How do UK Customs Charges Work?

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What Are Import Duties and Taxes?

Duty and VAT must be paid to the UK Customs department if products are acquired outside the EU.

Note that VAT will not be imposed on products travelling within the EU; generally, VAT is only collected on the cost of shipping or carriage.

Your products will be released to you once this is completed. Almost all shipments in the UK of this type are subject to duty and VAT charges, so keep these two extra costs in mind when estimating the cost of importing items from other countries. We'll take a closer look at each of the two costs separately.

UK Duty

Because each product has a specific duty percentage rate, the amount of import duty you will pay is determined by the value and kind of imported items. You can ask your UK freight agent or use the online tariff on the UK government website to figure out the percentage of duty that must be paid.

Prices vary according to the type of goods and the country from where they are imported. In the existence of excise commodities of any value, you need to pay customs duty. You will be charged excise duty at the current rates if you receive alcoholic beverages or tobacco products outside the United Kingdom.

What is a Custom Charge?

You might ask, "why is there a customs charge on my parcel?" The process of an item entering the UK from its place of origin is referred to as customs charges. The item is first inspected by the Border Force, a customs authority unit that works in support of HMRC. They examine for forbidden and restricted commodities when examining received items, and they review the custom declaration to ensure that all applicable charges, such as customs duty, excise, and import VAT, are included.

When an item has chargeable fees, two options for recovering the costs are unpaid delivery duty or paid delivery duty.

Delivery Duty Unpaid

When an item is dispatched without customs fees paid, the recipient is responsible for the payment. Before the goods may be released and delivered, the recipient must pay the delivery duty.

Delivery Duty Paid

This implies that the vendor assumes all responsibility after the items have been prepared for import. They will factor in all expenses and dangers related to transporting the products in question, clear the commodities for both export and import, and guarantee that all associated customs formalities are completed.

How Does the UK Charge Import Duty?

What is the UK's policy on import taxes? The courier is responsible for paying the import duties, which are then forwarded to the addressee. In most cases, payment is made within three days, and your package is sent back to you. VAT and other taxes may be imposed when the items originate outside of Europe.

This is true even for gifts or items from the European Union, where this is higher. Tariffs and HS codes are necessary for computing the total amount owed. Import duties and other taxes and fees are deducted from the item's total value before being assessed. If the total cost of the goods, including delivery charges, duty, and insurance, exceeds £15, you must pay VAT. Over £135 in total, you'll have to pay duty in the UK.

What is the Importance of Customs Duties in International Shipping?

You or your customer may be requested to pay additional customs and taxes before the product is delivered when shipping to another country.

Governments impose tariffs on goods from foreign nations to:

  1. Defend native businesses against international rivals.
  2. Control the flow of specific goods.
  3. Taxes can be used to increase revenue.

Shipment duties and taxes are legal obligations that must be met before your shipment may be delivered.

What is the Basis of Duties and Taxes?

Several factors influence the number of customs and taxes you must pay for a shipment:

  1. The product type is classified using an HS code. Customs officials use this commodity code to swiftly determine what is being exported and apply applicable taxes, tariffs, and rules.
  2. Customs uses the value of the items, including freight and insurance costs, to calculate duties and taxes and clear your cargo. As a result, it's critical to provide the exact amount on the commercial invoice.
  3. The commercial invoice's goods description includes the product's end-use and manufacturing nation. The HS code and the description of the goods should match to ensure that the goods are accurately categorized.
  4. International trade agreements between countries might influence the amount of taxes and levies on a shipment. If you're transporting goods between countries that have a trade agreement, you might be able to get them duty-free or at a discounted rate.
  5. The agreement between the sender and receiver as to who covers shipping charges, including taxes and customs, is defined by the Incoterms® on the business invoice.

How to Calculate Your Import Duties

To begin, calculate the duty percentage rate on the shipping items. This fee changes based on the destination country.

Go to the government website of your destination country's customs or trade tariff page to find it. You can typically find duty rates using an HS code or a product description.

A woman's T-shirt reaching the UK from the US, for example, has a duty percentage, or trade tariff, of 12 per cent.

You can calculate the duty on your shipment once you've determined the rate. To do so, sum the worth of the items, freight charges, insurance, and any other costs together, then multiply by the duty rate. The outcome is the amount of duty you'll have to pay customs for your cargo.

Some nations have different procedures for calculating rates, so double-check on the government's website or with your carrier.

What Happens if I Don't Pay Customs Charge UK?

Customs will keep your shipments if you do not pay customs fees. Typically, the parcel(s) will be held in a warehouse for 30 days. If the outstanding customs payment is not made within these 30 days, the parcel will most likely be abandoned, destroyed (in some cases), or returned to the sender – which will certainly not be free of charge due to each country's own customs rules.

Every parcel shipped outside of the United Kingdom is subject to customs, duties, and taxes. The price will vary depending on the value of the item and its final destination. Returns are sometimes refunded by the supplier but don't be surprised if this isn't the case.

How to Submit a Custom Declaration?

Companies that aren't familiar with customs procedures are finding it increasingly difficult to ship goods out of the UK. You'll soon be an expert in self-filing customs declarations with the help of this step-by-step guide. You won't have to pay third parties like freight forwarders or customs brokers for their services when it comes to exporting.

  1. Apply for an EORI number 

An EORI number is required to submit customs declarations. EORI numbers can be applied online. Make sure your EORI number begins with GB if you have one.

  1. Know the commodity codes of your goods

You'll need the commodity codes for the products you intend to export to make a customs declaration for UK customs.

  1. Find out about license or other special requirements 

Whether or not you require an export license or other documentation and certificates will be determined by the nature of the products being sent.

  1. Verify that you meet the requirements for a zero VAT rate

Assess your eligibility for a zero-per cent VAT rate and see if you match the requirements.

  1. Sign up for NES to begin self-filing and see if NCTS is required

NES registration is required after you have elected to self-file your company's customs declarations.

  1. Obtain access to the customs system of the UK government 

It is necessary to submit electronic customs declarations to HMRC for all shipments entering the United Kingdom. If your company wants to work with HMRC for exports, you'll require government customs systems access.

  1. Complete your customs declaration form

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