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COVID-19 update for agent partners on International HHG Moving in the UK

COVID-19 Agent Partner Status update regarding International HHG Moving in the UK


28 May 2020 Government guidelines allow home searches to be conducted

Changes have been implemented to enable home searches to be conducted and minimise the potential of contagion. The new guidelines and procedural changes promote virtual home viewings first and then enable home viewings to be conducted on site.


21 May 2020 Additional safety procedures to key international moving processes

Additional updates have been introduced to our key international moving service procedures to ensure safety on international moves and contain the spread Coronavirus.

Read the details of our latest COVID-19 safety standards when packing in the home as part of an international move.


2 April 2020 This is the latest update relating to the status of International HHG Moving in the UK.

On 23 March 2020 the UK Government advised the UK public on the steps it is taking to contain the spread of COVID-19, issuing a lockdown of the UK with a few exceptions. This means that some moving operations can be continued, and some cannot which are explained below.

The UK Government will review its advice and position within 3 weeks of its original statement.

UK port status: sea shipments and air freight


  • Ports are working normally, contingency plans appear to be working well and preventing long clearance delays.
    • FCL shipments are clearing normally, taking 24-48 hours to clear customs which is what we would normally expect.
    • LCL shipments are presently taking 4-7 days to clear customs which is 24 hours longer than would normally be expected.
  • Port rent and container demurrage charges still apply. We will endeavour to have shipments collected and brought into storage at our warehouses within the free time allowance to prevent any potential additional charges, where possible.


  • Airfreights are currently taking 3-5 days to clear customs which is currently 24 hours longer than would normally be expected.


UK Customs documentation status

  • The ToR process continues as normal. To ensure that import shipments are not delayed and liable to incurring additional charges, we are urging our international agent partners to ensure that they follow our guidance on ToR applications, shown below:

UK household goods ToR application process:

  • Start the ToR Application for each shipment well in advance of the packing date. It is essential the shipper starts their application process as early as possible. This should be made in advance of the pack date.
  • A residential home address must be provided in the application. The shipper’s UK address submitted on the ToR application cannot be an office address. It should be the shipper’s new permanent address in the UK. If they cannot provide a permanent address at the time of application, they should put down their temporary UK address where they are staying. There have been exceptions when neither a permanent address OR a temporary address is known at the time of application. In this case, they should explain their circumstances to HMRC and HMRC may request an office address and details of who they are working for.
  • Provide a list of the items being shipped. The applicant needs to submit a list of items being shipped to HMRC at the time of application. This does not have to be too detailed and can be the list of items identified in the survey results, a copy of their insurance form – minus values, or their own list as a packing list would not usually have been created at that time.
  • Get the URN before you forward your shipment to the UK. Please do not send a shipment until your customer has received their URN and please make sure you have notified Gerson Relocation of the URN before forwarding a shipment to the UK. We understand that timings can be tight, but if you despatch a shipment before you have the URN, there will be a significant risk of delays and additional charges.
  • Inform Gerson Relocation of the URN. We will need the URN in order to conduct the customs clearance process.
  • Additional information that is required by Gerson Relocation. In addition, to the customer’s URN, we also need to know their “UK Address” and the “Value of their Goods”.
  • The applicant should clearly identify their “full name” in the “subject line” of their application. If they do not do this, it will delay their application further and make it difficult for HMRC to track down the application due an applicant’s name not being put in the subject line.
  • Please direct any questions regarding the ToR application process to Nikki Browne at Gerson Relocation


Haulage and transportation status

  • Haulage and transportation from ports is operating efficiently, although due to high demand and potentially reduced manpower we reasonably expect to encounter periodic delays during peak periods.


Gerson Relocation status

  • Gerson Relocation office staff are working safely from home with full connectivity and not coming to the office. They continue to support new/existing enquiries.
  • We are using our technology to provide continuity of support safely. We continue to respond to move requests, initiations and can carry out pre-move surveys remotely via our virtual video survey service, which do not require us to visit the home in person.
  • Our warehouse is currently open to receive shipments with a skeleton staff who are all using social distancing and operating to strict contagion control practices.
  • Currently due to COVID-19, the packing and delivery of household goods in the home is suspended. This is to ensure that there are no opportunities for contagion, to protect our staff and customers.


We are here to help you

We remain committed to supporting our agent partners, to ensure continuity of service and promoting best global practice as we fight this virus together.

If you have any questions at all regarding the latest UK requirements, ToR applications or move requirements Gerson Relocation are here to help.

Nikki Browne
Agent Relationships Manager


Related articles:

Working together to prevent the spread of COVID-19

UK Gerson Relocation Takes Steps to Prevent COVID-19 Spreading


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