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How-to Ship to the United Kingdom Guide


The United Kingdom is the fifth-largest export market in the world for U.S. goods, and ranks as the largest European consumer of American imports. As a longtime ally, the UK has strong ties both economically and politically with the U.S. These ties continue to grow. Yet for all of our similarities, doing business in the UK still means doing business in another country. There are rules to adhere to, regulations to follow and customs compliance matters that can be the difference between a successful business venture and a costly mistake. That’s where UPS comes in. We can help minimize the mistakes and maximize your opportunities for success.

Capital: England
Population: : 65,105,246 United Kingdom (July 2018 est.) 
Area: 130,281 sq. km
Language: English
Currency: British pounds (GBP)(symbol £)

Major industries include machine tools, electric power equipment, automation equipment, railroad equipment, shipbuilding, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, electronics and communications equipment, metals, chemicals, coal, petroleum, paper and paper products, food processing, textiles, clothing, other consumer goods.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Your primer on entering this market begins with a few insights on how business is done.

Machinery Manufacturing

Production of machinery in the UK is falling behind local demand, especially as the British government is investing heavily in infrastructure projects and property values rise, spurring construction. Due to the low number of machinery manufacturers in the UK, the manufacturing productivity level for machinery is currently 20 percent higher in the U.S. than the UK, producing better quality for a lower price. Add to this a much more cost-effective machinery import tariff than emerging markets such as Brazil and India, and the opportunities for machinery exports to the UK get better and better.


The UK is looking to invest in innovative healthcare technology to improve care and reduce costs. Of all the medical devices sold in the UK, approximately 60 percent are imported. As the population ages, products and equipment related to home healthcare, assistive technologies and preventive care are in especially high demand.  Meeting relevant EU standards will still be required to sell throughout the region. The UK is also a member of the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), and may also join the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

Video:  What you need to know before you export to the United Kingdom

Getting Started

Visit our international shipping section for step-by-step instructions on how to ship, including:

  1. Select a shipping service
  2. Choose a billing option
  3. Prepare your shipping label
  4. Create required documentation
  5. Entrust it to UPS for delivery
  6. Track your shipment

Learn more

Need Help?

UPS in United Kingdom

Established: 1976

Employees: 8,500+

Flights: 42 flights per day to destinations in Europe and worldwide

Air hubs: Belfast, East Midlands, Edinburgh, and London Stansted

Delivery fleet: More than 2,800 (package cars, vans and tractors)

Operating facilities: 69

Essential Information

  • Import/Export


    Use this UPS Country or Territory Regulations tool to find all of the specific documentation and regulations that may affect your international shipments.

    • Import and export forms
    • Customs clearance information and duties and taxes
    • Areas served
    • Billing options
    • Gift exemptions
    • Invoice requirements
    • Items classified as documents
    • Prohibited or restricted items
    • Transportation options
    • Special clearance requirements
    • Value limits
    • Weight and size limits

  • Customs Brokerage

    Customs Brokerage

    Our expertise with the UK’s unique documentation and customs requirements may help to reduce the chance of delays and extra fees. We offer 24/7 customs services with commodity and security inspections, smooth entry into the country and
    clearance procedures that begin before our planes land.

  • UPS Services

    UPS® Services

    With UPS, your shipments will arrive when they’re needed, wherever they’re needed around the world.

    • Package and freight transportation

    • Calculate time and cost

  • UPS Capital®

    UPS Capital offers a suite of financial and insurance services to help protect your bottom line and grow your top line. Options for exporters can include cargo insurance and trade credit insurance which can help mitigate the risks of selling globally.

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