Make sure your customers don’t get hit by customs fees
One of the trickier-to-navigate aspects of international commerce is that, when buying goods from another country, customers are easily hit by customs import fees.
This leads to delays, extra hassle and potentially unexpected customs charges for anyone buying international goods, making them wary of future purchases.
To keep your customers happy, it’s important that you are on the same page about any customs charges that may apply.
Customs fees now apply for UK-EU shipments
With new customs regulations post-Brexit, many UK and EU customers are finding themselves hit by customs bills they weren’t expecting.
This is because all goods between the UK and the EU are now subject to customs clearance. Under zero tariff arrangements, duties are not payable on goods imported to the EU if their country of origin is the UK. However, VAT is due on goods value above €22, at a rate that depends on the country of import.
The standard service offered by international parcel delivery companies is Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU), which means that the receiver—the customer—is responsible for paying any applicable customs taxes and duties upon receipt of the goods.
This wasn’t previously relevant to UK-EU shipments, because the UK was a member of the EU and part of its shared trading bloc. When the UK left the EU in 2020, the rules were kept the same for another year. They only changed recently—on 1st January 2021—so it’s all still very new and your customers could easily get hit by customs fees they weren’t expecting.
Why choose a DTP service?
By choosing a Delivered Taxes Paid (DTP) service (also known as Delivered Duty Paid, or DDP), any customs charges will be billed to the shipper rather than the receiver. This means:
- Faster delivery – avoid delays from waiting for customers to pay taxes at destination.
- Lower cost - the carriage and admin charges are often less than the DDU (duties unpaid) service.
- A better experience for your customers - they are not subject to potentially unexpected taxes & admin charges.
Carriers will charge an admin fee for all DTP shipments, but you may still find it’s the much more convenient and hassle-free option.
How do I book a DTP service?
For most of our services to EU countries, DTP is available as an option during booking.
For some services, including those shipping outside of the EU, you will need to make an application first, as we’ll need to run a credit check.
To find out more, visit our DTP information page. Or take a quick look at our range of parcel delivery services worldwide.
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