Shipping to Europe From The US, UK & Canada (2024)

Shipping to Europe
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Shipping from Canada to Europe: The Ultimate Guide for Europeans

Europeans looking to purchase goods from Canada or receive packages from the vast nation often face myriad questions about the shipping process. From the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia to the bustling streets of Toronto, Canada has a lot to offer, and knowing how to ship items from there to Europe can make shopping or receiving gifts much more accessible.

Europe’s Landscape: Navigating Multiple Destinations

Europe, with its rich history and vast cultural diversity, is not just a continent of varied traditions and languages but also a patchwork of intricate and sometimes challenging shipping and customs environments. When shipping to Europe, understanding its multifaceted landscape becomes crucial. Here's a closer look at this diverse continent:

1. A Tapestry of Nations:

  • Varied Landscape: Europe consists of 44 distinct countries, each with its unique identity, customs protocols, and regulations. While many share common guidelines, especially the countries within the European Union, each nation can have specific stipulations that shippers should be aware of.

2. The European Union (EU) Effect:

  • Unified, Yet Unique: The EU, with its 27 member countries, aims to standardize regulations, including those for shipping and customs. However, even within this union, local nuances persist.

  • Customs Union & Single Market: These two pillars of the EU simplify trade among member countries. Once goods have cleared customs in one member state, they can circulate freely within the union. This doesn't mean one can overlook national requirements, but it does reduce redundant processes.

  • Resources: The European Commission’s Customs Union provides extensive information on customs procedures within the EU.

3. Non-EU European Countries:

  • A Different Approach: Countries like Norway, Switzerland, and the UK (post-Brexit) are not part of the EU. This means they don't benefit from the simplified processes of the Customs Union and Single Market. Each has individualized customs and shipping protocols that shippers must navigate.

  • Bilateral Agreements: Some of these countries have bilateral agreements with the EU, which can ease certain shipping and customs processes. It's essential to check specific agreements to ensure smooth shipping.

4. Cultural & Linguistic Considerations:

  • Language Barriers:

    While English is widely spoken and understood, especially in business contexts, providing documentation in the destination country's language can smoothen the customs process.

  • National Holidays & Working Days:

    Europe's cultural diversity means a plethora of national holidays. Being aware of these can help anticipate potential shipping delays in specific countries.

Shipping to Europe isn't a one-size-fits-all scenario. Each destination within this vast continent has its unique requirements and considerations. By investing time to understand these nuances, businesses and individuals can ensure efficient, timely, and hassle-free shipping experiences.

Deciphering Shipping Methods: Choosing the Best Transit Route for Your Package to Europe

Shipping from Canada to Europe presents various options, each with its pros, cons, and specifics to understand. Your choice will depend on your priorities: speed, cost, or perhaps the nature of the items you're sending. Here's a more detailed dive into the various shipping methods available:

1. Air Freight: The Fastest Link Between Continents

  • Speed: Undoubtedly the quickest way to get your parcel from Canada to any European destination. If time is of the essence, air freight should be your go-to choice.

  • Cargo Safety: Given the shorter transit times and the standardized processes at airports, the chances of damage are relatively lower.

  • Considerations: While fast, air freight tends to be pricier, especially for heavier shipments. Moreover, environmental concerns are making businesses rethink frequent air shipments.

  • Further Reading: To understand air freight's international standards and nuances,

    IATA (International Air Transport Association) is an invaluable resource.

2. Sea Freight: The Voluminous Voyage

  • Economical: For large, bulky shipments, sea freight often offers the most cost-effective rates.

  • Volume and Weight: Sea shipping allows for much larger quantities and weights without exorbitant costs.

  • Pace: The trade-off for its affordability is time. Transatlantic sea shipments can be lengthy, so plan ahead.

  • In-depth Information: The European Maritime Safety Agency provides detailed guidelines and regulations concerning sea shipping to and from Europe.

3. Rail Freight: The Emerging Star

  • Eco-friendly: Rail freight emits considerably less CO2 compared to air and road transport, making it an environmentally conscious choice.

  • Central and Eastern Europe: With improving rail networks, it's becoming an increasingly viable option, especially when shipping to inland destinations.

  • Research Resource: The UIC (International Union of Railways) offers comprehensive insights into rail freight standards, networks, and opportunities.

4. Courier Services: The Balanced Approach

  • Versatility: Courier services often offer a range of options, from express deliveries that rival air freight's speed to more economical options.

  • Tracking: One major advantage is the detailed, real-time tracking that giants like FedEx, UPS, DHL, and Canada Post provide.

  • Cost vs. Speed: While couriers are generally quicker than sea or rail, they can be costlier. However, they strike a good balance for smaller shipments or when time is moderately important.

Courier Services: Global players like FedEx, UPS, DHL, and Canada Post offer a balance between speed and cost.

Navigating Customs, Duties, and VAT when Shipping from Canada to Europe:

Shipping internationally, especially to a diverse region like Europe, can seem daunting due to the intricacies of customs regulations, duties, and the VAT system. However, with a clear understanding and careful preparation, you can ensure a smooth process.

Essential Paperwork:

  • Customs Declaration Form: This is a must-have for all international shipments. It provides information about the contents, purpose (e.g., gift, sale, or return), and value of your shipment.

  • Detailed Invoice: Whether it's a commercial or pro forma invoice, ensure it clearly states the product's description, quantity, value, and country of origin. This assists customs officers in determining the correct duty and taxes.

  • Special Certifications:

    Depending on the product type and the specific European country you're shipping to, you might need particular certifications. For instance, products like food, plants, or electronics may have different requirements.

  • Europe's Customs Union Guidelines: It’s recommended to acquaint yourself with the

    European Customs Union's guidelines to understand the documentation and processes.

Duties and VAT:

  • Understanding VAT: The Value Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax in Europe. While the system is relatively harmonized across EU countries, the rates can vary. For instance, standard VAT rates differ from one country to another, with some nations offering reduced or super-reduced rates on specific goods.

  • Calculation: Duties and taxes are typically calculated based on the product's Harmonized System (HS) code, its value, and its origin. It's crucial to accurately declare the value of your shipment as it directly impacts the amount of duty and VAT.

  • Duty-free Allowances: Some goods can be shipped duty-free depending on trade agreements between Canada and the specific European country. Familiarize yourself with these allowances to potentially reduce shipping costs.

  • European Commission's Taxation and Customs Union: For comprehensive details on VAT rates, customs tariffs, and other related topics, the European Commission's Taxation and Customs Union is an invaluable resource.

While shipping to Europe involves several layers of customs, duties, and tax considerations, with diligent research and preparation, you can ensure your shipments reach their destination without undue delays or unexpected costs. Always keep abreast of any changes in regulations, as international trade dynamics are continually evolving.

Spotlight on Key European Destinations: A Deep Dive into Shipping Specifics

Shipping to Europe means dealing with various customs regulations, documentation requirements, and potential delivery time differences. Let's explore the intricacies of sending parcels to some of the major European destinations:

United Kingdom:

  • Post-Brexit Changes: Since the UK's exit from the European Union, the customs and trade regulations have shifted. It's no longer governed by EU customs regulations, which means there could be different documentation requirements and duty structures.

  • Resources: The UK's HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website

    is the definitive source for all customs-related information. Regularly check for updates, especially if you frequently ship to the UK.

  • Potential Tariffs: Some goods might be subject to tariffs, so it's essential to familiarize yourself with any preferential trade agreements in place.

France and Germany:

  • Stringent Documentation: Both countries, known for their luxury markets, emphasize accurate and thorough documentation, especially for high-value items. Ensure all invoices are clear, precise, and genuine.

  • Luxury Items and VAT: Items like designer wear, watches, and jewelry might attract higher VAT rates and require specific certifications or appraisals.

  • Resources: Local customs websites for France's Directorate-General of Customs and Indirect Taxes and Germany's Generalzolldirektion provide detailed guidance on shipping protocols, requirements, and duty structures.

Eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary, and beyond):

  • Extended Delivery Times: Due to a combination of logistics infrastructure and customs processing, shipments to some Eastern European countries might take longer than those to Western Europe.

  • Local Postal Systems: Understanding local postal systems can be advantageous. For example, Poczta Polska in Poland and Magyar Posta

    in Hungary have their guidelines and delivery structures.

  • Customs Variabilities:

    Each Eastern European nation might have its unique customs regulations, especially if they're not part of the European Union. Research each destination separately to ensure smooth delivery.

Shipping to Europe requires a blend of understanding regional nuances and adhering to broad EU-based standards. By diving deep into the specifics of each destination, shippers can ensure their parcels reach promptly and without unforeseen costs.

Mastering Packaging and Labeling: Ensuring Safe and Swift Deliveries to Europe

Proper packaging and labeling aren't just about ensuring your items reach their destination undamaged; they're about guaranteeing a smooth journey through customs, logistics chains, and eventually to your recipient's hands. Here's a detailed breakdown of how to excel in this arena when shipping to Europe:

Durability Matters:

  • Withstand the Rigours: Your parcel may travel by air, road, and possibly sea before reaching its European destination. It will be handled multiple times, go through sorting centers, and might face various climate conditions. Choosing sturdy, weather-resistant packaging is paramount.

  • Internal Cushioning: Ensure items within the package are securely cushioned using bubble wrap, foam inserts, or other protective materials. This is especially crucial for fragile items. Consider double-boxing for added protection.

  • Sealing: Use high-quality tape to seal the package. Ensure all openings are securely closed. This not only keeps the contents safe but also prevents any tampering.

Language Essentials:

  • English as a Standard: English is globally recognized and understood by most customs officials and postal workers across Europe. So, ensure primary details like content description, shipper's and recipient's addresses, and any special instructions are prominently written in English.

  • Localized Labels: While English is widely accepted, adding translations in the destination country's language can be beneficial. For instance, if shipping to France, include French translations; if to Germany, add German. This can potentially speed up customs checks and make the delivery process smoother.

  • Clarity and Fonts: Use clear, legible fonts. If you're handwriting labels, ensure it's readable. If you're unsure about your handwriting, printed labels are a safer bet.

Accurate Descriptions:

  • Customs Forms: When describing the contents for customs forms, be as detailed and accurate as possible. Instead of writing "gift" or "merchandise," specify "handmade wooden statue" or "cotton t-shirt." This clarity can expedite the customs process.

  • Value and Quantity: Always be honest about the value and quantity of items in your package. This helps in accurate duty and tax calculations, preventing potential delays.

By mastering the intricacies of packaging and labeling, shippers can significantly reduce the chances of hiccups in the shipping process, ensuring their parcels are delivered promptly and efficiently to their European destinations.

Stay Updated: Tracking and Insurance

Shipping from Canada to Europe involves crossing vast distances and often several transit points. For shippers, it's more than just sending a package; it's about ensuring that the package reaches its destination safely and in a timely manner. This is where the importance of tracking and insurance comes into play.

1. The Significance of In-Transit Visibility:

  • Understanding Tracking: As your package makes its way from Canada to its European destination, it will go through various stages, from dispatch to in-transit, customs clearance, and finally, delivery. Comprehensive tracking systems provided by major carriers break down this journey into traceable steps, keeping you in the loop.

  • Major Carrier Systems: Leading carriers like DHL and UPS

    utilize advanced technology in their tracking systems. With real-time updates, these systems offer the shipper the reassurance of knowing the package's exact location and status at any given time.

  • Addressing Delays:

    Tracking is not just about monitoring. In case of unexpected hold-ups, such as customs delays or weather-related issues, tracking systems provide timely alerts, allowing shippers to take proactive measures.

2. The Prudence of Package Insurance:

  • Why Insure?: While most carriers take utmost care in handling shipments, unforeseen circumstances like loss, damage, or theft can occur. Insurance acts as a safety net, ensuring that in the event of such mishaps, the shipper isn't left facing a total loss.

  • Carrier-Provided Insurance: Many carriers offer insurance as an integrated service or an add-on option. This insurance often covers the declared value of the items in the package and, in some cases, the cost of shipping as well.

  • Third-Party Insurance: If your chosen carrier doesn't offer comprehensive insurance, or if you're seeking more specific coverage terms, third-party insurers can be a good alternative. These insurers specialize in shipment insurance and may offer more competitive rates or expanded coverage options.

  • Reading the Fine Print: It's crucial to understand what the insurance covers. For instance, some policies might exclude specific items or only cover damages but not theft. Always ensure you're adequately covered based on your shipment's value and nature.

Effective tracking and adequate insurance are not mere afterthoughts but essential components of international shipping. They provide shippers with the confidence that their packages are not only traceable but also safeguarded against potential setbacks. Investing in these services is an investment in peace of mind.

Partnering with Reship for Europe-Bound Shipments from Canada, USA, & UK

For many Europeans, the allure of shopping from North America and the UK is undeniable. The diverse array of products, exclusive releases, and special offers present an irresistible shopping experience. However, the hurdles of international shipping—costs, time, customs, and more—can often deter eager shoppers. Reship has emerged as the essential bridge, connecting European customers to their desired products in North America and the UK.

1. Streamlined Shipping Experience:

  • One-Stop Solution: With Reship, you can shop from multiple stores across Canada, the USA, and the UK. Instead of managing multiple shipments, Reship offers a consolidated approach, ensuring a smooth and efficient shipping process.

  • Access Top Stores:

    • Canada: Dive into stores like Roots for quality leather goods and apparel, or explore

      Hudson's Bay for a curated selection of Canadian and international brands.

    • USA: The options are vast—from iconic department stores like Macy's and Nordstrom to niche outlets offering specialized products.

    • UK: Delight in British brands from the iconic Marks & Spencer to luxury labels on

      Harrods. Europe-based shoppers can tap into renowned stores that previously might have been out of reach:

2. The Advantage of Warehousing:

  • Flexibility in Storage: Not ready to ship yet? Want to wait for another purchase? Reship provides warehousing options, allowing you to determine when you're ready to consolidate and ship.

  • Cost-Effective Consolidation: By merging multiple purchases into one shipment, not only do you save on shipping costs, but you also minimize the environmental impact. It's a win-win.

3. Dive into North American & UK Shopping:

Europeans no longer need to be daunted by the challenges of international shopping. Reship simplifies the experience, offering a solution that's both convenient and economical. Whether you're after unique Canadian crafts, American technological innovations, or the classic elegance of UK fashion, Reship ensures these global offerings are just a click away.

Shipping from Canada to the EU (European Union) requires careful consideration of various carrier options, each offering a spectrum of services tailored to various needs. Here's a look into some of the major carriers that operate between Canada and the EU, with a highlight on their specific services for international shipments:

1. Canada Post

  • International Parcel - Surface: Cost-effective solution for non-urgent deliveries.

  • International Parcel - Air: Faster than the surface option but more expensive.

  • Xpresspost - International: A premium service for urgent deliveries, with a delivery time frame of 4-7 days to most EU destinations.

  • Priority Worldwide: Their fastest international service, partnered with FedEx.

Canada Post Services & Rates

2. FedEx

  • FedEx International First: For time-sensitive shipments, earliest deliveries to major EU cities.

  • FedEx International Priority: Time-definite delivery typically within 1–3 business days.

  • FedEx International Economy: A more budget-friendly option with delivery within 4-6 business days.

  • FedEx International Ground: Cost-effective service for less-urgent shipments, but longer delivery times.

FedEx International Services

3. UPS

  • UPS Worldwide Express Plus: Early morning delivery to the EU.

  • UPS Worldwide Express: Midday delivery for your urgent shipments.

  • UPS Worldwide Saver: End-of-day delivery for time-sensitive shipments.

  • UPS Worldwide Expedited: 2-5 business days delivery, offering a balance between speed and cost.

UPS International Shipping Services

4. DHL

  • DHL Express Worldwide: Time-definite delivery within the next possible business day.

  • DHL Economy Select: Day-definite delivery during the business day, catering to less urgent shipments.

  • DHL Global Forwarding: For bulky or heavy shipments, using air, rail, road, or sea routes.

DHL Shipping Options

5. Purolator

  • Purolator Express International: Next-day delivery to major EU destinations.

  • Purolator Ground U.S. & International: Ground shipping services for less time-sensitive items.

Purolator International Services

When selecting a carrier, consider the nature of your shipment, budget constraints, and delivery urgency. With diverse options available, you can find a solution tailored to your specific needs. Always check with the carrier's official website for the most updated information and any changes in their services.


Embarking on the quest of international shopping unveils a realm of excitement and unparalleled selection, yet it's often accompanied by a complex maze of logistical challenges. In this vibrant landscape of global commerce, Reship has distinguished itself as an indispensable ally for European consumers. Offering more than just a bridge across borders, Reship provides a streamlined gateway to the rich and diverse shopping paradises of Canada, the USA, and the UK.

With Reship, the hurdles of international shipping—ranging from prohibitive shipping costs and customs complexities to the outright inability of stores to ship overseas—are effectively navigated and overcome. This ensures that European shoppers enjoy unfettered access to a broader array of products, exclusive deals, and the latest trends that may not yet be available in their home countries.

Reship does more than facilitate the logistics of international shopping; it transforms the experience, making it as seamless and enjoyable as shopping locally. Through its comprehensive suite of services, including package consolidation, customs handling advice, and flexible shipping options, Reship tailors the global shopping journey to your needs. Whether you're seeking the latest tech gadgets from the USA, fashion-forward apparel from the UK, or unique home goods from Canada, Reship acts as your trusted navigator, ensuring your purchases arrive at your doorstep promptly and without hassle.

In essence, Reship empowers European shoppers to explore and embrace the global shopping experience with confidence. By removing barriers and simplifying the complex, Reship enables you to immerse yourself in the vast shopping landscapes of North America and the UK. Let Reship be the compass that guides you through the exciting world of international shopping, turning aspirations into acquisitions and dreams into deliveries. With Reship, the world is not just at your fingertips—it's within your grasp.

Shipping from the US to Europe (FAQs)

  1. What is the cheapest shipping option from the USA to Europe?

    • Shipping rates vary by destination and carrier. Reship offers competitive rates for smaller packages, such as $20 for 2lb shipments to the UK, which can be indicative of their pricing to other European destinations.

  2. How much does it typically cost to ship from the USA to Europe?

    • Costs depend on the package's size, weight, and chosen service. For specific rates like small shipments, Reship's example of $20 for a 2lb package to the UK may offer a benchmark.

  3. What are my options for international shipping from the USA to Europe?

    • Major carriers include USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL, and specialized services like Reship, offering various rates and services tailored to your needs.

  4. Is USPS a budget-friendly option for shipping from the USA to Europe?

    • USPS provides several international shipping options, but for lightweight packages, exploring rates from services like Reship could be more cost-effective.

  5. What are the costs associated with USPS shipping to Europe?

    • USPS international shipping costs vary based on service level and package details. Comparatively, Reship might offer simpler deals for smaller shipments.

  6. How does USPS shipping from the USA to Europe work?

    • USPS offers different international services with varying delivery times, tracking, and insurance options. For simple needs, consider Reship's straightforward rates.

  7. What is the best shipping option from the USA to Europe?

    • The best option depends on factors like cost, speed, and service requirements. For small packages, Reship's competitive rates, like $20 for 2lb shipments, are worth considering.

  8. What is the best way to ship from the US to Europe?

    • Evaluate carriers for the best balance of rate, delivery time, and services. For small shipments, check out Reship's offerings.

  9. How much does it cost to ship from the USA to Europe?

    • Shipping costs vary widely. For a 2lb package, Reship's rate of $20 to the UK may serve as a useful reference point.

  10. Why is shipping from the USA to Europe expensive?

    • Costs are influenced by factors like fuel charges, international taxes, and carrier fees. Services like Reship may offer more economical options for smaller parcels.

  11. How much does it cost to ship a pallet from the USA to Europe?

    • Pallet shipping is significantly more expensive and depends on factors like destination, size, and weight. Direct quotes from freight carriers are recommended.

  12. How can I ship something from the US to Europe?

    • Choose a carrier that suits your budget and delivery timeline. For lightweight packages, Reship's pricing model can be attractive.

  13. Which carriers ship to Europe?

    • USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL, and Reship are among the carriers offering shipping services to various European countries.

  14. Are there restrictions on what I can ship from the USA to Europe?

    • Yes, each country has its own restrictions on items like hazardous materials, perishables, and electronics. Always check with your carrier.

  15. How long does shipping from the USA to Europe take?

    • Delivery times range from a few days for express services to over a week for standard options. Services like Reship will specify transit times for their rates.

  16. Is tracking available for shipments from the USA to Europe?

    • Yes, tracking is typically available, offering peace of mind and real-time updates on your shipment's status.

  17. Do I need to pay customs duties and taxes for items shipped to Europe?

    • Yes, recipients are usually responsible for any applicable customs duties and taxes upon arrival in their country.

  18. Can I insure my shipment from the USA to Europe?

    • Insurance is available from most carriers, providing protection against loss or damage during transit.

  19. What is the weight limit for shipping packages to Europe?

    • Weight limits vary by carrier and service. For small shipments, Reship's 2lb package rate to the UK is an example of their offerings.

  20. Can I ship electronics from the USA to Europe?

    • Yes, electronics can be shipped, but must comply with destination country regulations and be properly declared to customs.

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