Importing goods into the UK from other countries is very similar to exporting from the UK: no matter where you are sending goods to or from, your package will need to be clearly labelled with the Air Waybill of your chosen carrier, and all shipments between the UK and non-EU countries will require a Customs Invoice and be subject to customs clearance. Importing from a non-EU country can be even simpler than exporting to one, because with imports you will be subject to taxes and duties applied by UK Customs Authorities, and it can be easier to familiarise yourself with these and anticipate any applicable charges.
Follow our top three tips on importing into the UK to ensure your deliveries run smoothly:
1- Use a quality courier service
Large, international and well-established door-to-door couriers such as DHL and TNT Express have decades of experience with imports and can therefore guarantee you the best possible delivery service along with good customs expertise. Resellers such as Transglobal Express offer DHL and TNT Express Import services at significantly reduced prices, so SMEs can benefit from great import rates without compromising on quality. You can get a quote and compare discounted rates via our website.
2- Maintain good communication with your collection point
Remember, you have less control over imports than exports because you are dependent upon your collection point to ensure that collection runs smoothly and your consignment can start making its way to you. When you book an import service via Transglobal Express, you can select a collection day yourself, but its a good idea to liaise with your collection point to check they will be available. Your collection point will also receive all of the delivery documentation, as it will be him or her who will need to attach the shipping labels to your consignment. Make sure you keep communications channels with your collection point to ensure that they do this on time. As soon as we receive confirmation of collection, your shipment will be fully trackable via our website.
3- Do your homework!
This applies to exports as well as imports - it's never a bad idea to bone up on the latest regulations and customs restrictions of the two countries between which your goods are moving. The customs website of the respective nations is the best place to start, and the HMRC website is a great resource. Don't forget that, when exporting, most shipments are delivered DDU (delivered duty unpaid), meaning that the receiver is liable for all customs clearance charges and related taxes and levies. With importing, you are the receiver, so you will be liable for all charges. It's a good idea to do some research in advance so you can anticipate charges rather than being liable for hefty customs fees before they are released to you!