Changes to Transfer of Residence (TOR) and Returned Goods Relief (RGR):


Following UCC changes earlier in the year Customs failed to make the new process clear for those transferring or returning their residence to the UK. The amount of applications needing processing were seemingly underestimated. It caused delays and concern throughout the industry.

Due to unique way Customs are funded this transitional period is not an unusual occurrence. However, to their credit, this has calmed down now and the process is seemingly smoother. The public information has now been updated in an attempt to make it clearer. The old public notice has been moved away from.

  • Notice 3 is now solely for private individuals visiting the UK. Notice 5 is now the place to go.


Please Note:
  •  A ToR application is not needed for those entering the UK as Students or on Marriage (i.e. Newlyweds or the soon to be married)
  • ‘Servants of the Crown’, when applying for RGR, now qualify when returning within 6 years. For everyone else it is three years.


Online Form:

Customs implemented an“online” form for those transferring their residence to the UK in an attempt to make the process easier to track but applicants cannot save their progress! The application must be filled out online and then printed. Emailing or posting directly to the National Clearance Hub (NCH) are the options. Customs will then send a Unique Reference number (URN) that will be needed as proof that relief is qualified for. This can take up to a month to receive back.

  • Emailing this is quicker,cheaper and provides proof of application. This is recommended.


PDF Guide:

Private individuals importing personal effects, or Freight Forwarders acting on their behalf, should be aware of the changes in Transfer of Residence relief (ToR) and Returned Goods Relief (RGR) procedures. Preparation prior to importation is key and the information made available by Customs is, in places, still unclear. For those new to the process or having difficulties we have created a succinct and easy to follow guide to outline requirements.

For more information and for access to the help guide  – contact us via our online form or email us on