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, or call +44 2392 756 575


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    Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.