Brexit: well prepared with GLS*

HU Linehaul

The United Kingdom is expected to exit the EU on March 29, 2019 and will from that point on be viewed by the EU as a non-member country. This will impact the movement of goods between the EU and the UK. To make this transition as easy as possible for customers and maintain confidence, GLS has been preparing for all forms of Brexit for several months now with a Europe-wide, centrally coordinated project.

*This page will be continually updated due to repeated new developments.

Customs Europe

Customs – GLS to rely on experience

GLS has for many years been a reliable partner for parcel deliveries across Europe and the world. The parcel service provider is able to utilise existing, proven processes for smooth imports and exports, including deliveries requiring customs clearance. As a subsidiary of the UK’s Royal Mail Group, GLS enjoys special opportunities to give its customers extensive support when sending to the UK. In addition, GLS has prepared a range of measures for the worst-case scenario, including transitioning IT systems, adjusting operational processes, hiring staff for customs work and training sales employees.

Requirements for your export to the UK

Your enterprise needs a so-called EORI (Economic Operators’ Registration and Identification) number for dispatch to countries outside the EU. You can apply for your EORI number at the German customs authorities. In addition, a commercial invoice or proforma invoice needs to be added to any UK parcel.

Choose from various incoterms

When shipping to Non-EU countries, taxes, customs duties and customs clearance fees apply in addition to the shipping costs. The incoterms define, which of these costs are borne by the shipper or by the consignee respectively. Customs clearance is made according to EFTA, for shipping to the UK, the Incoterms 10, 20, 30, 40 and 60 are available.

Your benefit with GLS: New alternatives for customs clearance

As a subsidiary of the Royal Mail we can offer new, economical alternatives for customs clearance of single parcels to UK:

  • Customs clearance for single parcels with a goods value of less than €1,000 via incoterm 13 (freight costs, customs clearance costs, customs duties and taxes paid) and incoterm 23 (freight costs paid, customs clearance costs, customs duties and taxes unpaid).
  • For single parcels with a goods value of less than GBP135, shippers – after registration on the website – can pay import VAT directly to the British tax authorities. These parcels can be shipped with incoterm 18 via GLS.

Convenient customs data entry

You will soon have the option to enter your customs data, ie all data on exporter, importer and commodities, in a new online tool. Further information can be found on as of 18th of March. Thus, customs clearance can be done without any delay.

Standard transit times

Standard transit time to UK remain basically unchanged (2 to 4 working days, Mon - Fri), if customs data are provided to GLS until handover of the parcel (possibly longer transit times in case of unforeseen events at the borders).

Important: In case of a Hard Brexit, parcels to the UK need to be customs-cleared as of 28th of March!

All the relevant information can be found in the Export guidelines . In any case: your export to the UK is always in safe hands with GLS!