Import & Export

Import & Export

Customs rules and regulations are set by national governments and bodies like the European Union and the World Customs Organisation; they are independent of all carriers across the world. We are bound by these rules, as are all carriers. In brief, it is always your responsibility as the shipper to:

Ensure you do not send anything which is prohibited by Courierpoint. Check you know any prohibitions and restrictions set by governments overseas for the types of goods you are shipping. As a starting point, you can read through our list of Prohibited & Restricted items on our website.

Complete and attach any other necessary documentation required for customs clearance overseas. This will vary by country, and will depend on the types of goods you are sending. Some examples of additional documentation can be found on our Blogs.

Explain to overseas customers that their imported goods may well be subject to import duties and taxes which will need paying before parcels will be released for delivery. 

There are a range of organisations in the UK who can help you with all of the above. As a starting point, we recommend that you talk to HM Revenue & Customs on 0845 010 9000 (Welsh language 0845 010 0300; +44 2920 501261 for international callers) or visit their website at

What are customs regulations for?

Customs processes monitor trade levels between countries, help maintain national security and also serve fiscal purposes. Depending on the type of goods, country of origin, and your country of destination, goods may or may not be subject to prohibitions, restrictions, and the application of duties/taxes.

Regulations for exporting worldwide
There are some rules and additional documentation that may apply to some EU and non-EU destinations alike, depending on what is being sent and to where. You need to know the regulations for your products in your chosen export markets.

Import licences
Certain goods being imported into some countries may require an import licence, imposed by the overseas government for a range of reasons, including health and safety, import quotas and so on. We recommend you check with the importer that relevant licences have been obtained from the relevant government department before shipping any goods. Be aware that rules and regulations change all the time, and it is your responsibility to check with your overseas customer that relevant licences have been granted.

Export licences
Certain goods being exported to some countries may require an export licence from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Attach it to the package in an envelope marked ‘Export Licence’ and tick the relevant box on the despatch pack. A licence is usually valid for a single shipment, even if the value of the goods being sent is less than the amount specified on the licence. Different governmental departments have different export licence requirements – check with the relevant one for your goods. These departments include:

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Tel: 0207 215 5000
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Tel: 08459 33 55 77
Department of Culture, Media and Sports Tel: 0207 211 6000
Rural Payments Agency (RPA) Tel: 0191 226 5050


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