Agri-food consignments require health certificates and undergo sanitary and phytosanitary controls at border inspection posts. If you’re going to ship these items, contact us to get a special contract. We only accept these restricted commodities with UPS Express services.
It is your responsibility as the shipper to check the regulations and whether the products you are shipping will require inspection.
If you’re shipping an item you sold, you will need an EORI number in order to clear customs. We’ve outlined what you need to know about shipping items you’ve sold across international borders.
VAT or import duties are applied to all shipments except for gifts worth €45 or less. To calculate the value of your shipment, add the parcel value, shipping cost and duties. If the result is €45 or less, and it meets the other criteria for gifts, you don’t have to pay VAT or duties.
To qualify as gifts, goods must be:
described as gifts on the customs declaration
for a birthday, anniversary or other occasion
bought and sent between individuals (not companies)
intended for personal use
If your gift does not meet these requirements for VAT exemption, you can check the VAT rate for your destination country for the EU or the UK.
Either the shipper or the receiver will be responsible for payment of duties, taxes and fees. The receiver is responsible to pay, unless the shipper has opted for Delivery Duty Paid (DDP).
Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) means the shipper will pay. Delivery Duty Unpaid (DDU) means the receiver will need to pay.
If you do not have a UPS payment account, and are simply paying with a credit card, it will default to DDU, meaning the receiver will have to pay the duties, taxes and fees in order to receive their shipment.
By opening up a UPS payment account, you will have the choice, when you are creating the shipping label, of selecting either DDP or DDU.
If the recipient is to pay these charges, we recommend you inform them of this before the transaction, to avoid any surprises. Note, however, that if the receiver does not pay, then UPS may recover the outstanding amounts from you.
If you are shipping within the EU (or domestically), you do not need to fill out any of the below forms.
If you are shipping from an EU country to a non-EU country, you will need to fill out a Commercial Invoice (also referred to as a “pro forma” invoice).
Commercial Invoice - Required for all cross-border shipments. Our shipping tool will help you fill out your commercial invoice as you’re creating your shipping label. It is important to provide accurate and specific information in order to avoid customs delays. You will need to print out 3 copies of your commercial invoice to either hand to your driver or include in a secure packing pouch.
Harmonized System Codes (or tariff codes) are used by customs authorities to identify products being shipped, so they can accurately assess any duties and taxes owed. An incorrect code can lead to customs delays or even fines.
While you don’t need to know your tariff code in order to ship, it is important that you provide an accurate, detailed description of the goods you are shipping (example: “men’s knitted sweater” is better than “sweater,” “clothing,” or “gift”). This will allow us to determine the appropriate code for your goods.
However, to ensure accuracy, you can also look up your code before you create your shipping label.
Need to Return a Shipment Across a Customs Border?
Return shipments that are sent into or out of the EU require a commercial invoice.
You will need to create a new commercial invoice.
The original commercial invoice should have been included in the shipment. You can use it for relevant details such as the shipper’s VAT or EORI number.
If you don’t have a copy of the original commercial invoice, you might have to contact the shipper for those details.