Check if you’re established in the UK for customs

Find out whether you're established in the UK for customs purposes.

A person or business needs to be established in the UK to meet a number of customs rules. This includes being able to get a wide range of customs authorisations and simplifications for example:

  • a special procedures authorisation
  • making simplified customs declarations
  • Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) authorisation
  • a customs comprehensive guarantee

What established means


You are established in the UK when you have a residence or are usually resident in the UK. For example, you live in the UK for at least 183 days a year.

Partnerships and corporations

A company is established in the UK if it is incorporated at Companies House.

A limited partnership or a limited liability partnership is established in the UK if it is registered at Companies House.

If your business is not incorporated or registered in the UK, you can be established in the UK if you have a permanent place in the UK where you carry out business activities.

Evidence of establishment

You may be asked to provide evidence of establishment in the UK.

The evidence could include:

  • proof of residence or usual residence in the UK
  • a certificate of incorporation issued by Companies House
  • details of business activities and where they are carried out
  • details of where staff are employed and the work that they carry out
  • physical premises owned or leased by the business
  • details of contracts, orders or invoices held or issued by the business
  • proof that the business has its own accounts

If you have a UK VAT or UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number, this does not necessarily mean or provide sufficient evidence that you are established in the UK.

Published 12 June 2020
Last updated 18 January 2021 + show all updates
  1. The section 'Evidence of establishment' has been updated.

  2. This page has been updated because the Brexit transition period has ended.

  3. First published.