International Customs & Duty

Customs & Duty

What is customs clearance?

Any pallet being exported from the UK to another country will need to go through customs. Once your goods have gone through the process and all is ok, your goods will be approved to enter the destination country. This is what we call customs clearance.

  • 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 take a matter of minutes, or it can take days – sometimes weeks if something is wrong or missing, or if your goods need to be inspected!

Because the time it takes to clear customs can vary so much, we recommend that you allow up to 2 days for your pallet(s) to go through customs. In most cases, it takes much less time than this, but just to be safe, we recommend that you plan for any potential delays to avoid disappointment.


Who pays the customs fees for international shipping?

As all our shipments in to 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 left the EU, there is now a hard border between the two trading entities

Therefore, duty is payable on goods entering the EU from Great Britain (Scotland, England & Wales). No duty is applicable if the goods are of UK or EU origin.

Remember to include the statement on Origin on your commercial invoice to benefit from this rule.


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 fill in your commercial invoice and any other documentation, you are making a legal declaration to HMRC. If the information you have declared is found to be incorrect, you could be charged a penalty and your goods will be seized.


Can I refuse to pay the customs fees?

Yes, you can, but it’s not a good idea.

If you refuse to pay customs fees, your goods will either be destroyed, or, if you’re prepared to cover the shipping costs, your goods can be returned to the sender.


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

Duty and VAT are calculated in the destination country; therefore, we are unable to advise on what the total clearance costs will be.

When the goods arrive in the destination country, the agent will liaise with customs and the invoice will be sent to the consignee (receiver of 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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