Customs duties and declarations for goods

Like tax, the world of monetary duties and declarations can often be complicated. Our latest blog post seeks to shine a light on this and help explain custom duties in relation to parcels. When reading this article, you might find our other related article sending parcels abroad after the transition period useful.

Duties and regulations depend on a number of things – whether you are sending or receiving a parcel and whether this is to/from the EU or outside of. This advice is correct as at the time of writing – September 2020.


*Inside the EU. There are generally no duties to pay or paperwork to fill out so long as goods are being sent between member states. All you may need to do is confirm the goods you are sending are not banned or restricted.

(Remember that European delivery and same day delivery are amongst some of the core services we offer here at Rock Solid Deliveries, so contact us for further details.)

*Outside the EU (including within the EU from UK if no deal Brexit.) Goods including gifts in these instances will need to have a customs declaration attached. Different forms will need to be filled out depending on the total cost of the goods being sent. If the item is commercial, then it is recommended that a document like an invoice is added to the outside of the parcel to assist any customs authorities.

Take care with countries or places like the Channel Islands for example as there is always quirks in the rules – these are classed as not in the EU, so you would need to follow these rules now irrespective of any developments on Brexit.


*Inside the EU. Similar to sending goods in the EU, there are no customs duties on receiving goods between member states.

*Outside the EU. If you are receiving goods from outside Europe then in essence the same applies as to sending goods outside of the EU, but obviously in reverse.

Goods being received from outside the EU are subject to import VAT and customs charges. Once again this depends on what the goods actually are and any cost parameters which are involved, along with where the goods have actually come from. This process is normally overseen by UK Border Force. Don’t be surprised if your goods are open or inspected in these circumstances as UK Border Force has the right to inspect all packages which come into the UK. If the correct duties have not been paid, you can expect your parcel to be held and not released until this has been settled and you the receiver are liable to pay. Delivery companies often charge a fee on top of this for handling and administering the process if your parcels get stopped by border force.

Before sending or receiving any parcel abroad, we recommend you thoroughly check the latest requirements and regulations which are listed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Are you based in London and looking for a same day delivery service which produces fast results? Visit our London courier service page for further details.


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