Customs clearance to keep business moving post-Brexit

DFDS Warehouse - Two DFDS workers at the warehouse

About dnata Catering

dnata Catering is the largest provider of inflight catering and inflight retail services in the UK. Which offers a comprehensive range of inflight catering, onboard retail, and logistics services across all the UK’s major and regional airports. dnata Catering has over 3,000 employees and operate 19 catering units across UK & Ireland.

Client: dnata Catering UK limited (dCUK)

Industry: Air service

Headquarters: Manchester

Founded: 2012

Product type: Frozen entrées and retail products

Dnata logo


With Brexit approaching, dCUK sought a customs clearance solution for its catering and inflight retail services that could meet the speed and capacity of its customer’s demand. DFDS provided a Full Customs Clearance solution complete with transport, a single point of contact, a support team, and access to DFDS Direct to streamline dCUK’s customs processes in and out of the UK to keep its supply chain running smoothly.

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Icon, Customs clearance, Easy document handling, light background

Quick & simplified customs clearance

Customs Clearance Export

Always compliant with shifting regulations

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Eliminated delays to ensure on-time delivery

Shipping UK origin products into Northern Ireland

Transparent and stress-free process for dCUK’s team


Until the UK chose to leave the EU, dCUK did not need assistance handling customs processes when transporting frozen entrées and retail products. With Brexit approaching dCUK chose to outsource their requirements and began looking for a reliable customs partner. Specific knowledge is required to clear the wide variety of goods they transport while staying compliant with regulations, as the goods include perfume, cigarettes and various food ingredients. Moreover, dCUK needed to ensure a smooth setup for its hauliers and suppliers to keep up with the speed and capacity required by its customers. For entrées prepared in UK containing POAO, this requires specialist knowledge in two areas of the NI protocol; customs clearance and DAERA controls. In both cases, it was crucial that dCUK’s goods be moved on a tight timeframe to keep airlines flying on time and running efficiently.

Dnata catering, cooks in kitchen

"DFDS ensured our trade could continue running as smoothly as before Brexit. Working collaboratively, we established a customs clearance process and DFDS provided day-to-day support to continue meeting the demands of our customers”

Christian Pickles, Indirect and PAYE manager, dnata Catering UK


DFDS was able to check all the boxes for dCUK with a full Customs Clearance solution. With this solution, across multiple sites, DFDS worked closely with dCUK and their suppliers to create a fluent process that enables the goods to be cleared quickly, in compliance with HMRC and other government agency regulations and without unnecessary delay. The solution gave them a single point of contact with expert knowledge who gave unlimited support and ensured all customs complexities were dealt with correctly and transparently. Additionally, they received access to DFDS Direct. This tool gave them quick access to all their customs documentation and an effortless way to stay updated on the entire customs operation. Combining the ease of DFDS Direct with the personal touch of DFDS experts, the Full Customs Clearance solution has streamlined dCUK customs process and helped keep its business running efficiently post-Brexit.

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