Simply complete form below and we will contact you as soon as possible with a bespoke and competitive quote tailored to your requirements.

Alternatively, please call the team on +44 (0) 2392 75 65 75 or e-mail

    Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.


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    UK Customs Clearance

    Mercator is a UK based customs clearance agent.  We deal with clearing goods through UK customs on a daily basis.  Our clearance services cover all UK ports, air and sea, including customs clearance at Felixstowe, Southampton and London Gateway, and airport customs clearance at Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester.

    Our Import Team specialise in all aspects of UK import shipping.  We can handle all shipping services you require.  For example, if you need an agent to handle the pick-up of your goods in the USA, sea freight to the UK, customs clearance at the UK port and onward delivery to your door, we can help.  Likewise if you just need clearance at the UK port because the freight aspect is covered with a buying term you have agreed with your supplier, we can help.

    Ideally, it is best to talk to a UK customs clearance agent even before you have bought your goods, as sometimes there are certain restrictions, or particularly heavy duty charges on some types of goods.  An example is ceramic tiles from China, there is a very steep ‘anti-dumping’ duty designed to “allow the EC to take action against goods that are sold at less than their normal value”.  So it’s a good idea to check you know there will be no nasty surprises.

    Our import customs clearance team can help you calculate any VAT & duty that is payable upon arrival in the UK.  The amount of import VAT & duty depends on the nature of the goods and their value on the commercial invoice.  Most of our customers appoint us to handle their VAT & duty payments to HMRC, to allow swift clearance through customs, avoiding any high charges associated with delays.

    In short, we can hold your hand through the whole process of UK importing and UK customs clearance, advising all costs and when they are payable so that you know what to pay and when.

    Whether your shipment is yet to leave its destination, it is on the water, or has already arrived in the UK, our team are ready to get your customs clearance assignment started when you are.  So give us a call to discuss your customs clearance requirements +44 2392 756 575 or email us on, or please feel free to complete the form below and we’ll be in touch.


    Request a Quote for UK Customs Clearance and/or onward UK Delivery

      Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

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      Freight Forwarding – Importing Goods into the UK, Paying VAT and Duty

      If you have not imported goods into the UK before, you may be wondering how import VAT and duty works.

      How much VAT and duty will I need to pay?

      HMRC uses a ‘tariff’ to determine the rate (a percentage) of VAT and duty that needs to be paid on customs clearance.  This means that the rate is dependent upon what your goods are, and their worth.  Take a look here:  Our team of freight forwarders will classify your goods when we handle your shipment and/or customs clearance, calculate the amount payable, and handle payments to HMRC (if required).

      Who is responsible for paying for the VAT and duty?

      You, as the importer, are responsible for settling any VAT and duty payable upon your goods arrival in the UK.  Your goods will not be released from customs until this is settled.  Most of our customers opt to use us to clear their import through customs.  Our standard procedure is to calculate the rate of VAT and duty payable, an invoice is raised for this amount, once funds from our customer has cleared into our account, we forward the payment to HMRC with the necessary release instructions.  Customs clearance is required for both air and sea imports.

      Can I claim back VAT and duty?

      If you are VAT registered, then you should be able to claim back any import VAT (not duty).  To import into the UK you will require an EORI number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification).  This is a straight forward process of filling in a form, you should receive your EORI number within a week.  We can assist you with this if required.

      Give us a call to discuss Mercator Cargo handling your shipment, or UK customs clearance and delivery.  Our team of freight forwarders deal with UK clearance and delivery, and international shipping on a daily basis – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


      Request a Quote for UK Customs Clearance

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        What is a Freight Forwarder?

        If you are new to importing or exporting from the UK, you may be wondering what a freight forwarder does, what their role with your company should be, what they can offer, and what the responsibilities of the importer/exporter (i.e. you) versus the freight forwarder are.

        To cut the jargon, the freight forwarder (the person or company that you appoint to handle your shipment) will do just that – they will handle your shipment for you. Freight forwarders oversee the worldwide movement of goods from country to country, and can offer services such as packing, documentation and customs clearance on behalf of exporters and importers.

        Your freight forwarder should be able to offer any kind of level of service you require. For example, if you are completely new to importing and exporting your goods, you may wish your freight forwarder to arrange all aspects of your shipment. This might include a door-to-door delivery (i.e. arrange the collection of goods, and delivery of goods to the door for your chosen destination), insurance, customs clearance, and all services required to deliver goods from one country to the next. However, you may decide that you only wish for a delivery from door to port, or from port to door, and so on. Mercator can offer either a fully comprehensive freight forwarding service, or arrange smaller aspects of your shipment.

        So what kind of role do you wish your freight forwarder to have with your company? Again, this entirely depends on your needs and the needs of your business. If you are a first time importer, or exporter, you may wish to make initial contact with your freight forwarder before committing to any international trade with other companies. Mercator Cargo can offer you advice on buying terms from abroad, provide quotes for exports from the UK so you can inform your buyers, and also advise what you can or cannot import from country to country. Our experienced team of freight forwarders can offer as much “hand holding” as you require.

        What are your responsibilities, and what are our responsibilities? In a nut shell, our responsibilities are to get your goods to its destination for you as instructed, to inform you every step of the way of your shipment, and to provide reliable advice relating to your shipment. Your responsibilities as an importer or exporter vary from shipment to shipment.  You are required to declare your goods accurately (i.e. if a declaration is made on your behalf as instructed, and it is not accurate, you are liable for this, not the freight forwarder), therefore it is essential you advise your freight forwarder of the accurate nature of your goods.

        If you think that you might need the services of a freight forwarder, then give us a call, we will be happy to discuss your freight forwarding needs with you – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


        Request a Quote for Freight Forwarder Services

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          Freight Forwarding – Customs Clearance for Importing to the UK

          If you are importing goods into the UK for the first time, you will need to understand ‘customs clearance’ and your responsibilities with regards to paying VAT & Duty on your import.  As freight forwarders, we can handle your customs clearance for you.

          If you do not yet have an EORI Number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) then you will need to contact HMRC to obtain one.  This number will be used as a reference when dealing with any customs matters relating to your shipments.  It is a requirement to have an EORI number when importing goods into the UK, and it is fairly straight forward to obtain one (generally it takes less than a week to obtain this through HMRC).

          I have my EORI number, what else do I need to know?  The following list details some other aspects you will need to know/have before you import your goods:

          • Your EORI number for imports;
          • Deferment Number (if you already have one existing with HMRC);
          • A full description of your goods and a Customs Tariff Code (we can assist you with this).

          What do I actually need on the day of import?  In order for your goods to clear customs, you will need to have the following sent to us in advance of the import:

          • The commercial invoice from the shipper of the goods;
          • Certificate of Origin of the goods;
          • Generalised System of Preference (if applicable).

          These documents will not only allow us to proceed with customs clearance, but will also allow us to calculate the amount of VAT and duty payable (this can be worked out in advance if required).

          If you choose us as your freight forwarder to handle your import into the UK, and decide for us to handle your VAT & duty payment to HMRC, we will require the cleared funds to be able to release your shipment.

          If this sounds intimidating, then please do not despair!  As experienced freight forwarders we are here to guide our customers through this process, and are happy to provide a “hand holding” service for those new to the process.

          Give us a call today if you have any questions about your import shipment with us – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


          Request a Quote for Importing into the UK

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            Are you Thinking of Expanding your Business to the Global Export Market?

            As we are now in 2013, you may be thinking of expanding your UK based manufacturing business.  Perhaps you have a product that is selling well in the UK, but you’re considering the global market place.  Freight forwarding might seem a daunting area for new exporters, but we’re here to help.

            As experienced freight forwarders based in the UK, we can offer a comprehensive service to all our customers, both large and small.  As a family-run, independent freight forwarder, we are able to take the time to guide you through exporting your UK manufactured goods to the global market.

            Mercator offers air, sea and road freight worldwide.  We are rather unique in that we are a founding member of a global network made up of other independent freight forwarders like us.  This allows us personal contacts in almost every country around the world, and invaluable, local knowledge.

            Think you might need hand-holding the whole way?  No problem.  We are well versed in introducing the procedures to new exporters.

            Need advice on different options?  Mercator can offer advice on ocean freight, air freight and road freight, including costings, transit times, and any local charges you may incur at your goods destination.

            Mercator began trading over twenty years ago, and our first customer back in 1991 is still our customer today.

            If you’re still wondering if we’re right for you, why not give us a call on 02392 756 575, or email, and either George or Jess will be in touch about your export freight.


            Request a Quote for Export Shipping from the UK

              Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

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              Exporting Chemicals from the UK

              If you’re looking to export chemicals, Mercator Cargo can help. With trained staff and over 20 years’ experience in international freight forwarding, Mercator has the knowledge and contacts to arrange your export of chemicals from the UK.

              Even hazardous, dangerous or restricted chemicals are in our remit. When your chemicals both leave the UK and arrive at their destination country, hazard restrictions and regulations may apply, it is vital these are understood. Mercator is able to assist you in understanding these regulations and offer advice with regards to labelling, packaging and documentation.

              There may be specific regulations about how your chemicals need to be packaged, classified and labelled. Mercator can offer advice with regards to any queries you may have. Still managed and owned by the founding family, we pride ourselves with offering the best customer service at a personal level.

              Mercator is able to offer a bespoke service to aid you in organising your export shipment of chemicals from the UK.

              Call today to speak to a member of our Export Department to discuss your export of chemicals from the UK – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


              Request a Quote for Exporting Chemicals from the UK

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                Refrigerated Container Imports and Exports

                At Mercator we can offer a variety of options for refrigerated container transport (also known as reefers) for import into the UK and export from the UK.  Some goods will need to be kept at a cooled constant temperature, for example frozen food stuffs, whilst other items (for example candles) may need to be protected from heat or cooler temperatures in a controlled temperature environment.  Reefers allow the transportation of perishable goods at any time of year, safe in the knowledge your goods will not spoil.

                Available in either 20 foot or 40 foot containers, and even part loads – where we can combine your goods with other loads (provided that all the goods can be kept at the same temperature).  Combining your load with other goods can keep your costings down.

                Examples of refrigerated container transported goods include:

                • Paintballs
                • Frozen meat
                • Scented candles
                • Chocolate
                • Pharmaceuticals
                • Fruit & Vegetables

                Mercator also offers comprehensive advice and services in all Port Health matters.  If importing or exporting food stuffs, your goods will be subject to Port Health clearance.  Our experienced team of freight forwarders can advise on all Port Health queries.

                When importing into the UK your goods will be subject to VAT and Duty charges through customs.  We are able to calculate this rate and deal with HMRC clearance.  Once your goods have arrived in the UK and your VAT & Duty charges have been settled, Mercator can make arrangements to deliver your shipment to door, either via road haulage or rail.

                Call today to speak to a member of our Operations Department to discuss your refrigerated shipment – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


                Request a Quote for Refrigerated Container Shipping

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                  Freight Forwarding to Brazil, South America from the UK

                  Mercator Cargo is a founding partner of a global network of independent freight forwarders.  With our 20 years’ of experience in freight forwarding, we can arrange for your export goods to Brazil, South America from the UK.

                  There are several freight forwarding options to consider when arranging your export to Brazil.  One important first consideration is how big your load is.  Mercator can offer services including:

                  –          Full container load by ocean freight
                  –          Half container load by sea freight
                  –          Smaller load via air freight
                  –          Or less than container load (LCL) – where your goods are combined with other specially selected cargo which can reduce the shipping costs.

                  Other information required includes whether your cargo has any special requirements.  For example, Mercator can accommodate for unusual or sensitive loads including:

                  –          Dangerous Goods
                  –          Hanging Garments
                  –          Precious Cargo
                  –          Special Merchandise
                  –          Perishable Goods.

                  Mercator offers a comprehensive freight forwarding service, giving advice on options such as documentation; transit routes; customs clearance; transit times; and transport options.

                  Mercator can arrange your customs clearance for you as your cargo arrives in San Paulo, Brazil.  These customs charges can be calculated in advance, so that all charges are clear and upfront.  Once the customs clearance charges have been settled, we will call on our contacts locally in San Paulo – thanks to our global network of independent freight forwarders.  Using their local freight forwarding knowledge and contacts with hauliers and rail networks, we can arrange your cargo’s onward journey to its final destination.

                  Whether you’re a new business expanding into exports, or you’re an established company looking for a freight forwarding partner, contact us to discuss your shipment to Brazil.
                  Tel. 02392 756 575 or


                  Request a Quote for Shipping to Brazil

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                    Freight Forwarding to Argentina, South America

                    Mercator can offer several different freight forwarding services to export your cargo to Argentina, South America.  With comprehensive sea container freight and air freight options, Mercator can assist in exporting your goods to South America.

                    As a founding partner in our global network, we have representing offices in Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Rosario, Argentina.  This provides us with invaluable local knowledge of customs procedures and contacts with reliable and trusted local hauliers and rail networks.  Our contacts with these local freight forwarders mean that we can offer a “to door” service, including delivered at terminal (DAT), delivered at place (DAP) and delivered duty paid (DDP).

                    Mercator is a UK-based independent freight forwarder with over 20 years of experience of shipping goods all around the world.  With our knowledge, we can discuss with you your requirements, and advise on matters such as:

                    –          Documentation
                    –          Shipping Routes
                    –          Transit Times
                    –          Customs Clearance
                    –          Warehousing and Distribution

                    All customs clearance charges can be calculated in advance of you shipment departing for Argentina, South America – so there are no hidden charges or nasty surprises.  Once the clearance charges have been settled, your cargo can be released and continue its onward journey to its destination.  Onward transportation includes road haulage and rail options using our local freight forwarding network office and knowledge.

                    So with assistance in exporting your goods to Argentina, either via ocean container freight or air freight, call Mercator today to discuss your requirements and arrange a tailor-made freight forwarding solution. Tel. 02392 756 575 or Email


                    Request a Quote for Shipping to Argentina

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                      Freight Forwarding to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

                      As part of an international network of independent freight forwarders, Mercator can assist in transporting your goods to or from United Arab Emirates.  With a partner freight forwarding office locally in Dubai, we can arrange for your goods to be delivered to anywhere in UAE, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

                      As an independent freight forwarder, Mercator can take the time to work closely with its customers, offering advice on:

                      –          Transit Times
                      –          Customs Clearance
                      –          Duty
                      –          Documentation

                      Mercator only uses reliable and trusted shipping companies and airlines to transport your goods to UAE.  Arrangements for special cargo can be made for the following:

                      –          Dangerous Goods
                      –          Perishable Cargo
                      –          Hung Garments
                      –          Precious Goods
                      –          Special Merchandise

                      Our link with our Dubai, United Arab Emirates freight forwarding partner gives invaluable local knowledge that means that your cargo is in safe hands.  Understanding of customs clearance and contacts with experienced hauliers means your products can reach their destination in a safe and timely manner.

                      Mercator’s freight forwarding customs clearance services include:

                      –          Customs clearance
                      –          Licences
                      –          Carnets
                      –          Duty and tax planning
                      –          Temporary imports

                      Once your cargo has reached its destination port and customs charges have been settled (calculated prior to departure), Mercator can arrange the final part of your cargo’s journey using the afore-mentioned local road and rail contacts via our freight forwarding partner office in Dubai.

                      To arrange a shipment to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), call us to speak to a member of our sales team and discuss a tailored service for your goods
                      Tel. 02392 75 65 75.


                      Request a Quote for Shipping to Dubai

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