With paperless trade, there is no need to print and attach invoices to your shipment. Instead, an electronic invoice is sent through to customs. Currently only available with DHL Express, UPS, Fedex and DPD deliveries, paperless trade has some destination and value restrictions, so if in doubt please contact us for more information.

You will need an invoice for any non-document consignment travelling outside the UK. This can be either a pro forma or a commercial invoice. You should attach three copies to the parcel inside a sealed ‘documents enclosed’ wallet. Give a separate copy to your collecting driver, with the carrier tracking number clearly stated on it, unless your shipment is going via Paperless Trade.

The more information you provide on the invoice the better, as this can help to make customs clearance smoother and quicker. Invoices should always include (as a minimum) full consignee address and contact details, the true value of the goods (‘0’ will not be accepted) and a full description (avoid vague descriptions such as ‘samples’ or ‘gifts’). Additional information, such as country of origin or the shipper’s EORI number, is also useful.

Every product is assigned a commodity code by Customs & Excise, which denotes the level of duty payable to the receiving customs authorities. Codes (and levels of duty) vary by product and may also differ from country to country. It is always best to enter the relevant commodity codes on your invoices. A full list of codes can be found at https://www.gov.uk/trade-tariff