How to generate a customs document
As part of the booking process, you will need to provide the following information for your customs forms. This will then be used to generate a pro-forma or commercial invoice (depending on the type of items you are sending).
1. Sender details
You will need to provide your full name, address and telephone number so we can get in touch with you should there be an issue with your shipment.
2. Recipient details
In addition, please give the recipient’s name, address, email address and telephone number.
3. VAT status
There are three options to choose from: ‘Personal individual’, ‘Company-Non-VAT registered’ and ‘Company-VAT registered’. If you select ‘Company – VAT registered’, you will be asked for your VAT number so make sure you have this to hand.
4. EORI number
This field will only appear if you are sending to a European destination and have selected ‘Company-VAT registered’ as your VAT status. If you are a business sender and don’t already have an EORI number, you can register for one on the HMRC website.
Please note: a special type of EORI number, known as an XI EORI number, is needed to send parcels to Northern Ireland. To obtain an XI EORI number, simply register with the Trader Support Service.
5. Recipient’s EORI / PID number – optional field
If you’re sending to a business, recipient information, such as their Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI) or Personal identification Number (PID), are recommended to support the import customs clearance process within the destination country. By providing this you will help avoid delays in clearance or possible additional fees where clearance cannot be started.
6. Reason for export
Select the reason why you are sending the item from the drop down list. Possible reasons include: documents; gift; sample; sold.
7. Tariff code (or commodity code)
A commodity code is an 8-digit number used to classify traded products. The code tells customs officials in the destination country what’s inside your parcel and is used to calculate the duties to be paid.
In our booking form, we make it easier for you to find the tariff code you need by listing some of the most popular items which are sent through our network. All you need to do is select the item you are sending from this list and the tariff code field will auto-fill with the correct code. If your item does not appear in the list, select ‘Other’ and you will be taken to the HMRC website to search for your item.
Alternatively, if you know the tariff code for the item you are sending, simply click ‘Enter manually’ and type the 8-digit code into the box.
Make sure you give a detailed description as items with a vague description risk being held up in customs. Always include what the item is, what it is made from and what it will be used for. For example, instead of ‘Clothing’ the description should be ‘Men’s knitted jumper, 70% cotton and 30% polyester’.
9. Country of manufacture
This is the country where the item was originally manufactured, produced or grown. It’s important you fill this in accurately and to the best of your knowledge.
If you are sending a parcel to an EU country, this information is needed to benefit from the EU to UK Trade Agreement of ‘zero tariff’ (zero customs duties).
Provide an accurate value for the item you are sending. If there is more than one item, give an itemised list with a value for each item in the parcel.