Guide

Importing and exporting by post

Customs declarations when sending packages outside the European Union

If you are exporting goods to countries outside the European Union (EU) you must complete and attach a Customs declaration. You can get Customs declaration forms CN22 (for goods worth up to £270) or CN23 (for goods worth more) at your local Post Office.

Any necessary certificates or licences should also be attached to the outside of the package and clearly identified before posting. A commercial invoice should be sent with packages containing commercial items. A 'C&E 83A' (sticky label) should be attached, which directs the postal authority to present the parcel to Customs for checks prior to export.

If you leave important details off your Customs declarations, it could lead to delays or even seizure of the goods by Customs. You must also include your name and address on the Customs declaration or item being sent overseas.

You do not need to fill out a Customs declaration for packages sent to another EU country.

Access the UK Trade Tariff.

UK Customs controls

Customs carries out selective checks to stop banned or restricted goods, or items relating to the proceeds of crime, from being sent overseas.

Customs and postal agencies throughout the world have restrictions on types of goods that can be sent by post. Read more about postal restrictions.

Should I retain evidence of posting?

If you are registered for VAT, you need to keep a certificate of posting to support your VAT zero rating.