Transit general principles

Transit general principles

Transit is used to facilitate the free movement of goods between two points of a customs territory via another customs territory or between two or more different customs territories.

Whilst the UK was part of the EU’s customs union, the need for transit was very limited, e.g. a road shipment from the UK to Greece via one or more of the non-EU Balkan states.

Having exited the EU, goods leaving the UK, which travel through one of more EU Member States before they reach their destination, will need to be shipped under transit.  The expectation is that 80% or more of the goods leaving the UK via the Port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel will require transit.

In addition, import under transit will be more common, e.g. a shipment from North Africa that travels via road through Spain and/or France.


Suspension of taxes

Under transit, there is the temporary suspension of duties, taxes and commercial policy instruments (e.g. import quotas, anti-dumping rights and other restrictions) that would otherwise be applicable to the goods, thereby allowing customs clearance formalities to take place at the destination rather than at the point of entry.

Whilst under transit, however, the shipper must provide a guarantee against the potential payment of any suspended duties and taxes.


New Computerised Transit System (NCTS)

NCTS is a European wide electronic transit management system.  This is used to instigate transit and ensure that the required guarantee is in place and then close the transit when the goods reach their destination.