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International House Moving Rules and Regulations in the UK as of 2021

posted: 04/01/2021

Some big changes are about to happen as the UK leaves the EU, and the transition period ended on 31.12.2020. If you want to relocate to and from the Island, you need to be familiar with the new rules and documents. So our team of professional house mover is here to shed some light on this topic.

Do You Need a Visa to Travel in the UK after 2020?

international relocation to LondonDepending on your country of origin you may not need a visa. If you are moving from Ireland, the border procedure is unchanged. You can enter and relocate to the UK freely. However, if you come from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, there are some changes.
You can travel in the UK without a visa for a short amount of time and only use your valid passport. For example to rent a property, or deal with the documentation surrounding your removal.
You won’t be able to enter the UK with your ID card after 01.10.2021 unless you fall under a special category. (Check here if you are exempt from this rule.)
If you are not a citizen of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland you will need a valid international passport and one of the following documents:

  • an EU Settlement Scheme family permit;
  • a UK-issued EEA family permit;
  • a UK-issued biometric residence card;

To permanently move to the UK, you will need a visa. You can apply for one here.

What Documents You Need to Move in the UK Post-Brexit

When relocating from the EU, you don’t need to pay tax or customs charges on your personal belongings. If you come outside of the union, consult with your shipping agency to find out what your situation is. When you are using the services of a moving company, you don’t have to worry about the paperwork, as the agency takes care of it. However, if you have decided to do it all by yourself, there are a couple of forms you may need to prepare.

  • Forms for an international house removal to LondonApplication for transfer of residence relief (ToR1)“Use this form to apply for transfer of residence relief when you want to move your home from outside the EU to the UK.”
  • Single Administrative Document full 8 part set (C88 (1-8)) – Use this form, if you are relocating temporarily.
  • CMR note – This is a consignment note containing the standard transport and liability conditions. They replace the individual businesses’ terms and conditions. According to the CMR note, the carrier has full responsibility but not necessarily ownership of the load that they are transporting.
  • FCR – The Forwarders’ certificate of receipt is used in international moves. It provides the proof needed to confirm the carrier is authorised by the owner of the goods to transport them to a different country.

Depending on what you move and where you come from, you can be charged with the following taxes:

  • Customs Duty
  • Excise Duty ( for alcohol or tobacco)
  • VAT

If you come to the conclusion that you are overcharged you can fill in another form to ask for a refund – form C285(PI).

Choosing the Right Moving Truck

Surprisingly there are rules in regards to the type of transportation you use during your house move.

  • The maximum allowed weight of the moving vehicle, including fuel and load, is 44 tonnes gross. You need to be careful if you are doing an international relocation without the help of a removal company.
  • There are some regulations concerning the dimensions of the lorry. Your moving truck has to be a maximum of 12.5 metres in length and 2.55 in width.
  • By law, all drivers are responsible for their load. This means your movers need to take full responsibility for the contents of their vans even if you don’t have insurance.

Vehicles You Can Use for Your House Move

moving truck There are a lot of different types of vehicles aside from the standard car you can use to transport your belongings during the house moving process:

  • Flatbed trailer – It allows the transportation of big cargo. However, it is not advisable to use it for your furniture as it has no roof.
  • Box trailer – They come in different sizes and are extremely useful when moving inside the UK, especially for commercial relocations.
  • Tilt trailer – Similar to the flatbed trailer, they are allowed on the UK roads but are not very convenient for a long-lasting house move. They are used primarily for the transportation of other small vehicles and machines.
  • Curtain-sider – Usually, when you organise a big international relocation, this is the smartest option, as you can load and unload from both sides. However, always check if its measurements are in the allowed diapason.
  • Swap-body system – Most moving trucks have it. This is a big detachable container that is in the back of the lorry. Very convenient for all international movers.
  • Vans – If you are planning a house relocation within the capital, this is the best vehicle to use. It is relatively small, easy to park, and many companies in London can assist you.

There is a special guide issued by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) that includes all the regulations and requirements you need to fulfil when transporting a load. It includes the safest ways of securing your goods during transportation, means of signalisation, road etiquette, etc. Removal companies follow it strictly, and if you choose to move your items by yourself, you also need to do the same.

Rules in Regards the Goods You Can Bring in the UK after 2020

When preparing for an international house moving, you must be informed about the UK and EU regulations concerning dangerous goods. The list remains unchanged from 2020 and is in accordance with the UN requirements. You can check what is considered dangerous goods below:

  • Explosives
  • Gases
  • Flammable liquid
  • Flammable solids
  • Oxidising substances
  • Toxic substances
  • Radioactive materials
  • Corrosive substances
  • Miscellaneous dangerous goods

If you are unsure if you have any belongings that fall in the listed categories, make sure to ask an expert before organising your international relocation to London.

How to Move with Your Pet to and from the UK as of 2021

When it comes to crossing the border with your furry friends, you need to be properly prepared and have the necessary documentation. There are new requirements for travelling to and from the UK.

Relocating with a dogMoving with Your Pets from the UK to the EU or North Ireland

As stated on the official page of the UK government “A current EU pet passport issued in GB will not be valid for travel to the EU or NI from 1 January 2021”.
Now your dog, cat or ferret has to have an animal health certificate (AHC) to be permitted to travel. The procedure for obtaining one is similar to the issuing of a passport. Follow the provided link to see all of the steps. It is important to note the certificate must be signed by an official vet as proof that your pet is healthy and microchipped.
Additionally, if you are planning to relocate to Norway, the Republic of Ireland, NI, Finland or Malta, your dog must be vaccinated against tapeworms (Echinococcus multilocularis).

Disclaimer: You can take to the EU or NI only 5 animals.

Moving to the UK with Your Pet

If you are moving from the European Union, you need to provide only a pet passport issued in the EU, or Great Britain, if issued before 1 January 2021. If you are coming from NI, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, you don’t have to present any document.

If you own rodents, rabbits, birds, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles you are in luck, there are no restrictions in entering the UK with them. Of course, if they are from an endangered species, it is not allowed to own them in the first place.

When entering the UK with exotic non-native animals, you need to check with your local experts first. Depending on the animal species, different requirements and documentation exist.

If you are planning to internationally relocate with your horse, pony or donkey, there are new rules and regulations you need to be familiar with. Check out the official government page and transport your pet safely.

There is a specialised pet helpline that you can contact to obtain more information.

  • Email:
  • Telephone: 0370 241 1710
  • Work hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm (closed on bank holidays)

What Plants Can You Bring to the UK as of 2021

moving with houseplantsIf you are bringing you houseplants along with you, there are 3 important criteria it needs to fulfil to cross the border:

  • The plant must be free of any pests and be completely healthy;
  • It has to be grown in an EU country;
  • It must be for your own use;

Bear in mind that some regulations are different for the Scandinavian and Non-EU countries.

There are some significant changes when it comes to plant and seed movement across the UK border. For example, in some instances, you might need a plant passport to cross the border. You can find more detailed information on the official page containing all the new government regulations.

International House Moving During the Pandemic

International relocations are allowed as long as you follow a strict quarantine procedure depending on which country you are coming from. Thankfully, the UK government is doing everything in its power to return things back to normal. A detailed guideline was published on their site. There you can find comprehensive information about the current legal changes.

If all this seems a little much, why not just pick a professional international moving company with years of experience and have a secure relocation to London or any other city in the UK. All of the documents and forms will be done for you, plus you don’t have to worry when you are crossing the border. It is best to be safe than sorry.


Stephanie Cooper

Stephanie is a content marketing specialist for Top Removals for the past several years. She has extensive experience working with moving companies and knows her audience. Stephanie creates engaging and useful content helping the customers of Top Removals with their struggles and providing them with the most accurate insight.

One response to “International House Moving Rules and Regulations in the UK as of 2021”

  1. Felicity Webb-Carter says:

    During the Lockdown, could you tell me the regulations. We want to move very few pieces from a flat in Battersea, to a Village in Hampshire. About 80 miles one way.
    I would be very grateful if you can help.
    Many thanks

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