Road freight crossing international trade borders, whether commercial or non-commercial, must go through customs clearance before delivery. Even though there are usually no customs charges to pay for road freight being transported within the European Union, there may be certain exceptions. Read our guide about freight customs charges and cargo clearance, the required shipping documentation and how the declared value of goods is calculated.
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DUTIES AND TAXES
The EU is a customs-free zone. Goods produced in member states of the European Union, or any other country with specific contracts for free circulation of goods, will not be subject to customs duty payment. However, VAT charges may apply. If there is a trade agreement in place, goods will still need to be inspected by customs.
Goods entering the European Union from non-EU countries may be subject to additional freight customs duties. There are some cases in which cargo may be exempt from duties for international freight shipping:
Freight customs charges and VAT must be paid on international shipments for goods leaving the EU. Generally speaking, export customs clearance is paid by the shipper in EU, while the receiver abroad pays VAT and import duties.
Regulations vary by country, so we recommend checking in detail what will be required by the importing and exporting countries in your case.
The declared value of goods is essential for international freight shipping and is included in the export documents and invoices. Although it may vary by country, the declared value for customs is normally calculated based on the following:
We advise checking the regulations in detail with the importing and exporting countries. Some costs may be added or deducted from the customs value of the product, which depends on each case.
The declared value for carriage is calculated from the value of the cargo. It serves as a basis for imposing freight charges, which is generally lower than the declared value for customs.
Read more about exporting outside of the EU
When booking Van Delivery on our platform, you need to provide us with the following information depending on whether it is a private or business shipment:
It is important to note that the packing list should contain the information about the sender, receiver, the item description, value of each of unit and total value. Additionally, it should be signed by the owner of the goods.
Read more about Brexit customs regulations
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When shipping cargo outside of the EU, you will need to provide a proforma or commercial invoice as well as a customs declaration or packing list describing the content. You will have to describe the cargo you are shipping as specifically as possible.
The number of documents required for international freight customs clearance will vary by country, but the following documents are required in the majority of cases:
List each of the items separately, with detailed descriptions.
Avoid writing general terms such as “food”. Instead, write “cheese-flavoured cracker samples, packed in aluminium bag”.
Write the cargo value, as you may be entitled to this amount of compensation in the event of a damage claim.
Keep original invoices to prove the value of each of the items.
Be very specific when indicating what items are made of, their origin, and their purpose.
Provide a commodity/HS code for each item.
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