Sending parcels to the UK ? We support you after Brexit


After ten months of intense negotiations, a deal between the UK and the EU was finally reached on 24 December 2020.

Brexit therefore came into effect on January 1, 2021. This implies :

  • The exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union
  • The end of the free movement of goods

Customs formalities, import and export declarations are now the rule for all transactions.

If DPDgroup is now "Brexit ready "*, what about you?

For those who have not yet completed their preparations, we invite you to consult the following pages dedicated to Brexit, from the French and British governments:

Exporting to the UK after Brexit

From January 1, 2021, customs formalities will be put in place and your parcels to the UK will be treated in the same way as your parcels to the rest of the world.

Exporting to the UK
Companies are advised to take steps to renegotiate terms of trade to take account of any changes in excise duties and customs procedures, as well as any new customs duties that apply between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
DPD has already begun to amend its contracts to reflect this clause, and we recommend that our customers do the same with their own customers.

Companies should consider purchasing customs software and/or hiring a customs broker.

DPD has already put measures in place to accommodate customs clearance procedures and our customers can also be confident that, being AEO certified for customs processes and safety and security, we are fully capable of handling their exports to Europe and the UK.

Companies must use product classification codes and determine if any of their products require an export permit. This will be essential to ensure that your customers pay the appropriate duties, and we recommend that you put the process in place as soon as possible by contacting the customs authorities.

You will need to provide commercial or pro forma invoices with data that will allow us to export your products.

Typical data requirements include:

  • Header of the sending company mandatory

  • Name + address of shipper


  • EORI number of the shipper

  • EORI number of the recipient (if it is a company)

  • Incoterm DAP " (If you wish to export your parcels to the United Kingdom in DDP, please contact your DPD France sales representative, for the implementation of the specific procedure related to this Incoterm).

  • Recipient's email address + phone number

  • Description of goods and their classification codes

  • The value of the goods

  • The place of manufacture of the goods

If this data does not appear on your invoices, your packages cannot be cleared through customs and will be returned to you.

If you are an EDI customer, DPD will provide you with the file format corresponding to the new data fields to be completed.

Your DPD Customer Service Representative will be able to assist you on this point.

If you are having your labels printed by a third party, such as Metapack, GFS, Sorted etc., we are in contact with all associated suppliers to ensure that they will be ready to generate post-Brexit invoices, but we still recommend that you contact your Account Executive to verify that your own account will be ready should this become necessary.

We remind you that it is mandatory to enter a valid cell phone number and email address and to ensure that this information is communicated to us with your data.

As with all shipping data, it is important to verify the accuracy of all address, phone number and email address information and ensure that it is transmitted to DPD, so that we can provide the best possible delivery experience for your customers.

Finally, in all cases, your EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number must be included. All companies that import or export goods internationally must have an EORI* number within the European Union and/or the United Kingdom.

*What is an EORI number?

The EORI system was implemented on July 1, 2009. Within the EU, importers and exporters are assigned an EORI number by their state's customs authorities, which is used in the customs declaration and clearance processes for both imports and exports to and from the European Union and countries outside the European Union.
For more information, companies can contact the customs authorities at 0811 20 44 44.

Four key measures

EORI Number

Apply for an EORI number if you are not yet shipping outside the EU. EORI stands for Economic Operators Registration and Identification number. 
In virtually every possible Brexit scenario, you will need this number to be able to export goods to the UK, as well as to import goods from the UK into Europe. 
Applying for an EORI number is a simple process that can be done via the local customs authority's website, where you are usually given instructions on how to proceed.

It can take up to 3 days for this EORI number to become active. Remember that if you try to import goods from the UK, or export goods to the UK (or any other country outside the EU) without this number, those goods will be detained.

The EORI number is composed as follows:


Example of EORI number: PL1234567890ABCDE for a Polish exporter (country code PL) whose unique national number is 1234567890ABCDE

Commodity codes (HS codes)

Start searching for the HS (Harmonized System) codes of the products you want to export from the European Union. These HS codes are also called customs codes. These codes allow customs to identify your products and to know what rate of VAT or customs duty to apply to your goods.
No goods can be exported or imported without these HS codes. If you sell many different products, start making a list of these codes now. 
Here is a link to the Taric site for the European Union:
This site will help you find your HS codes.

Commercial or pro forma invoice

A commercial invoice or pro forma is mandatory when you ship goods outside the European Union. It is essentially a declaration containing all the information about the goods, which will be used by the customs authorities to assess the duties or taxes to be paid. The commercial invoice is used when the goods are the subject of a commercial transaction or are intended for resale. The pro forma invoice is used when you are shipping goods that have no commercial value (e.g. samples).

  1. Shipper's contact information

    The shipper, if a commercial company, must indicate the EORI number assigned by the customs administration.

  2. Reason for exporting

    Examples: sale, repair, return after repair, gift, sample, personal use, not for resale, replacement or personal business.

  3. Incoterms used by DPD to export to the UK

  1. Description of goods

    Generic or imprecise descriptions are not acceptable and will result in additional clearance time. The description must include the name of the items, quantity per item, composition, unit value and intended use. Simply describing items as "samples," "spare parts" or "spares," for example, is not acceptable from a nomenclature and customs security perspective.

  2. Customs nomenclature

    This is the product identification code used by the exporting country to classify goods for export. Indicating the customs code for each product facilitates customs clearance and avoids delays.

  3. Country of manufacture / origin

    This is the country in which the goods were manufactured, not the importing country.

  4. Shipping costs

    Transportation charges invoiced by the carrier and paid by the shipper.

  5. Total declared value

    This is the total value of the transaction for customs purposes. The total value shown on your invoice must match the value declared on your bill of lading.

To help you, we have provided you with examples of commercial invoices for your BtoB and BtoC shipments, which you can download here. 
Our blank invoice templates are available in the "Customs" section of our international shipping guide.

Importing goods worth less than £135 into the UK
As of January 1, 2021, UK VAT on orders valued at less than £135 becomes a sales tax. UK VAT must be accounted for at the point of sale by the foreign seller (you). Import VAT will therefore not be collected on orders below this value (excluding shipping and insurance). 

Registration of non-UK sellers (you)
We invite you to apply for a UK VAT number on the UK authorities website as soon as possible.
This UK VAT number will be required in order to export to the UK.

Remember to indicate your VAT number on your commercial or pro forma invoices to avoid erroneous declarations and invoices to your British customers.

Key points to remember




The DPD Glossary of Brexit

  • Custom duties and taxes 
    Customs duties and taxes are a fiscal means of controlling imports. Customs taxes generally correspond to the application of VAT. Customs duties, taxes, royalties or various impositions on the occasion of the importation of goods are due by the recipient, at the delivery or at the reception of the invoice.

  • EUR 1
    A movement certificate that allows goods to move with duty-free or tariff-free access only in countries that have concluded preferential agreements with the European Union. There must therefore be an agreement between the European Union and the third country of destination providing for the use of this document. The products concerned must originate (be manufactured) in the European Union or in a third country.

  • Commercial invoice

    Document to be established in 5 copies (+ 1 original), on headed paper, on which appears the detailed description of the goods intended for the sale. This is an accounting document. It must be written in English for all destinations (exception in French possible for Switzerland, Andorra and Liechtenstein). This document materializes the agreement between a buyer and a seller. It is a key element in the process of customs clearance of a shipment that allows customs officers to know the goods shipped and to calculate the duties and taxes.

  • Pro forma invoice
    Invoice for goods not intended for sale (gifts, samples,...). This document has no accounting value. It serves as an estimate and it allows to obtain the customs authorization for the purchase or the sale of goods.

    Attention: each product must be valued (excluding taxes) and quantified. You must always indicate a customs value.
    No value at 0, even if they are samples or gifts!

  • Incoterms

    Incoterms define the obligations of the seller and the buyer in an international trade transaction. They are the international conditions of sale.
    Incoterms used to export to the UK after Brexit:
    DAP to parcel: Payment of duties and taxes by the importer:

    • DPD UK will invoice the individual importer via e-mail and SMS notification

    • DPD UK will invoice the corporate importer by :

      • an invoice sent by e-mail

      • the use of the importer's DAN (deferment account number) (solution recommended by DPD to facilitate the transit of parcels). Importers in the UK are invited to contact: [email protected] to mandate DPD UK to use their DAN.

      • eDAP to package: Payment of duties and taxes by the importer during the order process. Incoterm known as DAP duty paid.

      • DDP only in the case of grouped clearance: Payment of duties and taxes by the exporter.

  • EORI Number
    The EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) replaces the SIRET number. It is an essential number to carry out customs operations. It is therefore mandatory that it appears on the commercial invoice for any export shipment.

    To know your EORI number, go to this site:

  • Customs classification
    This document indicates the category to which the goods belong and the applicable rates of duty and tax. It is a hierarchical structure of product family (21 sections made up of several sub-sections in which the categories of goods are listed).

  • Hard Brexit ou No-deal Brexit
    Britain is leaving the European Union without a formal agreement on the terms of the UK's withdrawal or on the new trading relationship.

    The UK will apply WTO rules by default.

    Please note:

    A no-deal scenario means that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union and becomes a third country, without a withdrawal agreement or a framework for future relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

    In this case, there is no transition period, and the breakup is made when the Hard Brexit is pronounced.