Learn the lingo
COMMERCIAL INVOICE - This is a customs declaration form. Depending on the service and country you are posting to, this will need to be filled out and attached to every item.
CN23 – This is a customs declaration form. Depending on the service and country you are posting to, this will need to be filled out and attached to every item you send to the EU.
CUSTOMS DUTY – A fee placed on gifts or goods sent into the UK from outside the EU. The duty is payable if the items are above a certain value. The charges are applied by Border Force on behalf of the Government.
EORI (ECONOMIC OPERATOR REGISTRATION AND IDENTIFICATION) NUMBER – This is an ID code used to track and register customs information in the EU. Currently all businesses importing or exporting goods from countries outside the EU need one. UK businesses may need an EORI number to trade with EU countries. Visit https://www.gov.uk/eori for more information.
EUROPEAN UNION (EU) – A political and economic union of 27 member states. The EU was established in 1957.
EXCISE DUTY – A fee currently payable on e.g. alcohol or tobacco imported into the UK from outside the EU. The charges are applied by Border Force on behalf of Government.
GIFT ALLOWANCE/RELIEF - Private individuals/consumers can send gifts up to the value of £39 which will not be assessed for VAT on imports. Gifts cannot be sent direct from retail stores (physical or online). For more information visit gov.uk website.
HMRC – Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs. The government body responsible for charging and applying any Customs fees on goods imported into the UK. These charges may include Import VAT and customs and excise duties. The charges are applied by Border Force under the direction of HMRC.
TARIFF (or 'HS') CODES – These are an internationally standardised system of names and numbers used to classify traded products. The codes are required on Customs declaration forms (CN23) or Commercial Invoices for goods sent to other countries. Each commodity group is identified by either a six (Rest of World) or 8 (European Union) digit code. The system was developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and is used by over 200 countries as a basis for their customs tariffs.
INCOTERMS - Incoterms or International Commercial Terms are a series of pre-defined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). These relate to international commercial law. They are widely used in international commercial transactions or procurement processes and their use is encouraged by trade councils, courts and international lawyers. They are there to protect buyers and sellers with an international standard and regulate the payment terms for the receiver of the goods. Find out more here: https://iccwbo.org/resources-for-business/incoterms-rules/
IMPORT VAT – A fee currently paid on gifts and goods sent to the UK from outside the EU. The rate applied depends on whether the items are gifts or commercial goods, what they are and their value. The charges are applied by Border Force on behalf of Government.
NORTHERN IRELAND PROTOCOL – The agreement between the UK and the EU setting a framework for Ireland and Northern Ireland in recognition that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU presents a unique challenge to the island of Ireland.
POSTAL AUTHORITIES – The official organisations responsible for licensing and regulating postal providers in any given country.
UPU – The Universal Postal Union (UPU) is an organisation that helps co-operation between postal providers in different countries. It sets rules for international mail and provides a common framework for all postal operators to operate within.
WCO – The World Customs Organization (WCO) is an international organisation which works to develop and implement modern customs systems and procedures around the world.
WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT – An agreement that sets out how the UK will leave the EU in an orderly manner.
WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION (WTO) - A forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements and settle trade disputes. It operates a system of trade rules, which would apply automatically to UK trade with the EU post-Brexit as it does for other countries the EU has free-trade deals with.