Transglobal Express - Worldwide Parcel Delivery
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Changes to customs rules after Brexit

Please note: for the latest service adjustments as a consequence of customs issues and delays, please see our alerts page.

When did the rules change?

The UK left the EU at the beginning of 2020. This was followed by a transition period of a year in which our terms of trade remained the same.

However, on 1st January 2021, this transition period ended and the terms of trade changed.

What does this mean?

As of 1st January 2021, a customs declaration is required when exporting goods from the UK to the EU, and vice versa.

Your customs declaration will need to detail the contents of your shipment, alongside the appropriate tariff codes for identification purposes.

Goods shipped between the UK and the EU will also be subject to new rules regarding customs duties and taxes - please see below for more details.

Advice / requirements from our carriers

Prohibited/restricted items by EU destination

Please note: some of these may be carrier-specific. Please check these lists before booking your shipment.


DPD (PDF download) [last updated July 2021]

For all other carriers, please refer to our country restrictions pages.


General guidance

Asendia UK Brexit Advice (PDF download)

DHL Express Consumer Guide to Brexit (PDF download)

DPD Brexit Guide (PDF download)

FedEx 2021 checklist (PDF download) | Brexit toolkit

Landmark Global - New data requirements for all shipments (PDF download)

UPS Brexit Guide

What do I need to know?

The government has provided a step-by-step guide for moving goods to and from the UK from 1st January 2021. We've also listed some essentials below.

Export goods from the UK

Import goods to the UK


As mentioned above, all parcel or pallet shipments between the UK and the EU will require a customs invoice (commercial invoice) detailing your goods. We can generate this for you as part of the booking process, but you may also use your own.

Please see our help page to see what information is required for your customs invoice, and refer to the specific carrier requirements above. Customs invoices will also need to include country of origin to benefit from the zero tariff arrangement (see taxes and duties below).

Each item listed for your consignment must be accompanied by the correct tariff code, also known as a commodity code. You can use the government's look-up tool.

Taxes and duties

Exporting to the EU

Import VAT is payable at the rate of the destination country. For more information, please refer to the European Commission website.

Please note that the exemption for goods valued up to €22 no longer applies as of 1st July 2021. However, you can use the EU's Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) to declare and pay VAT for goods valued up to €150, so that the receiver doesn't have to pay on import. We've made a quick summary of the important points.

Current local VAT rates:

Country Import VAT rate
Austria 20%
Belgium 21%
Bulgaria 20%
Croatia 25%
Cyprus 19%
Czech Republic 21%
Denmark 25%
Estonia 20%
Finland 24%
France 20%
Germany 19%
Greece 24%
Hungary 27%
Iceland 24%
Ireland 23%
Italy 22%
Latvia 21%
Lithuania 21%
Luxembourg 17%
Malta 18%
Netherlands 21%
Poland 23%
Portugal 23%
Romania 19%
Slovak Republic 20%
Slovenia 22%
Spain 21%
Sweden 25%

As per the new trade deal, duties will not be payable ('zero tariff') if goods originate in the UK. However, if goods are imported to the EU via the UK from another non-EU country (e.g. China->UK->EU), duties will be payable.

In order to benefit from 'zero tariff', it's essential that you provide evidence of your shipment's country of origin in your commercial invoice. We'll give you the option to add this to your invoice when you make your booking. If you are using your own invoice, please ensure the following text is included:

The exporter of the products covered by this document (Exporter Reference No.*) declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of UK preferential origin.

(Place and date**):

(Name of the exporter):

*Please refer to our EORI information on this page.

**May be omitted here if this information is already contained in the document.

This is required for both B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to customer) shipments. Please see the government website for more information.

You have the option to make your goods Delivered Taxes Paid (DTP), which means all duties are charged to the account holder, rather than the receiver.

Importing to the UK

The UK Global Tariff will apply to all imported goods from 1st January 2021, replacing the Common External Tariff of the EU customs union.

You can use the government's look-up tool to compare new and old tariffs for each category of goods.

When importing to the UK, goods valued up to £135 will be exempted from import VAT (which is 20% of the value of the goods). Instead, VAT will be applied at the point of sale. However, customs procedures will still apply and documentation is still required. For gifts, the threshold remains £39. For more information, please refer to the UK government website.

For shipments above these thresholds, you should notify the receiver as they may be required to pay.

To benefit from the zero tariff arrangement for customs duties for EU-UK shipments, your commercial invoice will need to state the country of origin. If you are using your own invoice, please ensure the following text is included:

The exporter of the products covered by this document (Exporter Reference No.*) declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of [insert EU country] preferential origin.

(Place and date**):

(Name of the exporter):

*Please refer to our EORI information on this page. A registered exporter number is only required for shipments valued above €6,000.

**May be omitted here if this information is already contained in the document.

Please be aware of scam calls, texts and emails relating to these new customs taxes and duties. See below for more info.

Northern Ireland

Please refer to the UK government guidance for moving goods in and out of Northern Ireland.

Businesses are encouraged to sign up for the Trader Support Service (TSS) if moving goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Excise and restricted goods shipped between Great Britain and Northern Ireland may require a declaration.

For shipments between Northern Ireland and the EU, no customs declarations are required as they are treated as intra-EU.

For EORI number requirements for commercial shipments, please see below.

EORI numbers

Businesses need to make sure they register a UK-specific EORI number starting with the letters GB. You can register online or check an EORI number. For business-to-business (B2B) shipments, the receiver's EORI number may also be requested.

An EORI number beginning with XI is needed to move goods between Northern Ireland and non-EU countries. You must already have a GB number to get an XI number. An XI number is not required for moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, unless you need to be an importer on record in Northern Ireland.

You need a separate EU EORI number for any import or export declarations made within EU countries. For the EU number, you can make your application to whichever member state you deal with first.

Additional carrier fees

From 1st January 2021, some carriers are charging admin fees on all dutiable shipments between the UK and EU. These fees are subject to change according to circumstances. Please see our surcharges page. The carriers use different names for these fees including "Brexit Fee", "Disbursement Fee" and "Advancement Fee".

Allow for border delays

Whatever the outcome, there are likely to be delays in the short-term as supply chains adjust to new rules and customs checks at the border.

There isn’t much you can do about this except to plan around it, allow for more time and let your recipient know of the general disruption in advance.

What is Transglobal Express doing?

We are currently working on adding paperless customs invoicing to help streamline the process and reduce delays.

Whatever happens, we'll guide you through the booking process step by step, to ensure that you have all the information you need.

Scam email alert

We've been made aware of a scam email in circulation that appears to come from one of our email addresses and requests payment of VAT costs by Paysafecard, making reference to the €22 EU customs duties threshold.

This email is fraudulent. We never request payments of any type via platforms such as Paysafecard.

Unfortunately emails can be "spoofed" (forged) so that it looks like they were sent by legitimate company email addresses.

For more advice on spotting scam emails, please see our fraud page.

Need advice? Get in touch

We are happy to help however we can and will always try to keep you updated about your parcel delivery or cargo shipment.

If you have a query about a shipment, please get in touch. You can call us on 0345 145 1212, email [email protected], or speak to us on Live Chat.

Our office hours are 8am-6:30pm Monday-Friday, 9am-1pm Saturday (excluding bank holidays).


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