Making an indirect export from Northern Ireland

Find out what to do when goods which were declared for export in an EU country leave Northern Ireland, for either Great Britain or another non-EU country.

Applies to Northern Ireland

If your goods are removed from Northern Ireland for a destination outside the EU and have been declared for export in an EU country, you’ll need to tell HMRC.

What you’ll need

If you’re responsible for EU exports that move through ports in Northern Ireland, you must provide HMRC with the movement reference number of your export declaration that covers your goods. This is available on the Export Accompanying Document issued by the customs authority of the EU country of export.

Moving goods through a Goods Vehicle Movement Service-linked port

If you move goods out of Northern Ireland through a port using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service, you need to create a goods movement reference and include the master reference number from your Export Accompanying Document.

You should provide the goods movement reference to the carrier at check-in. You do not need to provide HMRC with any more information unless requested.

There will be an additional change to this guidance in the coming months to improve the indirect exports process further. We will send further communications to outline what this means for you closer to the time.

Moving goods through an inventory-controlled port

Goods leaving Northern Ireland through inventory-controlled locations must follow the procedures at that location.

Closing the movement of the goods

After the goods have left Northern Ireland you’ll also need to provide evidence of your departure which can be either:

  • customs documentation – for example screen prints from port inventory systems confirming the departure of the goods
  • commercial evidence of departure such as airway bills, bills of lading or ferry boarding passes

You must send this evidence to:


We will process your evidence and update the appropriate EU systems.

Published 13 January 2021
Last updated 4 July 2021 + show all updates
  1. Information about if you move goods through a Goods Vehicle Movement Service has been added.

  2. First published.