The aim of this post is to, in short, explain the basics of transit documents used within Union Transit. Forwarders use the scheme to move goods and prove the status of goods between member states of the EU, EFTA countries and those part of the Common Transit Convention.

Union Transit (UT) covers the 28 member states, EFTA countries, Special Territories and those who have signed the Common Transit Convention. It is used to move goods, which are of Union and non-Union status between two of the aforementioned country types under varying transit rules.

Duties, and any other charges that my be applicable, are suspended while using UT procedures.

Purpose of Transit Documents:

Transit documents are required to move certain goods around and through EU member states whilst keeping them under Customs control. A guarantee or waiver must be provided to secure any potential customs debt which is equal to the value of duties and other charges. This must be lodged with Customs and can be either of the following:

  • A Comprehensive Guarantee
  • Individual Guarantee
  • Guarantee Waiver

The procedures are paper/electronic documents (TAD – Transit Accompanying Documents) lodged within the EU database that allows Customs in all EU member states and Common Transit countries to track arrivals and departures on a centralised system. The goods move under the accompanying TAD, linked to a guarantee, which when issued by customs authorities will include a Movement Reference Number (MRN). This reference number is used to keep track of movements and record arrival and departures as they are reported.

Commonly used Transit Accompanying Documents (TADs):

  • T1 – For the transit of goods not in free circulation (non-union status)
  • T2 – For the transit of goods in free circulation but travelling into/through a Common Transit country.
  • T2F – For the transit of goods from a Special Territory where tax is not harmonised

The following are proof of origin only:

  • T2L – Proof of origin
  • T2LF – proof of origin from a Special Territory

Goods which are leaving the EU for another country, need no documents to accompany them while travelling inside the EU. However, they will need evidence that an entry has been made in the UK when leaving the final border point. If the goods are not the subject of a sale then no documents need accompany them while travelling inside the EU. 


T1: This is for goods originating outside the EU and Common Transit countries. It covers the movement of non-Union status goods between:

  • the territory of the EU
  • the special territories of the EU

T2: T2 status applies to Union goods moving from one member state to or through a Common Transit  country. It covers movements between:

  • the territory of the EU
  • Common Transit countries
  • San Marino
  • Andora

Note: The Common Transit countries are those who are a part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as well as the contacting parties of the Comment Transit Convention. These countries are:

  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Macedonia
  • Serbia

T2F: T2F status applies to Union goods moving to, from or between the special territories which are:

  • the Aland Islands
  • the Canary Islands
  • the Channel Islands
  • French Guiana
  • Guadeloupe
  • Martinique
  • Mount Athos
  • Reunion

We have a comprehensive guarantee and regularly issue transit documents on behalf of our clients and have a good working relationship with customs offices around the UK.

If you have further question or wish to speak to us about a specific requirment then please get in contact with us so we can discuss the correct procedure with you. Sometimes these situations aren’t black and white so it is best to talk through all the facts first. Either email us on or through our contact form.

The information above is correct at the time of publishing. and can be found in more detail, if required, on HMRC’s page – Union Transit: moving goods between 2 EU territories.