What to expect when dealing with worldwide parcel delivery duties and customs

31 August, 2017

Customs declaration document.

Worldwide parcel delivery has been made much easier with globalisation, as more and more businesses now regularly grow links with customers, clients and other networks to establish markets overseas.

However, even when working with the best logistics companies you still need to bear in mind that there are delivery duties and customs to take into account. So, when it comes to worldwide parcel delivery, what should you expect?

EU worldwide parcel delivery

If you’re shipping to locations within the EU then this is a simple process as free trade agreements mean that there is little to deal with in the way of red tape. For most destinations within the EU worldwide parcel delivery is much the same as if you were sending the package within the UK. All you have to do is attach an address label to the outside of the parcel and it can be sent as it is. It’s always recommended to ensure that the package contains full paperwork as a precaution and check that what you’re sending isn’t categorised as a prohibited item, for example alcohol, animal skins or hazardous material.

There are six countries in the EU where you do need extra documents. For The Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Herm and Sark), Andorra, The Canary Islands, Gibraltar, San Marino and The Vatican you’ll also need a customs declaration.

Non-EU worldwide parcel delivery

Exporting outside of the EU requires a customs declaration, which includes a description of the goods in the parcel, how much they are worth and whether the package is business or personal. Duty is payable in the recipient country and varies depending on the destination – most will have a threshold under which no duty is payable to allow for gifts etc.

1. The CN22 form is required for goods worth less than £270 – this is very simple and is filled in with basic information about value and content.

2. The CN23 form is required for goods worth more than £270 and is a little longer. Additional information such as sender name and address is necessary for this form. Commercial packages may also need the HS tariff numbers and it’s often a good idea to attach a commercial invoice to the outside of the package in a waterproof plastic protector to avoid any confusion.

It’s crucial to get the paperwork right with non-EU deliveries as otherwise your parcel may suffer some serious delays. Incorrect customs paperwork – or no customs paperwork – may lead to the box being unpacked by customs. If there’s no invoice inside that states value then the local customs may need to contact the recipient of the goods. All of that costs time and money, which doesn’t do much for customer relationships and brand perception.