Shipping From The UK To Germany

Germany Flag
Back To Blog Posts

Shipping from the United Kingdom to Germany: What You Need To Know

In today's interconnected world, shipping goods from one country to another has become a routine yet crucial aspect of both personal and business transactions. For those looking to ship items from the United Kingdom to Germany, understanding the logistics, costs, and regulations involved is essential for a smooth and efficient process. This guide will delve into the key considerations and steps you need to take when shipping from the UK to Germany.

Customs and Documentation

Post-Brexit Changes: Since the UK left the European Union, the customs regulations have changed significantly. It's essential to be aware of the necessary customs documentation to avoid delays.

Required Documents: Commonly required documents include a commercial invoice, a packing list, and possibly export licenses for certain goods.1. Customs and Documentation

Post-Brexit Changes: From January 1, 2022, full customs controls were implemented for goods moving between the EU and Great Britain (excluding Ireland). This change requires importers and exporters to adapt to new procedures and documentation requirements.

Customs Declarations: Importers need to make declarations and pay relevant tariffs at the point of import for goods entering Great Britain from the EU. This means businesses must either appoint an intermediary, like a customs agent, or submit declarations themselves.

Country Codes: It's essential to use the correct country code for the country of origin and dispatch when completing customs declarations. For EU countries, the individual country code of the member state should be used.

Proof of Origin: The UK’s Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU allows for reduced rates of Customs Duty (tariff preference) if you can prove that the goods originate in the UK or EU. This proof can be a statement on origin or the importer’s knowledge of the goods' origin.

VAT Considerations: Normal VAT rules apply even if goods imported from the EU are eligible for tariff preference. VAT-registered importers can use Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA) for import VAT on all customs declarations.

Commodity Codes: Commodity codes are used worldwide to classify imported and exported goods. They are standardized up to 6-digits and are essential for customs declarations.

Specific Documentation Requirements

Export Licenses: Certain types of goods require specific licenses or certificates for export. These include items like animals and animal products, plants, drugs, medical devices, chemicals, art works, firearms, and military goods.

EORI Number: Businesses need an EORI number that starts with GB to export goods from England, Wales, or Scotland. There are also processes to expedite customs clearance for regular exporters.

Export Declarations: Exporters can either hire someone to handle customs and transport or manage it themselves. This includes making export declarations and choosing the mode of transport.

Invoices and Proof of Origin: Completed invoices must accompany the goods, and exporters may need proof of origin, especially if exporting to a country where goods have a reduced or zero rate of duty.

Additional Considerations

Packaging and Labelling: German consumer preferences significantly influence packaging. EU standards apply to packaging, and labeling should be in German, especially for specific products like food and textiles.

Payment Terms: In business-to-business transactions in Germany, standard payment terms are 60 days, with 30 days for public authorities. Late payment interest can be claimed if terms are not met.

Trade Barriers: It's advisable to check for any reported barriers to trading with Germany.

For comprehensive guidance on shipping from the UK to Germany, including customs regulations, documentation, and export licenses, you can refer to the following resources:

Restricted and Prohibited Items

When shipping items from the UK to Germany, it's important to be aware of the specific restrictions imposed by different carriers. Here is a breakdown of prohibited items for three major carriers: DHL, FedEx, and UPS.

DHL Prohibited Items

Most Common Items: Aerosols, perfumes, aftershaves, damaged/defective batteries, loose batteries, cash, certain cosmetics, credit/debit cards, certain foodstuffs, medications, nail polish, paracetamol, power banks, rechargeable wireless earbuds.

Alcohol, Cigarettes, and Narcotics: Alcohol (restrictions for international shipments), cigarettes, cigars, tobacco products, electronic smoking devices, medicinal cannabis, illegal narcotics.

Electronic Devices: Restrictions on the number of mobile phones, laptops, and other small electronic items, specific models like Samsung Galaxy Note7.

Hazardous and Dangerous Items: Bladed items, dangerous/hazardous goods, firearms, ammunition, explosives, party poppers, Christmas crackers, used car parts and engines (must be professionally cleaned).

Human, Animal, and Plants: Animal trophies, parts, furs, clinical/biological samples, testing kits, flowers, plants, human remains/ashes, live animals, plant-based material.

Money, Valuables, and Tax Stickers: Antiques, art, fine art, bullion, cash, travellers cheques, commemorative coins, medals, high-value collectibles, jewelry, watches, precious stones.

Other: Counterfeit goods, illegal goods, pornography.

FedEx Prohibited and Restricted Items

Prohibited Items: Commodities valued over $20,000 without approval, irreplaceable articles like artwork, flammables, auto parts with fluids, fine art, fine jewelry, furs, obscene material, precious metals, watches over $1000, weapons, bullion, money, stamps, time-sensitive documents, contraband, livestock, human remains, various classes of explosives, toxic gas, infectious substances, radioactive material.

Restricted Items: Class 3 flammable liquids, various classes of explosives, non-flammable/non-toxic gas, flammable solids, items under ITAR or requiring import licenses, artwork, archeological artifacts, biological agents, corrosives, miscellaneous items like lithium batteries, dry ice, spontaneously combustible flammable solids, oxidizers, organic peroxides, toxic substances, flowers, fresh foodstuffs, gems, hazardous materials, household goods, lithium batteries, medical devices, microchips, mobile phones, certain artworks, perishables, pharmaceuticals, precious metals in various forms, retail tobacco products, tranquilizing guns, and ammunition.

UPS Prohibited Items

General Prohibitions: Animal skins (non-domesticated), high-value articles (artworks, antiques, precious stones, gold, silver), dangerous goods/hazardous materials, firearms, furs, ivory and products, live animals, money and negotiable items, perishable goods, personal effects (with exceptions), plants, pornographic materials, seeds, tobacco products, unaccompanied baggage (with exceptions), watches exceeding $500.

Each carrier has its own specific list of prohibited items, reflecting their policies and the legal requirements of the countries they operate in. It is vital to consult these lists and adhere to them when preparing shipments from the UK to Germany to ensure compliance and avoid any legal or logistical complications.

Choosing the Right Shipping Method

1. Standard Postal Services

  • For smaller, less urgent shipments, standard postal services can be a cost-effective option.

  • Be aware of the weight and size limitations imposed by these services.

2. Courier Services

  • Ideal for faster delivery and larger packages. Companies like DHL, UPS, and FedEx offer various options tailored to different needs.

  • They also provide tracking and insurance options for added security.

3. Freight Services

  • For large, bulky, or heavy items, freight shipping might be the most suitable option.

  • This can include sea freight or air freight, each with its own cost and timing considerations.

Cost Factors

1. Weight and Size

  • The cost of shipping is primarily determined by the weight and size of the package.

  • It’s important to pack efficiently to save on shipping costs.

2. Insurance and Additional Services

  • Adding insurance or other services like tracking or expedited shipping will increase the cost.

3. Customs Duties and Taxes

  • Depending on the value and nature of the item, customs duties and taxes may be applicable when shipping to Germany.

Tracking and Delivery

  • Most courier and postal services offer tracking options, allowing you to monitor your shipment's journey.

  • Delivery times can vary based on the service chosen and any potential customs delays.

Shipping from the United Kingdom to Germany requires a good understanding of the regulations, choosing the right shipping method, and being mindful of the costs involved. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your shipment arrives safely, efficiently, and in compliance with all necessary regulations.

Delivery Times From United Kingdom To Germany

When shipping from the United Kingdom to Germany, the average delivery times and options vary significantly depending on the carrier. Below is a summary of the services and delivery times offered by major carriers:

Royal Mail
  • International Track and Signed:

    3-4 working days

  • International Tracked:

    3-4 working days

  • International Standard:

    3-5 working days

  • International Economy:

    Approximately 14 days

  • Costs:

    Range from £4.85 for International Economy to £10.20 for International Tracked and Signed.

Parcelforce (Royal Mail’s Sister Company)
  • Global Express:

    From 1 working day

  • Global Priority:

    From 3 working days

  • Global Value:

    From 3-5 working days

  • Costs:

    Range from £22.56 for Global Value to £55.56 for Global Express.

  • DHL Parcel Connect:

    Suitable for shipments up to 31.5kg; delivery times and costs depend on specific shipment details.

  • DHL Worldwide Air Delivery:

    1-3 days

  • DHL Road Economy:

    Longer delivery time, suitable for heavy shipments over 31.5kg

  • Costs:

    Range from £29.61 for DHL Worldwide Air up to 2kg to £39.95 for DHL Express service up to 2kg.

  • DPD Express:

    3-5 business days

  • DPD Economy:

    4-8 business days

  • DPD Super Economy:

    Check DPD website for specific times

  • Costs:

    Range from £13.59 for DPD Air Classic (Economy) 2kg to £43.36 for DPD Air Express 2kg.

  • FedEx International Priority:

    1-3 business days

  • FedEx International Economy:

    3-6 business days

  • Costs:

    Range from £89.77 for FedEx International Economy 2kg to £124.68 for FedEx International Priority 5kg.

  • Hermes International Economy:

    3-7 working days

  • Costs:

    Range from £9.60 for a 2kg parcel to £18.00 for a 10kg parcel (drop-off service).

  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight – Morning Express Service:

    2-4 business days

  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight – Economy Service:

    6-8 business days

  • Costs:

    Range from £15.19 for UPS Worldwide Express Freight – Economy Service to £25.19 for UPS Worldwide Express Freight – Morning Express Service.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on shipping costs and options, it is advisable to visit the respective websites of these carriers.

FAQs for Shipping from the UK to Germany

General Information

  1. What do I need to know about shipping from the UK to Germany post-Brexit?

    • Understand the new customs regulations, VAT implications, and any specific documentation required for commercial and personal shipments.

  2. How long does shipping from the UK to Germany take?

    • Delivery times vary by service; standard shipments typically take 2-5 business days, while express services can reduce this to 1-3 business days.

Shipping Costs and Customs

  1. How are shipping costs calculated from the UK to Germany?

    • Costs depend on the package's weight, dimensions, shipping service chosen, and any additional insurance or tracking options.

  2. What customs charges apply when shipping from the UK to Germany?

    • Since Brexit, goods may be subject to import VAT, customs duties, and handling fees. These depend on the value and nature of the items being shipped.

  3. Do I need to fill out customs declaration forms for shipments to Germany?

    • Yes, all goods sent from the UK to Germany require a customs declaration form, detailing the nature, value, and origin of the contents.

Packaging and Prohibited Items

  1. Are there any restrictions on what I can ship from the UK to Germany?

    • Familiarize yourself with the list of prohibited and restricted items for both countries, including hazardous materials and certain food products.

  2. What packaging guidelines should I follow to ensure my package arrives safely?

    • Use durable, high-quality packaging materials, ensure items are securely wrapped and cushioned, and clearly label your package with the recipient's address.

Tracking and Insurance

  1. Can I track my shipment from the UK to Germany?

    • Most shipping services offer tracking options, allowing you to monitor your shipment's progress from dispatch to delivery.

  2. Is insurance necessary for shipping from the UK to Germany?

    • While optional, insurance is recommended for valuable items to protect against loss, damage, or theft during transit.

Business Shipping

  1. What documentation is required for commercial shipments from the UK to Germany?

    • Commercial invoices, EORI numbers for both sender and receiver, and potentially specific licenses or certificates depending on the goods.

  2. How can businesses minimize customs delays when shipping to Germany?

    • Ensure all paperwork is accurate and complete, clearly describe the goods, and check if pre-clearance processes are available through your shipping provider.

Returns and Customer Service

  1. What is the process for handling returns from Germany to the UK?

    • Specify return policies clearly, including who bears the return shipping costs and how refunds or exchanges will be handled.

  2. Who do I contact if there are issues with my shipment?

    • Initially, contact your shipping provider's customer service. For customs or regulatory issues, you may need to contact the relevant authorities in the UK or Germany.

Shipping To Germany Send Parcel UK Shipping
Back To Blog Posts