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This article applies to selling in: Italy

Importing and exporting between the UK-EU customs border

Note: You can find the latest updates on the UK government’s website. For more information, go to Prepare your Amazon business for Brexit.

On January 1, 2021, a customs border was created between the UK and the EU as part of Brexit. When you ship FBA inventory across this border, documentation is required for customs clearance.

For most sellers, a customs broker or freight forwarder is required for shipping products between the UK and the EU. Amazon cannot act in this capacity or make these arrangements for you. For all sellers, customs representation and an importer of record (IOR) or declarant are required.

Using a customs broker or freight forwarder

Requirements can vary for signing up with a customs broker or freight forwarder. But both entities will generally require the following:

  • A signed power of attorney that allows the customs broker or freight forwarder to represent you
  • Customs documentation, including an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number and a VAT number
  • A credit check for any pending VAT bills or other issues

Because certain customs brokers and freight forwarders may operate only in certain countries, you may have to sign up with more than one of these entities.

Importer of record (IOR) or declarant

In most cases, you will act as the importer of record or declarant, although you can also appoint one. The IOR or declarant is responsible for the following:

  • Ensuring that imported goods comply with local laws and regulations
  • Filing a completed customs entry summary form and associated documents with the information provided by you
  • Paying the assessed import duties and other taxes on those goods
  • Acting as a consignee for your shipment (see below)
Note: Neither Amazon nor a customs broker or freight forwarder will act as an IOR or declarant for FBA shipments.

The consignee is considered to be the owner of a shipment for filing customs declarations and paying duties and taxes. Amazon will not serve as the consignee.

Customs representation

A customs representative, typically a customs broker, is required for submitting declarations and acting on your behalf. This representation can be either direct or indirect:

  • Direct representation means that the customs representative acts on your behalf but is not responsible for maintaining records, providing an audit trail to customs, or paying customs debts. As the declarant, you must meet all obligations arising from the declaration.
  • Indirect representation means that you and the customs representative acting on your behalf are responsible for all customs debts and liabilities arising from customs-related transactions. The representative maintains the full audit trail and, along with you, is liable for all customs issues that arise from an incorrect declaration.

Customs authorities will require indirect representation if either of these conditions apply:

  • You don’t have an established business in the UK but import, export, or both in the UK
    • OR
  • You don’t have an established business in the EU but import, export, or both in the EU

For more information, go to Check if you’re established in the UK for customs.

Required documents for the customs broker or freight forwarder

A customs broker or freight forwarder will require you to sign a power of attorney and likely require a commercial invoice for each shipment. Some providers may request additional documentation.

Power of attorney (POA)

A power of attorney (POA) authorizes the customs broker or freight forwarder to perform customs clearance on your behalf. The type of POA that’s required depends on whether you have direct or indirect representation. If you’re unsure about your representation, ask your customs broker or freight forwarder.

Note: A POA must be provided for each destination country.

Commercial invoice for customs

A commercial invoice helps customs representatives prepare customs declarations. These declarations allow authorities to assess if the goods can move in or out of a country and what, if any, controls are required.

Note: Amazon will not serve as the IOR on commercial invoices.

When you create a commercial invoice, it’s a good idea to clarify what your transportation provider requires. The format of an invoice will vary greatly depending on your situation. Generally, the following information will be required:

Exporter (the entity responsible of taking goods out of customs territory)

  • Company name and address
  • Contact name, number, and email address
  • EORI number and a tax ID or VAT number

Ship-from address (if different from the exporter)

  • Company name and address
  • Contact name, number, and email address
  • EORI number and a tax ID or VAT number

Ship-to address (name and address of the Amazon fulfillment center)

Sold to (importer of record or declarant)

  • Company name and address
  • Contact name, number, and email address
  • Receiving country tax ID and EORI number

References

  • Invoice number and date
  • Purchase order (if applicable)
  • Shipment tracking number (for air shipments, this is the waybill number)

Carrier (name of your shipment carrier)

Reason for export (check with your customs broker or freight forwarder for guidance)

Description of goods (including quantity and unit type of goods)

  • Provide a detailed description of the items that are in the package or packages. Here’s an example of an accurate description: “1/2 inch diameter carbide steel drill bit for machining metal, part 123-456.”
  • Provide the unit type and describe how the products are packed in the box. For example, gloves would be paired, a T-shirt would be individually packed, and loose nails would be boxed.
  • Provide the gross and net weight of the full shipment.

Customs value and currency

There are six methods for valuing your goods. For more information, go to the UK government valuation page or download an EU valuation document. If you’re still unsure, seek advice from a customs broker.

Country of origin

The origin, tariff code, and value of a good determines the customs duties and tariffs that will be applied to the good. Work directly with your supplier to determine the country of origin for all of your products. For more information, go to the UK government’s website and the European Commission’s Rules of origin.

Tariff codes

A 10-digit commodity code is required for importing into the UK. These codes determine the duties and import VAT for your products. Both the UK government and the European Commission provide more information.

You can also download a list of ASINs and corresponding tariff codes, then filter for ASINs that you might have. This list is for guidance only and should be verified with your own research. Amazon does not take responsibility for any incorrect tariff codes.

Incoterms

Incoterms are commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) that are used widely for global trade. They specify who is responsible for managing and paying for shipment, insurance, documentation, customs clearance, and other logistical activities. A description of each incoterm is available on the ICC website (note that the 2010 edition of incoterms remains valid).

Ask your customs broker or freight forwarder for the incoterm that applies to your shipment. For seller-fulfilled orders, we require these incoterms:

  • DDP (Delivered Duty Paid). You deliver orders at your own expense to a destination in the importing country, taking care of all customs formalities and paying all import duties in addition to all costs. With DDP, you are the importer of record or declarant.
  • DAP (Delivered at Place). You are responsible for delivering your orders, including transportation costs, to the named destination. The costs of carrying out all the necessary import formalities are excluded. Therefore, all taxes incurred when you import to the country of destination must be paid by the buyer or the recipient.

Carrier commercial invoice guidelines

All documents for download are in English.

Parcel providers

UPS (download)

FedEx

DPD

Pallet provider

Kuehne + Nagel (download)

Commercial invoice templates

UPS for each shipment (download)

Kuehne + Nagel for EU to UK (download)

Kuehne + Nagel for UK to EU (download)

Product and labeling compliance

Additional licenses, certificates, or permissions may be required for your products, including the markings below. You are responsible for ensuring that all listings and products comply with all applicable laws.

CE marking

CE marking appears on many products that are traded on the single market in the European Economic Area (EEA). The CE mark is applied by the manufacturer to indicate that a product meets health, safety, and environmental protection standards for the EEA. In addition, the manufacturer must issue an EU declaration of conformity for the product and draw up technical documentation (discussed in further detail below).

Not all products that are sold in the EEA require a CE mark. Common examples that do require a CE mark include toys, electronics, personal protective equipment, machinery, construction products, gas appliances, recreational and personal watercraft, pressure vessels, and measuring equipment. For a complete list of products, go to the UK government's CE marking page.

To learn more, go to our CE and UKCA Help page.

UKCA marking

On January 1, 2021, the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking replaced the CE mark for UK goods. The change does not apply to Northern Ireland. Existing stock before that date does not use the UKCA marking. An example would be a product that was fully manufactured before January 1, 2021.

In the UK, products must include the UKCA marking, though the CE mark will remain valid for most products until January 1, 2022. Different rules apply in Northern Ireland. The UKCA marking is required if all of these conditions apply to your product:

  • The product is covered by legislation that requires the UKCA marking
  • Conformity assessment by a third party in the UK is required for the product
  • This third party has not transferred their conformity assessment files to an EU-recognized body before January 1, 2021
  • The product was manufactured after January 1, 2021

For more information, go to Placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain.

Frequently asked questions

What are the best practices for customs clearance?

Before sending your shipment with your chosen carrier, do the following:

  • Read this Help page and supporting material from your chosen customs broker or freight forwarder.
  • If you use a partnered carrier or third-party provider, make sure to complete the sign-up process.
  • If possible, have your commercial invoice checked by your carrier, customs broker, or freight forwarder.
  • Some carriers may ask you to attach three copies of the commercial invoice to your shipment. Make sure to verify the process with your carrier.
  • Safeguard your customs documents, especially powers of attorney (POAs) and all commercial invoices.
  • If your products require additional certifications or markings, check with a customs broker for additional requirements.

How can I prepare for Amazon partnered carrier shipping between the UK and the EU?

If you use an Amazon partnered carrier, the following information will be required before you can create a shipment:*

  • Registered VAT numbers in the destination marketplace where you plan to send inventory
  • An EORI number for both the UK and one EU country
  • Tariff codes for products
  • Product customs value information (view UK guidance and download EU guidance)
  • Country-of-origin information
  • An import reference number, provided by the carrier

For more information, go to Prepare your Amazon business for Brexit.

*These requirements are subject to change based on guidelines provided by the UK government.

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