Sending Pallets & Parcels to the EU- what’s changed?

Posted 29th January, 2021

There have been many stories in the media recently about people having unexpected and costly experiences receiving goods that they’ve ordered from Europe, as well as some confusion over sending goods. Many businesses and customers alike appear to be uncertain about what changes have occurred since Brexit rules came into force on 1st January 2021. To help you understand what’s different when shipping to the EU and how it affects you, we’ve put together this handy guide.

Requirements for shipping to the EU

Customers shipping from England, Scotland and Wales, whether personal or commercial, are now required to attach customs declaration forms to all items containing gifts or goods being sent to EU destinations. A commercial or pro-forma invoice may also be required. This is a customs declaration which allows your parcel to pass through borders between countries.

  • A commercial invoice is required for parcels containing items which have a commercial value,
  • A pro-forma invoice is required when sending gifts or personal belongings.

What information do I have to provide?

1. Sender contact details:

Name, address and telephone number of the sender.

2. Recipient contact details:

Recipient’s address, email address and telephone number when sending items to the EU.

3. VAT status:

Complete your VAT status. If you are VAT registered, provide your VAT number.

4. Reason for export:

State the reason why you are sending the parcel from the list provided.

5. Country of origin:

This is the country where the item was originally manufactured, produced or grown, and may not be the same country it is being shipped from. If your shipment has multiple items, you will need to provide a country of origin for each item.

6. Number of units:

A list of the items in your shipment and the number of each.

7. Unit value:

An approximate value for each item you are sending in GBP. This will be used to calculate duty.

8. Product description:

To avoid delays due to your parcel being held by customs, your product description should be as detailed as possible. It is recommended to include the type of product, material, production method and intended use.

Additional requirements for commercial shipments

In addition to the above, commercial shipments will also require some further information.

EORI Number

You need an EORI number that begins with GB to move goods between Great Britain and the EU. Without an EORI, you may have increased costs and delays. For example, if HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) cannot clear your goods you may have to pay storage fees.

Find out more and apply at

Commodity Code

You will also need a Commodity Code (also known as a HS code) for each different product. HS codes are used to classify products and provide information that is used by officials at customs clearance points across the world. A correct HS code removes issues associated with vague descriptions and language barriers.

For more information on HS codes visit:

Who is responsible for paying customs duties?

Duties and taxes are charged by Customs in the destination country and the receiver of the goods is responsible for paying them. It is recommended that arrangements for such payments are clarified before confirming orders with EU customers.

Are there any additional charges?

Many courier companies will help you to complete the relevant documents to send your parcels to the EU, however they may raise a charge to cover the additional admin. We advise you contact your courier first to discuss your shipment.


In order to send commercial goods to the EU smoothly, you should do the following:

  1. Register with HMRC for your EORI number
  2. Use a standard HS commodity code to classify your goods.
  3. Provide detailed product descriptions that are appropriate to the given commodity code.
  4. Ensure you have accurate addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers for all recipients.

To discuss your local, national and international palletised and parcel delivery requirements, get in touch with the team at Station Couriers today. Call now on 01686 621 190.



View Testimonials

During these challenging times, and In a society where we are all too fast to complain when things are not as they should be, I believe in giving credit where credit is due.

I have recently received two deliveries from your company on behalf of Gravel Master U.K. and on both occasions by the same friendly and courteous driver (*Mark Lello*). Unfortunately I don't have his name, but it was his general manor, and the small gesture of putting the pallets in my garage, rather than leaving them kerbside that impressed me.

Please convey my sincere thanks to him.

Mark Crump