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Shipping to the UK

Shipping to the UK can be a relatively straight forward experience as long as you follow a set of golden rules:

Make enquiries before you commit to buying goods

There are a few things that you need to make sure you know before buying goods overseas to ship to the UK.  Firstly it is a good idea to make preliminary enquiries with a UK shipping agent (like Mercator) who will be able to assist you with the rate of UK import VAT/duty that is applicable (if any).  The rate will depend on a few factors including country of origin and the nature of the goods.  This is cost that you should take into account when shipping goods to the UK.

Make sure you understand your buying terms

It is important that you understand your buying terms with your supplier.  Incoterms are a set of rules which set out the responsibilities of the buyer and the seller when it comes to international trade and shipping.  The most commonly used terms are DAP ‘Delivered at Place’; FOB ‘Free on Board’ and DDP ‘Delivered Duty Paid’.  You’ll need to factor in this when working out your sums: for example, if you are buying EXW ‘Ex Works’ where the buyer is pretty much responsible for the whole shipping including pick up, sea/air freight, customs clearance and local duties etc, there will be costs to pay on top of just buying your goods. Compare this with buying DDP ‘Delivered Duty Paid’ where the seller covers the majority of the shipping costs.

If you are new to international trade, then it is worth discussing this with your nominated shipping agent, who will be able to assist you.  Our team at Mercator have a great deal of experience with import shipping to the UK and different Incoterms, so do get in touch for assistance (+44 2392 756 575).

Appoint a reputable UK freight agent

Appointing a freight agent in the UK (such as Mercator) will save you a lot of headaches.  They can handle any aspect of your shipment to the UK that you want them to handle.  Mercator’s services include all elements of shipping from collection at your goods origin, through sea/air freight to the UK, UK customs clearance, payments to HMRC for VAT/Duty and delivery to your door in the UK.

If you have a shipping consignment for the UK then do not hesitate to get in touch.  We have over 20 years’ experience in the industry.  We are members of the UK’s freight forwarding trade association which means we have certain regulations and conditions of trade we have to adhere to which protects our customers.  We are also founding members of a worldwide shipping agent network, with members in over 90 countries.  Our membership allows us personal contacts across the globe and valuable local knowledge in your goods origin country (this can be from local export customs, through to arranging a pick-up overseas and delivery to the port of departure).

If you would like to make a start on your shipping consignment to the UK, then do get in touch, one of our import shipping team will be happy to assist and get the ball rolling, sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk or call +44 2392 756 575

 

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Freight Forwarding – Importing Goods into the UK, Paying VAT and Duty

If you have not imported goods into the UK before, you may be wondering how import VAT and duty works.

How much VAT and duty will I need to pay?

HMRC uses a ‘tariff’ to determine the rate (a percentage) of VAT and duty that needs to be paid on customs clearance.  This means that the rate is dependent upon what your goods are, and their worth.  Take a look here: https://www.gov.uk/trade-tariff.  Our team of freight forwarders will classify your goods when we handle your shipment and/or customs clearance, calculate the amount payable, and handle payments to HMRC (if required).

Who is responsible for paying for the VAT and duty?

You, as the importer, are responsible for settling any VAT and duty payable upon your goods arrival in the UK.  Your goods will not be released from customs until this is settled.  Most of our customers opt to use us to clear their import through customs.  Our standard procedure is to calculate the rate of VAT and duty payable, an invoice is raised for this amount, once funds from our customer has cleared into our account, we forward the payment to HMRC with the necessary release instructions.  Customs clearance is required for both air and sea imports.

Can I claim back VAT and duty?

If you are VAT registered, then you should be able to claim back any import VAT (not duty).  To import into the UK you will require an EORI number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification).  This is a straight forward process of filling in a form, you should receive your EORI number within a week.  We can assist you with this if required.

Give us a call to discuss Mercator Cargo handling your shipment, or UK customs clearance and delivery.  Our team of freight forwarders deal with UK clearance and delivery, and international shipping on a daily basis – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarding – How Shipping Containers have Changed the Freight Forwarding Industry

Shipping containers have been used since the 1950s when they were invented by an American trucking businessman.  Since then, freight forwarders, importers and exporters have used shipping containers for the transit of all kinds of goods.

Prior to freight forwarders using 40 foot or 20 foot containers, ships hulls were loaded manually by dock workers, box by box, piece by piece.  This is a time consuming job, and sometimes these big shipping liners spent more time at the docks than they did at sea.

Now, using shipping containers, freight forwarders can get their cargo off the shipping liners within hours, rather than weeks.  Their uniformed sizes mean that they can be easily transferred from ship to dockside, to truck, to train, and so on.

These rather simple developments in freight forwarding have dramatically decreased costs involved in importing and exporting goods.

If you have a full container load, or even a less than container load, of cargo to be exported or imported, then get in touch today to discuss our freight forwarding services available – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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What is a Freight Forwarder?

If you are new to importing or exporting from the UK, you may be wondering what a freight forwarder does, what their role with your company should be, what they can offer, and what the responsibilities of the importer/exporter (i.e. you) versus the freight forwarder are.

To cut the jargon, the freight forwarder (the person or company that you appoint to handle your shipment) will do just that – they will handle your shipment for you. Freight forwarders oversee the worldwide movement of goods from country to country, and can offer services such as packing, documentation and customs clearance on behalf of exporters and importers.

Your freight forwarder should be able to offer any kind of level of service you require. For example, if you are completely new to importing and exporting your goods, you may wish your freight forwarder to arrange all aspects of your shipment. This might include a door-to-door delivery (i.e. arrange the collection of goods, and delivery of goods to the door for your chosen destination), insurance, customs clearance, and all services required to deliver goods from one country to the next. However, you may decide that you only wish for a delivery from door to port, or from port to door, and so on. Mercator can offer either a fully comprehensive freight forwarding service, or arrange smaller aspects of your shipment.

So what kind of role do you wish your freight forwarder to have with your company? Again, this entirely depends on your needs and the needs of your business. If you are a first time importer, or exporter, you may wish to make initial contact with your freight forwarder before committing to any international trade with other companies. Mercator Cargo can offer you advice on buying terms from abroad, provide quotes for exports from the UK so you can inform your buyers, and also advise what you can or cannot import from country to country. Our experienced team of freight forwarders can offer as much “hand holding” as you require.

What are your responsibilities, and what are our responsibilities? In a nut shell, our responsibilities are to get your goods to its destination for you as instructed, to inform you every step of the way of your shipment, and to provide reliable advice relating to your shipment. Your responsibilities as an importer or exporter vary from shipment to shipment.  You are required to declare your goods accurately (i.e. if a declaration is made on your behalf as instructed, and it is not accurate, you are liable for this, not the freight forwarder), therefore it is essential you advise your freight forwarder of the accurate nature of your goods.

If you think that you might need the services of a freight forwarder, then give us a call, we will be happy to discuss your freight forwarding needs with you – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarding News – Benefits of Freight Forwarders Belonging to a Global Network

Mercator Cargo is a founding member of the global freight forwarding network Marco Polo Line (MPL).  What does this mean for you, the potential (or existing) customer?

Marco Polo Line was founded with the intention to give independent freight forwarders (like Mercator Cargo) advantages that the bigger freight forwarders have traditionally enjoyed over the independent forwarders.

The first, and biggest impact that Mercator finds invaluable on a daily basis (both for our customers, and our operations in the office) is the personal contacts that we now have globally.  Marco Polo Line holds annual conferences, where members can meet face-to-face and build working relationships.  Mercator Cargo takes full advantage of these conferences, sending at least two members of the freight forwarding team.  These personal contacts allow Mercator to arrange shipments seamlessly, using valuable local knowledge, and offer to-door shipments in almost any country in the world (thanks to our global partners).

The other advantage is that members are ‘vetted’, tried and tested (you cannot join MPL by just filling a form in).  Membership is monitored, so if there are problems, these can be raised and eradicated.  This means that our partner offices are trustworthy and reliable to handle your shipments, where ever they are in the world.

These are just a few examples of the benefits of choosing Mercator as your freight forwarder.

Contact us today to discuss how we can help you with your freight forwarding needs – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarding – New to International Trade and Importing?

If you haven’t dealt with international trade before, the business of importing your goods into the UK might seem like a bit of a challenge.

It is a good idea to appoint a freight forwarder with the required knowledge and experience to assist you with your shipments.

Not only can a good freight forwarder arrange the actual shipment for you from A to B, but they should be able to impart some useful advice when it comes to buying your goods abroad.

When buying your goods, here are some pointers that you may wish to think about before signing anything with a supplier:

–          Ensure you know how much your goods are going to cost;
–          Make sure you know how much it is going to cost to transport your goods to your warehouse;
–          Make sure you investigate as to whether there are any restrictions on the goods you wish to import into the UK (an experienced freight forwarder will be able to advise);
–          Ensure that your contract of purchase is sound;
–          Make sure that you will get your goods once you have paid, or have legally agreed to pay.

These are just a few pointers to consider when looking to import into the UK.  If you are at this stage, then it will be worth contacting a freight forwarder to obtain a quote for the importation of your goods.  An experienced freight forwarder will be able to offer you a variety of different levels of shipping services – for example, a comprehensive service from door to door, including all insurance, customs clearance, VAT & Duty payments to HMRC etc, or just an aspect of your shipment, for example just the ocean freight.

If you’re looking to import goods into the UK, then contact Mercator Cargo today, our family-run business can offer you support and advice when it comes to importing for the first time – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Importing Candles into the UK

When importing candles into the UK, there are a few things to consider.  You will need to understand the charges you are required to pay for your import.  These will include air/sea freight, handling, documentation, customs clearance, and VAT and duty.  VAT and duty is currently around 6.5% (dependent upon country of origin) of the value of the candles to be imported and must be paid before release from customs. If you want further guidance on the costings of importing candles into the UK, then get in contact, we will be happy to provide you with a quote for your shipment. The more details you have about the shipment, the better, we will ask you things like the origin of the candles, where they were manufactured, how heavy the cargo is, how big the cargo is, the commercial value of the candles and where you would like it delivered in the UK. This way we can provide a price which will include a fully comprehensive shipping service: freight from destination, customs clearance in the UK and UK delivery.

It is recommended that candles which are transported for extended periods of time are kept in temperature controlled units (i.e. refrigerated containers, otherwise known as reefers).  This is to ensure that whilst the candles are in transit, they remain intact and arrive safely at their destination.

Some candles for import or export are considered hazardous for transport, and require a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for import purposes.  If you already have an MSDS for your import shipment of candles, let us know when you are enquiring so that we can provide an accurate quotation for your candle importation.  If you are unsure whether you require an MSDS for your import of candles, just ask one of our experienced freight forwarders who will be able to point you in the right direction.

So if you’re looking to arrange an import of candles into the UK, give one of our experienced freight forwarders a call – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Are you a First Time Importer Looking for a Freight Forwarding Partner?

Are you about to embark on importing goods into the UK for the first time? Perhaps you are importing goods into the UK from a manufacturer abroad to sell on in the UK. Or you might be getting bespoke goods manufactured abroad and importing in them into the UK for distribution. Either way, you are probably looking for a freight forwarding partner. Look no further, Mercator Cargo is an experienced freight forwarder and we can help with your import logistics.

Importing goods into the UK might seem like a scary notion. And it may well be if you have not done this before. That is why it is a wise decision to look for a freight forwarding partner to arrange your import for you. At Mercator we offer a wide range of freight forwarding services for imports, from just arranging a sea freight shipment, to a full service of door-to-door deliveries and all necessaries when importing, such as customs clearance, VAT and duty payments, and documentation.

Mercator Cargo is an independent freight forwarder based in the UK. Founded in 1991, we are still run and owned by the same family. We have a highly experienced import department made up of freight forwarders, all with different experiences and knowledge. As we are independently run, we can offer a full ‘hand holding’ service, and advise on all matters related to importing goods into the UK.

So if you are unsure of what you are doing when it comes to importing into the UK and want to be guided through by the experts, then give us a call today and ask for the imports department – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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