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Hello!
I'm moving to the UK from the US in less than a week. I'm planning on bringing all of my possessions with me on the plane as extra luggage. It will be about 5 trunks of stuff. I've found that you can fill out forms to claim relief from VAT if you ship your stuff, but I'm not sure if the same is true if I bring it on the plane.

Do I need to fill out forms and include an exhaustive list of everything I packed? Or do I just go through customs with "nothing to declare"?

Thanks!
Melissa
 

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You can claim back VAT on new products bought in the UK and which you are taking abroad. You don't claim VAT on used goods.

If your bags contain used personal possessions then you don't need to declare them.
 

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With that much stuff, you may get stopped (pulled aside) at customs and asked to open your cases and explain what they are and what they are for. Provided they are clearly your own personal possessions, it should be ok but carrying receipt for newish items may be a good idea.
 

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With that much stuff, you may get stopped (pulled aside) at customs and asked to open your cases and explain what they are and what they are for. Provided they are clearly your own personal possessions, it should be ok but carrying receipt for newish items may be a good idea.
Yups, that exact same thing happened to me, though I may have gone a bit overboard with 8 suitcases, but I just couldn't let go of my shoes and clothes. The biggest problem was trolleying them around. Got stopped at customs, asked what they were, explained, they put them through some scanner machine, did not ask me to open them, we had a friendly chat with them saying they were clearly personal possessions and that was it.

The only advice I have is never underestimate how difficult it is to lift heavy suitcases one on top of the other on trolleys. I needed help and customs agents weren't offering any. I was extremely lucky another passenger stopped and helped me.
 

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I would suggest you ought to clear the situation with the airline in advance and let them know how much stuff you are proposing to bring. They would then tell you if there are any problems or restrictions from their point of view, along with the cost!
 
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