Shipping·Sep 5, 2022

Shipping to United Kingdom: Benefits, Customs, Duties & More

A beautiful woman shopping online. Article updated on Apr 4, 2024

Planning to ship goods to the United Kingdom? Whether you are a business expanding your market or an individual sending a package, navigating international shipping can be daunting. From customs regulations to shipping costs, the process can seem overwhelming. Our comprehensive guide will help demystify the intricacies of shipping to the UK. Discover essential tips, cost-saving strategies, and vital information on reliable shipping, shipping options, and shipping carrier to ensure your packages reach their destination smoothly. Stay ahead of the curve and avoid common pitfalls with our expert advice on streamlining your shipping process. Let's make shipping to the United Kingdom a breeze!

Benefits of Shopping from US Stores


Access a wide range of US retailers offering diverse goods and services not always available locally. Explore a plethora of options.

Enjoy the convenience of browsing through different categories, from fashion to electronics, all in one place. Find unique items not commonly found in local stores.

Tax Savings

Shop from US stores and benefit from sales tax-free shopping. Save money on your purchases by avoiding additional taxes at checkout.

When you shop directly from US retailers, you can skip the hassle of calculating and paying extra taxes. This means more savings in your pocket.


Save money by consolidating packages when shipping multiple orders. Combine all your purchases into one shipment to reduce overall shipping costs.

Understanding Customs and Duties

An officer working on paperwork for duties and taxes.

VAT Charges

When shipping to the United Kingdom, VAT is charged on all imported goods. This tax applies to the total value of the items being shipped.

Import Duties

For shipments with higher values, import duties are imposed by UK customs. These duties are separate from VAT and vary based on the type of goods.

Customs Charges Rates

The rates for customs charges in the UK depend on several factors such as the item's value, where it was produced, and its intended use. These charges are calculated based on a percentage of the declared value of the goods.

Import Tax Breakdown

When importing goods into the UK, an import tax breakdown includes VAT, which is calculated based on the total cost including shipping and insurance. Import duties are additional fees applied to certain products.

Custom Declaration Form

Completing a customs declaration form accurately is crucial when shipping to the UK. This document details information about the contents of the package and its value.

Prohibited and Restricted Items

Signboard with prohibited restricted items.

Prohibited Products

When shipping to the United Kingdom, it's crucial to be aware of prohibited items. These include illegal drugs, offensive weapons, and counterfeit goods. Such products are strictly forbidden for import.

Restricted Items

Certain products face restrictions when entering the UK. These may include firearms, ammunition, and some types of plants. It's essential to check the specific regulations for each item.

Documentation Requirements

Before sending any packages to the UK, ensure you have all necessary documents in order. This typically includes a detailed description of the contents, their value, and the intended recipient's information.

Additional Fees

Apart from customs duties, there might be additional fees involved when shipping to the UK. These could include handling charges or storage fees if packages are held by customs for inspection.

Time Constraints

When shipping to the UK, consider the days it may take for your package to arrive. Factor in any potential delays due to customs processing or other unforeseen circumstances.

Comparing Courier Services

A cargo plane flying on a clear sky.

Comparing Courier Services

Shipping Rates

When comparing courier services, it's crucial to analyze shipping rates based on the package weight. Different carriers may offer varying rates depending on the weight of the parcel. For instance, heavier packages might incur higher costs with some carriers, while others may have more competitive rates for heavier shipments.

Global Carriers

Evaluate different global shipping carriers to determine which one best suits your needs. Some carriers specialize in international shipping and may offer better deals for sending parcels to the United Kingdom. Consider factors such as delivery times, customer service, and overall reliability when choosing a carrier.

Membership Benefits

Consider membership benefits offered by courier services for potential discounted rates. Many courier companies provide membership programs that offer perks like discounted shipping rates, faster delivery times, and dedicated customer support. By becoming a member, you can access exclusive deals and savings on your shipments.

Shipping MethodWeightPostageEstimated Delivery TimeTracking
Forwardme Economy1 Lbs$18.434-9 daysYes
FedEx International Connect Plus1 Lbs$34.163-10 daysYes
DHL Express1 Lbs$41.111-4 daysYes
FedEx Economy1 Lbs$50.863-10 daysYes
USPS First-Class Package Intl1 Lbs$56.4310-15 daysYes
FedEx Priority1 Lbs$62.371-3 daysYes

Forwardme Services Explained

Forwardme warehouse with packages, and sigboard reads Forwardme.

Forwardme is a package forwarding service that facilitates shipping goods from the US to the UK. It provides a virtual US address for UK residents to receive their purchases from American retailers.

How Forwardme Ships to the UK

Forwardme operates by receiving packages on behalf of customers at their US address, then consolidating and shipping to the UK using various courier services like DHL, FedEx, or UPS. This process enables customers to shop from US stores that don't typically offer international shipping.

Benefits of Using Forwardme

  • Access to US-exclusive products: Customers can purchase items only available in the US and have them delivered to the UK.
  • Cost-effective shipping: Forwardme offers competitive shipping rates, potentially saving customers money compared to direct international shipping.
  • Package consolidation: By combining multiple packages into one shipment, Forwardme helps reduce shipping costs and simplifies delivery logistics for customers.

How Forwardme Enhances Your Shipping Experience

A woman just received her package from the US.

Tracking Packages

Forwardme's services make it effortless to track your packages, ensuring you are always in the loop. Whether it's a small item or a large shipment, their system allows you to monitor every step of the delivery process.

Choosing the Right Shipping Method

When using Forwardme, you have the flexibility to select the optimal shipping methods that aligns with your budget and timeframe. From standard shipping to expedited options, you can tailor your choice based on your specific needs.

Coverage Across the UK

Forwardme goes above and beyond by shipping to every city and town in the UK. This extensive reach ensures that no matter where your package needs to go within the United Kingdom, Forwardme has got you covered.

In terms of benefits:

  • Easy package tracking through their user-friendly system.
  • Diverse shipping methods catering to various budgets and timelines.
  • Extensive coverage across all cities and towns in the UK.

Navigating Post-Brexit Shipping Changes

A warehouse worker working on a package for it to be shipped.

Understanding Regulations

To successfully navigate post-Brexit international shipping, it's crucial to stay informed about the evolving regulations. Stay updated on changes in tariffs and customs procedures.

Brexit has brought significant changes to shipping regulations, impacting shipments to the United Kingdom. Understand new customs requirements and potential delays due to increased border checks.

Adapting Strategies

When shipping to the UK post-Brexit, consider using a reliable shipping carrier or shipping provider that can handle the new regulations efficiently. Opt for services with shorter delivery times to mitigate delays.
Adapt your transit times expectations accordingly, factoring in potential weather-related disruptions that could affect delivery schedules. Plan ahead and communicate clearly with customers regarding possible delays.

Enhancing Efficiency

To streamline your shipping process post-Brexit, utilize technology tools offered by your chosen shipping provider. These tools can simplify customs documentation and ensure compliance with new regulations.

  1. Verify all required documentation before shipping to avoid delays at customs.
  2. Utilize electronic systems for customs declarations to expedite clearance processes.
  3. Monitor weather forecasts in advance to anticipate any disruptions to delivery times.

Optimizing Your UK Shipping Strategy

Packages shipped to United Kingdom from United States with Forwardme

Express Shipping

When shipping to the United Kingdom, opt for express shipping to ensure your packages reach their destination quickly. This option significantly reduces delivery times, making it ideal for urgent shipments.

Express shipping services usually guarantee delivery within 1-3 business days, ensuring that your customers receive their orders promptly. This speed is crucial in today's fast-paced e-commerce environment where quick delivery times can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Consolidating Packages

To save on shipping costs, consider consolidating multiple packages into one shipment. By combining items into a single package, you can reduce the overall shipping expenses associated with sending individual parcels.

Consolidation also helps streamline the shipping process, making it more efficient and cost-effective. Fewer packages mean lower packaging materials and less handling, reducing the risk of damage during transit.

Forwardme Membership

For discounted shipping rates to the United Kingdom, explore membership options such as Premium. These services offer discounted rates on international shipping, helping you save on overall shipping expenses.

In understanding the intricacies of shipping to the United Kingdom, you've gained insights into the benefits of shopping from US stores, navigating customs and duties, handling prohibited items, selecting courier services, utilizing Forwardme services, adapting to post-Brexit changes, and optimizing your UK shipping strategy. By enhancing your knowledge in these areas, you are better equipped to streamline your shipping experience and make informed decisions that save you time and money. Remember to stay updated on any evolving regulations or trends to ensure a seamless shipping process and avoid any unexpected surprises. Take charge of your UK shipments with confidence!

Questions we got for shipping to United Kingdom explained

Article written by

Janet W.

Janet Woodjack
Janet is constantly drawn to fresh and engaging activities that pique her curiosity. That's how her current pursuits emerged: salsa dancing, stargazing, culinary experiments, content creation, and informing her readers about international shopping & shipping through her blogs. Content creation and informing readers about international shopping & shipping have become her primary interests at Forwardme.More links