International exports are a huge part of the United States’ thriving economy, and the United Kingdom (UK) accounts for up to 4%.
Sending goods to other countries can get complicated. Even if you have some experience with international shipping, the county’s recent departure from the European Union has changed regulations on how to ship to the UK.
If you’re looking to ship ‘across the pond,’ these are five things to expect.
1: Preparing to Ship to the UK
Whether your package will be shipped by plane or by ship, expect that it’s in for a bumpy ride. To prevent damage to your goods while in transit, spend extra time packing your parcel.
To prevent damages to the contents of your shipment, start by selecting an appropriate box for the shipment. A common mistake is to only consider the size of the box without thinking about the material. If you are shipping more than 10lbs., use a double-walled box.
When packing, make sure that contents do not shift around too much. Use bubble wrap, economically friendly packaging peanuts, or airbags to fill in gaps.
You may end up spending more money on packing supplies than usual when you ship to the UK, but the investment is worth it to avoid product damage.
2: Many Carrier and Rate Options
Many courier services offer international shipping rates, and it can be challenging to understand which to select. When choosing your shipping method, think about the type of travel, the time, and the cost.
Carriers can choose to send packages through air travel or sea travel. Air travel is often faster and more costly. Sea travel can offer savings, but it can take several weeks to arrive, depending on the route.
Fortunately, many companies offer shipping assistance when you ship from America (or other countries of origin)!
3: The Value Added Tax
When the UK exited the European Union (EU), their methods to handle incoming goods changed. If you shipped to the EU in the past, shipping to the UK might differ.
The UK shipping regulations require payment on all shipments according to the Value Added Tax (VAT). In some cases, this rate can reach up to 20%. You will need to pay the VAT and any customs or excise duties.
You can always consult the UK’s government webpage for the most updated information.
4: Shipping Delays
When sending packages greater distances, there are more stops and opportunities for damage and delay. Since shipping from the US to the UK also involves crossing the Atlantic Ocean, you should build time for delays in your shipping schedule.
At the time of writing, there are also a number of delays in the supply chain and shipment industries because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
5: Shipment Handoff at the Border
No matter what carrier you choose to ship internationally, there is a chance they will hand off your package to another carrier once it reaches the UK. If you notice any changes in your tracking information, there is no need to panic.
Your package might be handled for domestic delivery by a carrier like Royal Mail or Post Office Ltd. You might want to alert the recipient of the carrier that will be delivering the package to its final destination.
Planning Ahead Makes Shipping a Breeze
When it comes to international shipping, regulations and taxes can seem overwhelming. However, planning ahead makes it simpler for both the sender and the recipient when you ship to the UK.
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