International Customs & Duty

Customs & Duty

What is customs clearance?

If you're shipping a pallet from the UK to another country, it's essential to understand that it will have to pass through customs. After your shipment has navigated the customs procedures and everything checks out, your goods will get the green light to enter the destination country.

We refer to this as customs clearance – it's basically the final thumbs-up for your shipment to make its way smoothly.

  • 1. Paperwork verification – a customs officer makes sure that any required paperwork has been completed correctly for the shipment.
  • 2. Customs officer check – an officer checks what fees apply to your shipment. If the value of the goods is over a tax bracket, the officer will check if the correct taxes and duties have been paid.
  • 3. Shipment release – once applicable taxes and duties have been paid, your shipment will be released and forwarded to its destination.


How long will it take for customs to release my pallet?

Customs clearance can be a breeze, happening in just a few minutes, or it can take days, or even weeks if there are hiccups or inspections involved!

Given the unpredictability of customs processing times, we suggest setting aside a buffer of up to 2 days for your pallet(s) to navigate through customs.

Typically, things move much quicker than that, but it's always wise to account for potential delays to ensure a smooth experience.


Who pays the customs fees for international shipping?

As all our shipments into the EU are on DAP incoterms, the importer of the goods is the receiver. This means that it’s the importer’s responsibility to pay for customs clearance in the destination country


Why do I have to pay duty?

Now that the UK has parted ways with the EU, there's now a hard border between these two trading entities.

If you're bringing goods into the EU from Great Britain (that includes Scotland, England, and Wales), you'll have to pay duty.

Duty isn't applicable if goods are of UK or EU origin.

Don't forget to include the statement of Origin when you're creating your commercial invoice.


What if I declare a lower goods value to avoid customs fees?

Declaring a lower value of your goods is against the law.

When you're filling out your commercial invoice and other paperwork, you're making a legal declaration to HMRC. If they catch any inaccuracies in your declaration, you might find yourself facing fines and your goods will get confiscated.


Can I refuse to pay the customs fees?

You can, but it won't achieve much.

If you opt not to pay the customs fees, your goods could end up getting destroyed, or if you're willing to pay the shipping costs, your items can be sent back to the sender.


Can you tell me how much duty and VAT I need to pay in the destination country?

Duty and VAT get figured out in the country where your package ends up, so we can't give you an exact figure on how much clearance will cost.

Once your goods reach the destination country, the agent will liaise with customs, and then they'll send the invoice to the person receiving the goods to be paid.


Can I ship gifts through your international pallet delivery service?

Of course! Gifts can be sent to residential addresses in Ireland and Northern Ireland, but if you’re shipping to Europe, you can only send gifts to businesses.

Please be aware that the receiver will have to pay customs on whatever is sent to Europe as a gift.

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