T1 Forms – Your guide to exporting to the EU

November 3, 2022

Air Freight

Since Brexit, we’ve seen a significant increase in the use of T1 forms due to the country’s departure from the EU customs territory. Why has this caused an increase? Well in order to answer that question, we need to understand what a T1 document is, how a T1 document works, and why you need them.

What is a T1 shipping document?

A T1 shipping document is a transit document that allows goods from outside the European Union to move freely within the EU. It means that no taxes or customs duties are payable on the cargo as it moves between countries within the European Union.

Providing you have your T1 customs forms in place, your cargo will be able to move freely within the EU without any duty or tax being required to pay. Instead the goods will be customs cleared in the country of destination, with any import duties and taxes being paid at the local rates applicable in the destination country, rather than any stops made through the journey.

How does a T1 document work?

The T1 procedure is begun by the exporting customs broker, who are also responsible for paying any duty and VAT on the cargo. This is so that taxes can be levied on your goods by any countries visited during transit, if the process is not completed at the destination country. This prevents people from using T1 forms to bypass paying duty and VAT to customs.

To obtain a T1 form, your broker will need to complete the declaration on NCTS, before the haulier can present your goods to the border force and make the T1 form live.

It’s important to remember that a copy of your T1 form must travel with your goods, so any inspecting border agents can see your goods are travelling under a T1 transit procedure.

What do I need to prepare for a T1 form?

To apply for the T1 form, you’ll need the same documentation you’d need for an export customs clearance:

  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list
  • Transport document

You’ll also need details like information about the consignor and consignee, the amount of packages and their total weight, the number of seals and the customs tariff number. This means the goods are traceable through the entirety of the journey, and also ensures that the goods have been cleared properly.

How long do I have to close off a T1 form?

Once your form is live, the expectation is that it will close off within 2-3 weeks. After this point, customs will start the process of reclaiming duty and VAT from your customs broker.

Through the first stage, the Central Community Transit Office (CCTO) sends a notice to your customs broker asking for evidence of the T1 procedure being completed so they can close the form on the NCTS. The CCTO then issues a “Right to be heard” notice one month after the Stage 1 notice, which gives the custom broker another month to give evidence that the T1 form has been closed off.

Once the month’s notice ends, your customs broker will be issued with a C18 payment demand for the charges owed on the shipment.

Need to prepare a T1 form?

If you have any additional questions about the T1 transit form and the application process or would like to arrange one, contact one of our global offices today!