Imports to UK Services

Customs clearance at all major ports in the United Kingdom.

Importing goods from US, EU, China, India or Middle East to the United Kingdom?

DFS worldwide can custom clear any type of import with any type of complexity, whether you have full load sea freight container or a small air freight shipment from EU, China, India, Middle East, US or anywhere else in the world.

We provide custom clearance from the following UK ports:

  • London Heathrow Airport
  • London Gatwick Airport
  • Felixstowe, Southampton, Dover, Tilbury & Liverpool

With our extensive knowledge in importing goods to UK, we take the hassle out of your hands.

Additional import services

  • Distribution service in UK and Europe:
    we can deliver your cargo with outstanding prices to anywhere in UK and Europe.
  • We can create an inventory for your goods and manage your stock based on your direct instructions. 
  • NCTS processing for EU consignments
  • Transit entry
  • ERTS removal
  • Bonded storage

Questions on importing goods to UK?

You can contact our import specialist:

  • Either Submit the cost estimate form on top of this page.
  • Or email us directly: [email protected]
  • Or call 020 8867 0904 & ask for our import specialist.

Import tariffs, costs & charges

Please see below points in order to get a general idea of how you can work out an estimate of what Import Customs Duty & VAT you will pay on imports into the United Kingdom.

(Applies to importing goods from EU, China, India, Middle East, US or anywhere else in the world)
  1. Convert the value of your goods into UK Pounds Sterling using the official UK HM Revenue & Customs exchange rate.
    These can be found on the UK HM Revenue & Excise website.

  2. Calculate the total value of your goods for UK HM Revenue & Customs purposes.
    This simply means that dependant on the shipping terms of your consignment you may have to add the shipping costs to the purchase price of your goods to give you the “total value” to declare. Whether you are importing by sea freight into the UK ports of Southampton, Felixstowe, Tilbury or air freighting into London Heathrow Airport or Manchester UK you will still need to include the shipping costs.

  3. Now you need calculate the basic estimated Import Duty.
    To do this you take the value of the imported goods plus the shipping costs in UK Pounds Sterling and then establish what “ UK Customs Tariff Heading” your goods are defined as. This is a 10 Digit number which our London Heathrow Airport or Manchester International Airport teams will happy to help you find or you can visit the European TARIC website, then simply multiply the “UK Sterling customs value” by the duty percentage given on the website.

  4. Calculating the Import VAT costs.
    Add the UK HM Revenue and Customs Duty Taxes that you have just calculated ( If any ) to the total customs value of your goods ( as above point 2 ) then multiply by 20%  this will give you the approximate UK HM Revenue and Customs Vat payable on your import consignment into Manchester International, London Heathrow, Tilbury or Felixstowe UK.

    Customs Vat and Duty taxes are payable immediately to UK HM Revenue and Customs when your goods are entered into the United Kingdom.


Air Import

We are pleased to advise you that DFS Worldwide processes air import clearance 7 days a week.

You do not need to be worried about storage charges at the airport which applies to any goods that is not cleared within 24 hours of the goods arrival.

Our experienced staff custom clear your goods on the same day of the arrival of your shipment or latest by the following day depending on what time your goods arrive at the airport. After your goods are custom cleared we can deliver the goods to you on the following day.

If you would like to appoint DFS to do the custom clearance for you please email copy of your air way bill to:  [email protected]


Free Circulation Goods

Goods that have been manufactured within a country that is a member of the European Community or have been imported and the Duties and Taxes have been paid in a European Community Member Country, are considered to be in “Free Circulation” within the EC and can freely cross borders.

These borders include the Sea Ports of Felixstowe, Southampton, Tilbury and Thames port. They also include London Heathrow Airport, Manchester International Airport and Gatwick. It is however to be noted that it is always a very good idea to keep a clear record of these items so as to prove if required that the goods are duty and taxes paid.

Low Value Goods

Goods imported by Airfreight into London Heathrow, Gatwick Airport and Manchester International Airport can be customs cleared into the United Kingdom without the need to pay Vat & Duty Taxes if the value does not exceed £18 Sterling.

Which freight option is right for you?


Faster than sea freight
Cheaper than air freight.
Transit times:
Europe: 2 to 60 days
depending on destination


Cheapest transport method.
Transit times:
Africa: 12 to 18
Australia: 36 to 57
China & India: 26 to 42
Europe: 7 to 14
India: 20 to 35
Latin America: 13 to 28
Middle East: 16 to 38
North America: 10


Fastest shipping method.
Not suitable for heavy shipment.
Transit times:
Europe: 2 to 5 days
Asia & Middle East: 3 to 5 days
North America: 4 to 7 days