How to fill in the Transfer of Residence (ToR) form
Originally published 17 Oct 2019
Updated 24 Jun 2021
If you’re moving to the UK, and you want to bring any items and goods that you don’t want to pay duty for, then you will have to fill in the Transfer of Residence form. This one single form has become notoriously challenging. Though there’s a lot of information about the ToR form available online, people are still regularly confused by this application.
Here, we’re going to look at how you fill your application for Transfer of Residence to the UK, breaking it down step by step, and we will look at some frequently asked questions about the ToR.
Do I need to complete a Transfer of Residence Application?
Any private individual intending to move to the UK from their regular country of residence, and wanting to claim relief on the items they are bringing will have to fill a ToR1 form. It’s important to note that your shipping company cannot complete this form for you. You have to do it yourself.
It’s recommended that you complete your Transfer of Residence application well in advance of when you want to send your goods to the UK, as shipping without a ToR can result in your items being held by customs, and an additional charge from your shipping company.
How to make a Transfer of Residence Application to the UK
The ToR form, also known as ToR1 can be found online at the HMRC’s website. The form isn’t submitted online automatically, however, you must download it so you can sign it, and then either send it ‘snail mail’ or scan the signed copy and send by email to the HMRC.
Before you start the application process, here is some information you are going to need to have on hand. You should aim to acquire this in advance:
- Email address and phone number so that the HMRC can contact you if necessary.
- The address of your new UK home, if it’s known at this stage. If it isn’t, you can provide a temporary address or leave a note explaining that it isn’t known. Your best bet is to get a friend or family member to confirm, in writing, that you’ll be staying with them at their address. It may save you time if you’re moving soon and don’t yet have a UK address.
- The address of the home you had most recently outside the UK, as well as a copy of the rental or purchase agreement.
- If you’re moving for employment or education, you should have the details of the employer or education establishment.
- If you have lived in the UK or other EU countries before, you must provide the dates when you lived, details of employment or education institutions, address you lived at, and reasons for living.
- Brand, model, year, licence/ID number, registration number, purchase date, and registration date/country for any vehicles being brought into the UK.
- Details of tax exemptions applied for overseas.
- Goods arrival date if you’re anticipating the arrival of any items to the UK. If you don’t yet have an exact date, don’t panic: your ToR reference number* is valid for one year after submission.
- Pet passport/ID details for any pets or animals being imported.
The ToR form will ask for the above information, where applicable, so have it prepared in advance to help make the process much smoother.
*When approval is granted, you will be given an URN (Unique Reference Number). See more details below.
Items to enclose with your ToR form
Whether you submit through email or by posting, you must also enclose several items as evidence of your identity and move to the UK. These copies can be attached digitally to the email or sent in paper form with the application and they include:
- A copy of your passport
- A copy of your visa
- Evidence that you are moving to the UK, such as a job offer, rental contract, education admission letter. These copies must be signed.
- A signed list of any goods or items you are importing. Now, don’t get too in-depth with this list. You don’t need to list every book, piece of cutlery and toy. Simply list it as fairly generic:
- 26 x boxes of books
- 12 boxes of kitchenware
- 3 boxes of linen
- 5 boxes of clothes
And so on. The Customs people don’t check everything inside, it’s simply so they can see an overview and that it’s a shipment of household goods and personal effects.
If you are submitting your application by email, ensure that your attachments aren’t over 6MB in size as the customs email account won’t accept them. If this happens, your application will be rejected.
What happens after completing your application?
The HMRC will get in contact when your application has been processed. The time you have to wait can vary. Off-season, it can be as little as 24 hours, while you could be waiting for as long as 6 weeks during peak travel seasons.
When approval is granted, you will be given an URN (Unique Reference Number). This is to be provided to your shipping company alongside the second hand value for the whole shipment.
With this information, the shipping company can clear through customs and ensure your items are delivered to you in a timely manner without the additional charge. Your URN is valid for up to a year after you arrive in the UK and 6 months before your arrival.
As such, you have plenty of time to make use of your URN before arranging your shipment, so it’s recommended to do it well in advance.
PLEASE NOTE: I cannot answer specific questions on the completion of your form.
I regret that I have to switch off the commenting on this article as I am unable to assist with the majority of your queries. I wrote this article to help you complete a government form and am unable to advise further on what I’ve written here, sorry!
- Please read the article in full!
- Take a look at other links on the UK Government website.
- Please contact HMRC with any questions or problems.
If you have any queries on the completion of this form, please contact the HMRC helpline on Telephone: +44 300 200 3700
The email for returning your completed form is email@example.com
Please visit the HMRC website for further details.