our customers appreciate this – a lot. See for yourself our latest reviews here:

  • Super great! Not one thing was damaged, they were really quick and the communication is solid. I arrived slightly later than the movers and the organisers were quick to contact the movers to let them ... Read More
  • I had a great moving experience with the team. They took great care loading and unloading my stuff including my motorbike and e-bike. They were quick and the whole process from inquiry to final delive... Read More
  • The moving service from Smoover was great. I booked the service for moving 20 boxes from Siegen Germany to Newcastle upon Tyne UK. All by goods arrived on time without any issues. The communication wa... Read More

Moving to the United Kingdom with Smoover

With eight years of experience and thousands of moves, we can confidently say that we have seen and managed it all. 

We ensure Quality

We gather all move related data in a structured process and plan your move to leave nothing to chance. Our teams on the ground are very experienced and can quickly take decisions when the need arises.

Perfect Planning

No battle was ever won according to plan, but no battle was ever won without one. Our ambition is to create the best possible plan before the team even arrives at your place.

Additional Services

With Smoover you can get any service that you might need when moving houses: Packing, painting and cleaning.

No Parking Zone

Additional services, like evaluating the parking situation and ordering a No-Parking-Zone permit with the city and then setting up temporary signs are also something we offer.

Digital communication

We like digital and asynchronous communication via WhatsApp. But you can also find us on E-Mail and the good old telephone. 

Privacy First

All data is encrypted and not accessible to outsiders. 

Get a free quote for moving to the United Kingdom

You can fill out the below form. It takes 2-3 minutes and we’ll contact you shortly to clarify any open points. You will then receive a fixed-price offer for your move.

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