Shipping To Germany From UK

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Shipping To Germany From UK (2024)

In our increasingly interconnected world, shipping goods across borders is more common and essential than ever, whether for personal needs or business operations. If you're planning to ship items from the United Kingdom to Germany, you're probably wondering about the logistics, costs, and regulations involved. This guide is here to help. We'll walk you through everything you need to know for a smooth and hassle-free shipping experience from the UK to Germany, ensuring your parcels arrive safely and on time. Let's dive in and make your shipping journey as straightforward as possible!

Customs and Documentation

Post-Brexit Changes

Since the UK left the European Union, customs regulations have undergone significant changes. As of January 1, 2022, full customs controls are in place for goods moving between the EU and Great Britain (excluding Ireland). It's crucial to understand and comply with these new procedures and documentation requirements to avoid delays.

Required Documents

To ensure a smooth customs process, you will need several key documents:

  • Commercial Invoice:

    This details the transaction between the exporter and importer.

  • Packing List:

    This provides an itemized list of the contents in the shipment.

  • Export Licenses:

    Certain goods may require specific export licenses.

Customs Declarations

Importers must make customs declarations and pay relevant tariffs at the point of import for goods entering Great Britain from the EU. This can be done either by appointing an intermediary, such as a customs agent, or by submitting declarations independently.

Country Codes

When completing customs declarations, it's essential to use the correct country code for both the country of origin and the country of dispatch. For EU countries, you should use the individual country code of the specific member state.

Proof of Origin

Under the UK’s Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU, you can benefit from reduced rates of Customs Duty (tariff preference) if you can prove the goods originate in the UK or EU. This proof can either 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 utilize Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA) for import VAT on all customs declarations.

Commodity Codes

Commodity codes, standardized up to 6 digits, are used worldwide to classify imported and exported goods. Accurate classification is essential for customs declarations.

For more detailed information, you can visit UK Government's official customs page and European Commission's customs page. These resources provide comprehensive guidance on customs procedures and documentation.

Specific Documentation Requirements

Export Licenses

Certain types of goods require specific licenses or certificates for export. These include:

  • Animals and animal products

  • Plants

  • Drugs and medical devices

  • Chemicals

  • Artworks

  • Firearms and military goods

For detailed guidance on obtaining the necessary licenses, visit the UK Government’s export licensing page.

EORI Number

Businesses need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number that starts with GB to export goods from England, Wales, or Scotland. This number is essential for customs processes and can help expedite customs clearance for regular exporters. More information on how to obtain an EORI number can be found on the UK Government’s EORI guidance page.

Export Declarations

Exporters have the option to either hire an intermediary, such as a customs agent, to handle customs and transport or manage the process themselves. This involves making export declarations and choosing the appropriate mode of transport. For comprehensive details on making export declarations, refer to the UK Government’s export declaration page.

Invoices and Proof of Origin

Completed invoices must accompany the goods being shipped. Additionally, exporters may need to provide proof of origin, especially when exporting to countries where the goods benefit from a reduced or zero rate of duty. For more information on invoices and proof of origin requirements, visit the UK Government’s documentation page.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

Insurance and Additional Services

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

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.

Reship offers a convenient and cost-effective solution for individuals and businesses looking to ship goods from the United Kingdom to Germany. This service is particularly beneficial in an era where cross-border e-commerce and international trade are burgeoning. With shipping rates starting as low as $12, Reship provides an attractive option for shipping small parcels, gifts, or commercial goods. In this article, we'll delve into the process, benefits, and key considerations of using for shipping to Germany from the UK, helping you navigate this service efficiently.

Introduction to Reship acts as an intermediary that allows customers to ship their purchases from the UK to Germany without the hassle of dealing with international shipping restrictions and high costs directly. The process starts when customers use's provided UK address to receive their goods, which are then forwarded to their final destination in Germany.

How It Works

  • Step 1: Sign Up and Receive a UK Address: Customers start by creating an account on, after which they are given a UK address to use when shopping online.

  • Step 2: Shop from UK-Based Retailers: With the UK address, customers can shop from their favorite UK-based online stores as if they were based in the UK.

  • Step 3: Forward Your Parcel to Germany: Once the goods arrive at the warehouse, customers can then request to have their items shipped to their actual address in Germany.

Cost-Effective Shipping

Starting at just $12, shipping from the UK to Germany via is remarkably affordable. The final cost, however, may vary depending on the size, weight, and value of the parcel, as well as the chosen shipping method. Reship offers a variety of shipping options, allowing customers to choose between speed and economy based on their needs.

Shipping To Germany From UK (FAQs)

What documents are required for shipping goods from the UK to Germany?

To ship goods from the UK to Germany, you will typically need the following documents:

  • Commercial Invoice: Details the transaction between the exporter and importer.

  • Packing List: Itemizes the contents of the shipment.

  • Export Licenses: Required for specific goods like animals, plants, drugs, and military items.

  • EORI Number: An Economic Operator Registration and Identification number starting with GB.

  • Proof of Origin: Necessary for tariff preferences under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).

What are the costs involved in shipping from the UK to Germany?

Shipping costs can vary widely based on several factors, including:

  • Weight and Dimensions: Larger and heavier parcels cost more to ship.

  • Shipping Method: Air freight is typically faster but more expensive than sea or road freight.

  • Customs Duties and Taxes: Depending on the value and type of goods, you may need to pay customs duties and VAT.

  • Insurance: Optional but recommended to cover potential loss or damage during transit.

How has Brexit affected shipping to Germany?

Since Brexit, the UK is no longer part of the EU Customs Union, meaning:

  • Customs Declarations: Required for all goods entering Germany from the UK.

  • Tariffs and VAT: Applicable unless goods qualify for preferential treatment under the TCA.

  • Additional Documentation: More paperwork is needed, including EORI numbers and proof of origin.

What is an EORI number, and do I need one?

An EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number is required for businesses exporting goods from the UK to Germany. It helps in tracking and processing customs information in the EU. You can apply for an EORI number through the UK Government’s EORI page.

Are there restrictions on what can be shipped from the UK to Germany?

Yes, certain items have restrictions or require special licenses to be shipped, such as:

  • Animals and Animal Products

  • Plants and Plant Products

  • Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices

  • Chemicals and Hazardous Materials

  • Firearms and Military Goods

  • Cultural Artifacts and Artwork

For a detailed list of restricted items, check the UK Government’s export restrictions page.

How long does it take to ship goods from the UK to Germany?

Shipping times can vary based on the method used:

  • Express Services: Typically 1-3 business days.

  • Standard Services: Usually 3-7 business days.

  • Freight Shipping: Can take longer, especially for sea freight, which might take 1-2 weeks.

How do I track my shipment to Germany?

Most shipping carriers provide tracking services. Once your shipment is dispatched, you will receive a tracking number that you can use to monitor the progress of your parcel on the carrier’s website. Common carriers include:

  • Royal Mail

  • DHL

  • UPS

  • FedEx

What is the best way to ship large or heavy items to Germany?

For large or heavy items, freight shipping is often the most cost-effective method. You can choose between:

  • Air Freight: Faster but more expensive.

  • Sea Freight: Slower but cheaper, suitable for very large shipments.

  • Road Freight: A good balance for European shipments.

Consider working with a logistics company that can help manage the process and provide competitive rates.

Do I need insurance for shipping to Germany?

While not mandatory, shipping insurance is highly recommended to protect against potential loss or damage during transit. Most carriers offer insurance options based on the value of the goods being shipped.

Where can I find more information about shipping to Germany from the UK?

For more detailed information, you can visit:

These resources provide comprehensive guidance on the procedures, documentation, and regulations involved in shipping from the UK to Germany.

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