Since Brexit, products from/to the UK have to be made fit for customs clearance – and despite no customs duties for UK/EU products – the full administrative burden like for export markets is now in place:
- Transport costs have skyrocketed to € 15-20/parcel, transport delivery times gone up from 3 to 6 or 7 business days.
- Countless parcels were lost – including Irish parcels in free EU circulation in between – and entire trailers are still floating around on both sides, for weeks now, not being cleared due to missing or wrong interpreted export documents.
- E-commerce between the UK and the EU has come to a near stand-still, businesses on either side have lost their loyal customers.
The best solution in this situation is working with a UK fulfiller for the UK and export markets and with a EU fulfiller for the EU. This is where Internel can help – as your EU fulfiller – and we do this for dozens of UK businesses already. All this will reduce the shipping frequency to stock re-fills that will undergo strict export procedures and we are happy to help you with our import/export experience. We are happy to work with you and support you with hard work – to gain back EU customers.
Here some of the most frequently asked questions:
Do we need a UK VAT number to ship products to or from the UK?
Yes, you do. Due to Brexit, EU online retailers no longer fall under the distance selling scheme, but become export markets. As such, you are required to apply for a UK VAT number by registering online through the website of United Kingdom’s tax authority: HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs): VAT registration: How to register – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
If you are in possession of a UK VAT number, you must file a tax return in the United Kingdom.
Do we need to have an EORI number to ship products to or from the UK?
Yes. You need an EU EORI number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) to submit your customs declarations for the export of goods outside the EU to the UK– and to import goods. And vice versa, you need an EORI number from the UK to send goods from Britain to any EU country. More information: Get an EORI number – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
What are HS codes?
HS codes (Harmonized System Codes) are commodity codes, that customs worldwide use to categorise products for duties. You need to always state the EU HS codes on your goods to the United Kingdom, this code consists of ten digits – and vice versa.
What data does my invoice need to contain for a smooth product transfer to and from the UK?
Each delivery should be accompanied by a well-made and correct invoice – even if you ship from “you to you”, thus from a UK business with UK VAT/EORI number to an EU fulfiller and again using your EU VAT/EORI numbers as counter-part. The following information will be mandatory for every shipment to and from the UK/EU:
- Detailed product description
- Product quantities
- Product sale price
- HS codes (per product)
- Country origin code
- Currency code (EUR, GBP or USD)
- Customer contact information (e-mail and phone number)
- Sellers UK EORI reference and UK VAT number
- Seller EU EORI reference and EU VAT number
To summarise: to avoid longer shipping times and absurd shipping costs ex UK, you should consider moving your stock on the mainland to a specialised e-fulfilment house. Gain competitive advantage reaching your customers (again) quicker and with better parcel prices.
We are happy to hear from you, just send us an e‑mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us on www.internel.eu – let us help you to continue selling seamlessly at great EU shipping tariffs!
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