Apply for Designated Export Place approval

Find out how to apply to operate a Designated Export Place (DEP) to clear goods inland at an approved premises before moving goods to an air or sea port.

A Designated Export Place (DEP) is a place approved by HMRC, where export consignments can be consolidated and presented to customs inland for clearance. This allows customs checks to be completed on goods before they’re removed to the port or airport for export. Normal processes will still apply at the port or airport including presentation of goods and departure. You’ll find a DEP outside of but near to to the approved port or airport.

You’ll need to apply for approval from HMRC to operate a DEP.

Which goods are excluded from a DEP

Goods excluded from a DEP are those:

  • exported from a customs warehouse
  • already declared under the Entry into Declarant Record (EIDR)
  • declarations made under Customs Supervised Export Approval

What declarations you can make

You can make the following declarations:

  • full pre-shipment export declaration
  • export declarations for low value goods
  • export declarations for Non-statistical goods
  • the 2-part simplified declaration procedure – prior authorisation is required to operate this procedure

Check guidance on using simplified declarations for exports for more information.

What customs controls happen at a DEP

Your goods can be subject to customs controls, this could be:

  • document checks
  • fiscal or anti-smuggling checks

We will carry out these checks while the goods are held on site at the approved location. However, in accordance with the full terms of the approval, we reserve the right to carry out checks at the frontier if required.

Before you apply

Before you can apply for approval you’ll need:

  • your EORI reference number – this begins with GB or XI
  • details of the inventory system you intend to use along with DEP locations
  • details of the chosen community system provider to be used and any badges held for the DEP locations you wish to have approved

Apply for approval

If you wish to apply for DEP approval you should download the application form, check the terms and conditions and the supporting documents you’ll need.

  1. Download and fill in the application form.

  2. Print and sign it.

  3. Attach and email your form to:

Application for Designated Export Place

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What happens next

When we receive your application, the National Export System (NES) authorisation team will contact you to confirm this.

If you get approval

If you’re approved as a DEP operator you’ll be able to:

  • accept goods from your clients for export
  • consolidate these into an export consignment
  • present the export declaration covering them to customs for clearance

Using an electronic inventory system

You must use and maintain an electronic inventory system that meets customs requirements. This is either:

If you use an inhouse inventory

Any in house inventory system should be:

  • approved separately by HMRC before use
  • secure, allowing full control and audit of export consignments
  • capable of supplying management information on, for example, records of all goods for export entering and leaving the facility
  • detailed in the DEP application

Making submissions to CHIEF

You must make all submissions to CHIEF electronically, such as:

  • declarations
  • consolidations
  • arrivals

What you must do as a DEP operator

You must make available:

  • suitable facilities and assistance for unloading, examining, sampling and clearing the goods and for examining vehicles if appropriate
  • equipment necessary for weighing, and taking account of goods, maintaining such equipment in a satisfactory condition
  • all necessary assistance to customs when goods are selected for examination and sampling
  • safe working conditions for customs or Border Force staff attending the premises (this includes safe means of access to containers and vehicles)

You must ensure any customs checks are satisfied so that you can get positive customs clearance before the removal of the goods from the DEP.

Published 18 December 2020
Last updated 7 February 2022 + show all updates
  1. The email address to apply for a DEP approval has been updated.

  2. First published.