Customs Advice

When sending a parcel outside of Great Britain you’ll need to complete a Commercial Invoice within the booking process

Key Information

To ensure your parcel clears customs the following details are required on the commercial invoice:

Detailed Item Description

Make sure your description is as accurate as possible. For example: 'Dog statuette, made from oak, ornamental.' Vague descriptions such as 'Gift' or 'Carpet' are likely to be flagged by customs to investigate.

Bear in mind some countries require commodity codes.

Local Contact Details

Providing a local contact number and email address will allow customs to get in touch with the recipient to clear the parcel.

The contact details required may vary depending on the country. Please check before sending by going to the country's government and tax duties website.

Avoiding Delays

Providing these details will prevent any unnecessary delays at customs, allowing your parcel to get to its destination quickly.


The following countries have specific requests for their commercial invoice. For information on any not listed below, visit a country's government tax and duties website.

Duties & Taxes

Customs and duties and taxes may be applied to all parcels travelling outside of Great Britain. This will depend on the value, the item(s) and the purpose of shipment.

All parcels sent with DPD Online are Delivered Duty Unpaid unless EU VAT has been paid at the point of purchase through Import-One-Stop-Shop (IOSS) Scheme – click link for more info.

If an IOSS number is not provided during the booking journey, customs officials will contact the recipient for payment if there is any duty owed, and this will need to be paid before the parcel is released.

Parcels will be held by customs until payments are made. Any payments not received may result in parcels being returned or in some cases destroyed.

Commodity Codes

Some services may ask for a commodity code. These are also known as a tariff code or a HS code.

These codes are used to identify the item(s) so border officials can check they're safe and legal, and calculate any duties owed.

If you're not sure how to classify your goods, check and search the UK government website by clicking below.

Make sure the items you are sending adhere to our prohibited and restricted items list.

Shipping to the EU After Brexit

Parcels sent to the EU will be subject to EU VAT unless your parcel is a gift under the value of €45 (about £38). This total value must include the cost of the items within the parcel in addition to the cost of shipping.

If you're sending a parcel directly from a marketplace, such as Amazon or eBay, or you're a business shipper, your parcel will not be exempt from EU VAT. The VAT rate is different for each country within Europe, so it's important to check the customs website for the country you're sending to before you ship.

You can work out and pay customs fees and duties during DPD Online's booking process.