Importing and exporting by post

Examination of postal packages entering the UK

Postal packages arriving in the UK from outside the European Union are checked to make sure they do not contain banned or restricted goods, such as:

  • drugs
  • indecent or obscene material
  • weapons
  • endangered species
  • counterfeit goods

Checks also take place to make sure the description and value stated on the declaration is correct, as well as to find out whether any Customs duty, excise duty and import VAT is payable by the recipient.

Customs sometimes need to examine a package when the sender has not completed the declaration fully. When directed by Customs, Royal Mail staff carry out package opening, repacking and resealing.