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Do I Need an Import License?

Updated: Jul 17, 2019



These days, when importing to the UK, most origin countries such as China do not require you to obtain an import license.


Import licences are only required for sanctioned/controlled goods where governments need to control who imports what, how much of it, and when.


You can check here if the products you are intending to buy, require import or export licences.

Some examples include Firearms, plants, animals, foods, medicines etc.

"Exporting or importing controlled goods without the right licence is a criminal offence, so it’s important to check first."

You may need a licence even if you are only exporting or importing goods temporarily - eg taking a sample to an exhibition.


An import license shouldn't be confused with other licenses such as 'protected branding licensing', or other quality control checks such as having goods CE approved or kite marked.


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