How did WTA get involved in the monitoring of basking sharks?

The University of Exeter required assistance in bringing in via air freight an underwater  autonomous vehicle, that would be used to follow the sub-surface movements and behaviour of basking sharks in Scotland during their assumed breeding season. The main area of monitoring took place at sea in the Sea of the Hebrides and the port of Tobermory on the island of Mull.


The project took place during July 2019, WTA assisted The University of Exeter in arranging the temporary import clearance and securing, what would have been the potential VAT costs that would have been incurred if it had been a permanent purchase. We had to manually estimate the VAT charges so that the University could confirm the charges prior to paying, this equated to over £110,000 of VAT. Once shipment had arrived in, we cleared the consignment using WTA deferment account and in turn, the charges were paid by the University.


WTA - Basking Sharks


Once we had received the payment, we had to source a tail lift vehicle to collect from the airport and deliver down to the Penryn Campus of the University to ensure a smooth offload on arrival. Once the university were in receipt of the cargo, they then transported the goods to Scotland via their own means to carry out the project.

WTA _ Basking Sharks

Exporting the underwater vehicle back to Boston

After the project was completed, the WTA export team then arranged transport to collect the goods from Exeter back to Heathrow and re-export the goods back to Boston and to the owners – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Once the goods had departed the UK, we began the process of applying to have the VAT charges refunded.

Download our Air Freight Brochure


Dean Levey 2018

If you have an unusual scenario that requires shipping via air, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. We are able to arrange a bespoke quotation to ensure your airfreight needs are met. 

Dean Levey is our Air Freight specialist. Dean is able to speak with you and help you with a bespoke solution for your freight needs. 

Contact Dean Levey