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Currently you can send a parcel domestically in the UK and into Europe with no requirement for any customs documentation. However, if you are sending outside of the EU to popular destinations such as the USA, China, Australia or India to name a few, you will need to complete customs documents.
Parcel Monkey aim to make it simple to find a courier service at an affordable rate, and we also make customs documents easy to complete. We have built this into our booking process, so if you take the time to complete these accurately then there should be no problem at all when your parcel is sent overseas.
Customs are an authority who control what is shipped in and out of a country. They ensure no illegal or prohibited goods get through and also ensure the government they represent recieve the correct tax and duty owed on goods that are liable for charges. These taxes and duty charges are known as Customs fees.
Each country has a different set of rules regarding Customs so you will need to do your research before you post your parcel overseas. All customs fees are chargeable by and payable to the local customs authority, so the recipient will need to pay for these if required.
Whenever an international parcel delivery order is made, you'll be requested to fill out and attach a Pro Forma invoice. This is to allow the recipient's local customs authority to determine what import duty is due and if the goods are legally authorised to be imported without restriction. At this point, the recipient will become responsible for any duty or fees due. They then can arrange that payment to be made.
This aspect can be very complicated as the rates and applicable items are different for each country outside of the EU. We advise you to work with the recipient and establish the rate of duty before you arrange a courier to collect your parcel or parcels.
It is important to note that providing a correct contact number and full details of the recipient when you book is very important so that if the courier needs to contact the recipient reagrding customs, that they can get in touch.
Our terms and conditions state (3.5) state that it is the responsibility of The Customer to submit all papers required for the customs clearance. The Customer shall pay the costs for customs clearance. We do, however, suggest that you re-check the terms and conditions again before you book your international parcel delivery.
All countries have a list of items that are not allowed to be imported, including some of the obvious things that Parcel Monkey list as prohibited such as aerosols or liquids. In addition to these there is also items which you may not expect to see so check before you send. You are not allowed to send money, mobile phones, antiques, musical instruments and more to various destinations.
Completing the customs documentation correctly is essential in order to avoid any delays with Customs. You will need to provide a description of the goods, the value of them and the nature of them (are they a gift, personal belongings or something you've sold). We provide an easy to complete form ready for you to fill out.
Be clear, honest and upfront when you list the contents of your parcel. List every item individually in your parcel and avoid writing generic terms like 'clothing' or 'gifts'. For example if sending a few clothes, put what they are such as 1 x red t shirt, 2 x blue jumper, 1 x nike trainers. Failing to provide a detailed overview can cause a hold up with your parcel or even a return if Customs have reason to believe the information you have given is inaccurate.
Do not allow any movement of items inside the box, the parcel should be secure and not have anything inside that can shift around the box. Be sure to remove any batteries, they are prohibited and will cause an issue with any courier you send with. Check our packaging guidelines and follow them closely and your parcel will arrive safely.
If you courier service does not come with paperless customs documents, currently only DPD offer this, then you will need to fasten the documents securely to the outside of the box in a clear plastic pouch or marked envelope. This way when your parcel is in Customs it can be checked quickly and the process sped up.
Put an extra copy of the customs invoice and the shipping label inside of the box, this way if for any reason these documents come loose or the box is damaged the courier has some information to continue processing the parcel.
Check with the recipient the delivery address, you don't want to have any issues with the courier making the delivery. You can always check the address on Google Maps to be sure of the delivery post code too. You can always write the address in marker pen on to the box as well, plus provide a return address.
Contact the recipient once you have dispatched your parcel and let them know your PM tracking number so they can follow the parcel to delivery. If they forget something is on the way to them, they may decide not to pay for that mystery parcel they have been contacted by customs about. This could then see the parcel being returned back to the UK.
Check you aren't sending a prohibited item
Complete all the Customs paperwork correctly
Research tax and duty charges in the destination you are shipping to
Correctly pack your items - secure those Customs documents to the box
Ensure the recipient delivery address is correct
Let the recipient know the parcel is on the way
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