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Brexit changes impacting shipping

On January 1, 2021, all shipments that cross a UK/EU border are considered international shipments. All international shipments require:

  • HS codes for all products being sold internationally. Missing HS codes may block your checkout or create labels with incorrect customs information. 
  • Different forms to inform customs about the contents of the shipment.
  • The payment of customs clearance costs.

Required actions

Merchants in the EU should:

  1. Register with UK HM Revenue and Customs in order to pay VAT for orders.
  2. Apply for an EORI number (Customs number) with the UK government. This takes a week to process.

All merchants should:

  1. Enter HS codes for all products that you ship to or from the UK.
  2. Test that your printer and labels can handle possible label changes. For example, PostNL labels are changing from A6 to A4 sizes. Before Brexit A6 | After Brexit A4
  3. Contact your shipping provider to determine if there are any other required changes. Some providers have articles that relate to Brexit, for example:

Going forward

Include new forms

Ensure customs information is included with the package when shipping to or from the UK. This is done by ensuring the required forms, including C-22, C-23 and commercial forms are completed in full. See more about customs forms from the PostNL website.

Update your shipping integration

Some shipping integrations may require you to change from European to international shipping methods. For example, PostNL requires the UK to be added in the worldwide delivery (Global-Pack) shipping method. Without making this change, checkout may be blocked for your customers.

Test your checkout

You can test your checkout to ensure your shipping methods appear. When adding in the customer information in checkout, make sure to use an address from across the UK/EU border.

Check outdated shipping labels

Ensure that orders that came in before January 1st have the correct shipping label. Shipping labels that are printed before January 1st, for packages that will be shipped in 2021, will be using the old shipping label format and therefore will be incorrect.


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