Now that the UK is no longer part of the EU, the rules have changed regarding sending parcels and shipments between Ireland and the UK. Don’t worry though, we’ll make the process easy for you and make sure you don’t miss anything!
As long as the Northern Ireland Protocol is still in place, Northern Ireland is still treated as part of Europe, so the following information applies to Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales). This may change if the Northern Ireland Protocol is amended.
Sending a Parcel to the UK
Private customers need to complete a customs declaration form (CN23) for parcels, which gives a description of what you are sending and its value.
Businesses Shipping to the UK
Irish retailers who wish to export to the UK are required to get a GB EORI number. Get more details here or https://www.gov.uk/eori.
If you are already registered for VAT in Ireland, you can apply for an EORI number through the ros.ie website, where Revenue has created a guide to take you through the process step by step. Note that it may take up to 3 days for the EORI number to be live.
You also need to register and pay taxes in the UK, so you will require a GB VAT number. Get more details here. You can apply here.
You must complete a customs declaration form (CN23/ITMATT) with each shipment describing the contents of the shipment, country of origin, value, and senders details. You will also need to include a commercial invoice. You will require a TARIC code for your goods, which you can find here. HMRC has a useful tool to find the correct codes for the UK here.
UK Customs Charges
Recipient customers in the UK may have to pay a customs charge and administration fee depending on the size of the goods:
Parcels – less than €150
For parcels containing goods worth less than €150, Irish retailers pay VAT directly to the HMRC in the UK.
Parcels – over €150
For parcels containing goods worth more than €150, the recipient is required to pay both VAT and duties before they can receive the goods.
Shipments to UK businesses
If the UK business cannot provide a VAT number you should add VAT charges to your sale. If the UK business provides their VAT number, do not add VAT to your sale and the UK business will cover the payment.
Prohibited and Restricted Items
The UK has a long list of prohibited and restricted items including the following:
- Obscene materials
- Counterfeit goods
- Live animals and many types of animal products and natural products eg straw and soil
- Many types of vegetable products
Please note this is not an exhaustive list. Here is some useful information.
As it is your own responsibility to check postal restrictions and prohibitions for your destination, please check up to date UK customs information to ensure that the contents of your parcel will not be refused entry to the UK.
UK Address Format
To ensure that your shipment arrives in a timely manner, please ensure that you have the correct address written in the correct format, including postcode, like this:
30 The Crescent
Here are a few tips:
- Ensure that the street number comes before the street name
- If there is no street number, write the house name on the line above the street name
- Ensure that you have included the locality as well as town or city name
- Write the town or city name in capitals
- Put the postcode on it’s own line
- If you don’t know the postcode, you can find it here
- Write the country name in capitals on it’s own line at the bottom
Postcodes in the UK
In the UK, each postcode relates to an area containing a number of buildings (usually around 15 addresses), rather than each building having it’s own postcode, except in the case of large buildings, which may have their own unique postcode. The first two characters of the postcode relate to the main postal town in that area, followed by the postal district, and the remaining characters break down the district into smaller locations.
UK Public Holidays
Around public holidays postal services may be disrupted. Where a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the holiday is moved to the following Monday.
Date Holiday Eng/Wales NI Scot
- January 1st New Year’s Day | Eng/Wales, NI, Scot
- March 17th St Patrick’s Day | NI
- Friday before Easter Good Friday | Eng/Wales, NI, Scot
(1st Sunday after the full Moon on or after March 21st)
- Monday after Easter Easter Monday | Eng/Wales, NI
- First Monday in May Early May Bank Holiday | Eng/Wales, NI, Scot
- Last Monday in May Spring Bank Holiday | Eng/Wales, NI, Scot
- July 12th Battle of the Boyne | NI
- First Monday in August Summer Holiday | Scot
- Last Monday in August Late Summer Bank Holiday | Eng/Wales, NI, Scot
- November 30th St Andrew’s Day | Scot
- December 25th Christmas Day | Eng/Wales, NI, Scot
- December 26th Boxing Day | Eng/Wales, NI, Scot
- December 27th Public Holiday | Eng/Wales, NI
- December 28th Public Holiday | Eng/Wales, NI (only when Christmas Day or Boxing Day falls on a Saturday)
Please note that there are numerous other holidays that may be observed in various localities in Scotland on odd days throughout the year that may cause delays in delivery.