It’s that time of the year again - the festive season is just around the corner, the smell of cinnamon is in the air and everyone seems to be rushing around shopping for presents. While posting gifts has become somewhat normalised over the past year and a half, our first post-Brexit Christmas has brought a few changes along with it.
Whether you’re sending books, clothes, toys, or anything else from the UK this Christmas, here’s some important customs information you should be aware of before you load your EU-bound presents onto Santa’s sleigh this year.
One major change to the way we ship parcels to the EU since Brexit, is the mandatory customs documentation that must be provided alongside your parcel.
Whether you're a business or a private individual sending new or second-hand items, all parcels travelling from the UK to Europe will require a customs declaration, which includes an 8-digit HS Code for each item you’re sending.
The other important difference to be aware of, is your parcel may incur customs duty and import VAT which will need to be paid by the recipient when the parcel arrives. There are gift thresholds, where parcels up to a certain value may be exempt from charges, but this varies by country, so make sure you do your research first.
The good news is, when you book a delivery to Europe through Parcel Monkey, we’ll provide you with the correct customs documents for your parcel during the booking process. However, you will need to find the HS codes for the items you’re sending.
There are hundreds of different types of HS codes out there , but luckily we’ve put together a list of the top 10 most popular items sent as gifts to Europe, along with their associated HS codes below.
|Official UK Gov description
|Example items sent
|T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or crocheted
|T-shirts, polo shirts, long sleeve t-shirts
|Cook books, story books, diaries, note books
|Discs, tapes, solid-state non-volatile storage devices, 'smart cards' and other media for the recording of sound or of other phenomena, whether or not recorded, including matrices and masters for the production of discs, but excluding products of Chapter 37
|CDs, DVDs, vinyl records
|Beauty or make-up preparations and preparations for the care of the skin (other than medicaments), including sunscreen or suntan preparations; manicure or pedicure preparations
|Body oil, lip balm, body glitter, hand cream, body wash, exfoliators, facemasks
|Babies' garments and clothing accessories
|Babygrows, bibs, sleepsuits and onesies
|Children's picture, drawing or colouring books
|Story books, colouring books, activity books
|Other Clothing accessories; parts of garments or of clothing accessories, other than those of heading 6212
|Kimonos, scarves, belts, headbands
|Printed or illustrated postcards; printed cards bearing personal greetings, messages or announcements, whether or not illustrated, with or without envelopes or trimmings
|Thank you cards, wedding invitations, greeting cards, post cards
|Candles, tapers and the like
|Scented candles and tea lights
|Worn clothing and other worn articles
|Bundles of second hand clothing and footwear
Fancy sending something a bit more niche, or you simply can’t find the item you’re looking for? No problem! We’ve prepared a short video tutorial on how to find HS codes using the Government Trade Tariff Tool.
Important: If you’re sending a parcel from the UK to the EU, make sure you copy the ‘export’ HS code from the Government Trade Tariff Tool, not the ‘import’ code. All HS codes should be a minimum of 8 digits.
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