New Travel Processes and How They Might Affect You

Here at Umbrella Contracts, we’re proud to have a diverse base of customers (contractors), many of whom hold EU citizenship or are from even further afield. Recently the Government released new guidance about travel logistics with careful consideration to the difficulties that COVID still poses, and with preparatory advice enabling you to stay on the right side of Brexit legislation changes.


We are now well into the summer holiday season, many of you will be considering some form of travel before the end of August and we’d like to remind you of a few key rule changes that have been introduced this year. Be your journey for the sake of business or pleasure, we’d ask that you read carefully and prepare well enough in advance.
The obvious factor to consider before travelling is COVID-19 and the related restrictions, these apply to the country that you’re landing in and on your return to the UK.


Remember, the status of a country on the UK’s traffic-light system can change quickly, do your research on case numbers at your destination country before you choose to travel.

The current list of country restrictions can be found here:


There have been changes to passport/visa paperwork and insurance requirements for travelers visiting the EU also – you can read more here:


All of the above has been pretty well covered by media outlets, but there are a few new rules that you may not be aware of, these will affect you if you travel to or from Great Britain with goods or cash for personal or business use.

Here are a couple of examples:


If you are leaving Great Britain with commercial goods in your luggage or in a small vehicle, you must declare the goods before you leave by making one of the following:

  • A full export declaration
  • A simple online declaration
  • An oral declaration at the ‘goods to declare’ channel or the red point phone in the customs area at the port or airport
  • A Declaration by conduct (not available if you carry commercial excise goods of any value)

Your full customs declaration must be submitted before you leave Great Britain if the goods you carry are worth more than £1,500 (IT Contractors, we know some of the equipment you use will be up there) or they weigh more than 1,000kg.
This is also the case if the goods you’re carrying are classed as an excise (i.e. alcohol, tobacco or fuel) or controlled goods (for example, toxic chemicals, firearms)


If your goods don’t meet these criteria then you can do one of the following:

  • Make a simple online declaration in the five days before you leave GB
  • Make an oral declaration to Border Force officials
  • Or, make a declaration by conduct.

More information on what you need to do when moving commercial goods in your baggage in or out of Great Britain or is available on GOV.UK’s YouTube.


 If you are travelling to the EU this summer, what if you want to still bring goods back to Great Britain without paying duty and VAT?


You can bring some goods from the EU without having to pay UK tax or duty – these goods must be intended for personal use or you’re planning to give them as a gift.
The amount of goods that you can bring in is known as your ‘personal allowance’ (don’t get that confused with your tax code Personal Allowance!).
The personal allowance rules apply whether you bought the goods from a shop on a high street, or at a duty-free shop at the airport, in the country that you visited.

HMRC has developed an online declaration service on which you can check your personal allowance to see what tax and duties may be due, declare any goods and pay any tax or duty.


For more information and a short video outlining details of personal allowances for Great Britain and Northern Ireland simply click here: 


 The rules above do not cover the import/export requirements of the EU country you are visiting – once again, please plan ahead and do your research.


 What if you are thinking about taking cash in and out of Great Britain?


Now, this section discusses carrying cash of fairly significant quantities, we know it likely won’t affect many holiday makers or even business trippers, but it is still important information to know.

If you are leaving or entering Great Britain with cash amounting to £10,000 or more, you must declare it to UK customs authorities.
This also applies if you’re carrying that amount from Great Britain to Northern Ireland (but not the other way round – NI to GB). You must declare cash in the three days before you travel.


You can declare online for:

  • Cash you’re carrying between Great Britain and any other country
  • Cash you’re carrying between Northern Ireland and a non-EU country, this includes Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Again, the rules above do not cover requirements for cash declarations at your destination country.

Hopefully, that clears up a few questions that you may have surrounding the transportation of personal goods or monies. We all know that this year has been somewhat turbulent and that guidelines/restrictions and legislation pertaining to travel (especially from GB to the EU) may still be subject to change.


We’ll try to keep you in the loop, but it’s always best to check Gov.UK for the latest news and updates before you travel.