Customer Guide to Transfer of Residence for Moves to the UK

Posted by By Bournes International Moves - March 20, 2017


** Please note: If you are not a customer of Bournes we cannot assist you with enquiries about ToR - please contact HMRC directly **

From the 1st of January 2017 it is now mandatory for applicants changing their country of residence to the UK and wishing to bring unaccompanied personal effects with them to complete an online 'Transfer of Residence' (ToR) application form and submit this to HMRC in advance of their belongings arrival in the UK. A successful application will result in a unique reference number being provided which should be passed to the shipping company (e.g. Bournes) allowing consignments to be released from customs on arrival. 

The application form which must be populated online for submitting by post or email is called the Transfer of Residence, or ToR01 application. It replaces the manual C3 Customs Declaration forms, and should be completed by any private individual planning to relocate their normal place of residence to the UK. We strongly advise that application should be made prior to shipping any consignments of household goods as HMRC have not currently committed to fixed turnaround times. The new TOR1 application form should also be used in place of the C5 form, which was used for bringing pets to the UK from outside the EC and the C104A and C104A Vessels forms, which were used for the import of private motor vehicles and private vessels to the UK from outside the EC.

This change is crucial and can result in additional charges and un-necessary stress if you fail to comply. We have provided below a guide to the information that we have been provided by HMRC which is up to date as of the date of publication of this post and will update it should the situation change as it is still early days of the process and this may be the case. Please ask your move manager if you require further guidance. 

If you are moving with Bournes your move manager will provide full guidance on the Transfer of Residence process.

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key points

When do the changes come into affect? 

Although the new system has been in place since January 1st 2017 a concession period of 3 months was put in place to allow any consignments on route to the UK to clear under the old C3 form. This comes to an end 31st March 2017 so all shipments arriving after that date must conform to the new process. 

What is a Transfer of Residence Application for?

ToR relief provides relief from customs duties and in some cases import VAT when moving your own household effects and personal property with them into the UK. 

What are the major changes?

Firstly the shipping company (e.g. Bournes) can no longer make the application on behalf of the individual person(s) moving, they must do this themselves. This is because you are making a declaration about your goods and what they are being imported for in requesting tax relief. This means the owner of the goods must be responsible and liable for the information given and not the shipping company.

Secondly, the form that must be completed is changing. The ToR online application system replaces the previous C3 form (household goods) as well as C5 (pets) and C104A (vehicles & vessels) forms. 

Why is the change happening? 

This is part of the UK Government's Customs department (HMRC) process to comply with European Commission regulations and to improve the import process of all cargo coming into the UK and applies to all shipments including household goods. 

What happens if I don't complete a ToR application?

If you do not complete an application and receive a unique reference number that can be provided to your shipping company in advance of your goods arriving in the UK your consignment may be delayed or refused clearance. This may result in additional charges, not to mention stress and an extended period of time without your belongings, so its really important that you comply. We're here to help if you need any advice or guidance. 

How to make a Transfer of Residence Application 

Find out what you need to do to make an application in our next blog - How do I make a transfer of residence application including:

  • What you will need before you start
  • Where to find the forms and how to return them
  • What you will need to enclose
  • Answers to frequently asked questions

Take me to the guide

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Topics: moving to the UK

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