Preparation for Brexit

Information about Brexit

GLS has compiled the information for you as a sender on Brexit to the best of our knowledge.

Please note, however, that this information is non-binding and we accept no liability for it being correct, complete or up to date. All customers are responsible for ensuring that they comply with legal requirements.

What does Brexit mean in terms of shipping parcels to the UK?

As things stand, a “no-deal Brexit” between the EU and the United Kingdom (UK) is possible. The UK will cease to be a member of the EU on 1 January 2021 and will get the status of a third country. This means that trade between the EU and the UK would be subject to customs supervision from this date.

Is shipping to Ireland affected by Brexit?

With Brexit, the United Kingdom, i.e. Great Britain and Northern Ireland, exit the European Union.

The Republic of Ireland is not affected by Brexit and remains a member of the EU. This means that shipping to Ireland (Republic of Ireland) can be done without customs treatment.

The delivery time can however be affected by + 2 days if GLS will have to sail directly to Ireland from France.

When will new shipping terms for UK apply?

The concrete timing is still uncertain. According to current planning, last duty-free shipping to the UK will be possible on Tuesday 29 December 2020.

As of Friday 1 January 2021, all shipments to the UK must be customs-cleared.

What customs documents and information will be required?

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, senders will have to provide the following:

  • The full details of the importer (if not the recipient):
    Name, address, telephone number and mail address.
  • Full commercial invoice. Besides the general information required on a commercial invoice, it also has to show the EORI (Economic Operators’ Registration and Identification) number for commercial recipients.
  • The following information must be provided for all invoice items:
    • All customs tariff numbers
    • Gross and net weight
    • An exact description of the goods
    • Country of origin
    • Value (incl. currency)
Values must be added up for each customs tariff number. If the same customs tariff numbers with the same origin are listed more than once on an invoice, sum totals of the gross and net weight, the values and the quantity of goods must be indicated for each of these customs tariff numbers.

Where can I access information on customs tariff numbers?

When shipping to the UK, the appropriate goods/customs tariff number must be provided.

Detailed information about goods/customs tariff numbers is available online:

Is an export declaration required when shipping to the UK?

For goods worth 7.500 kr. or more, senders must complete an electronic customs declaration when shipping parcels to EFTA countries and third countries (which the UK will become).

In Denmark, this is done via

GLS Denmark also supports you with this - you just have to send us the invoice. The cost for the export declaration is DKK 100 incl. 3 position numbers.

What Incoterms are available for shipping to the UK?

Incoterms set out which customs-related costs are borne by the sender and which are borne by the recipient. Incoterms must clearly appear on your invoice to the recipient.

When shipping to the UK with GLS, senders can choose from the following options:

  • Incoterm 40 (DDU, cleared): Freight costs and customs clearance costs paid, customs duties and taxes unpaid – the sender pays for freight and customs clearance costs, the importer pays customs duties and taxes.
  • Incoterm 60 (Pick&ShipService, Pick&ReturnService): Freight costs, customs clearance costs, customs duties and taxes paid – the customer pays all resulting costs, the importer bears no costs.
  • Incoterm 18 (DDP, VAT pre-registration): Freight costs, customs clearance costs, customs duties and taxes paid – the sender pays all resulting costs, the importer bears no costs. For single parcels with a goods value of less than GBP135 – The British government has not finalised the future handling of this issue and we await further information about this.

Is it possible to send gifts/samples to the UK without incurring duty (Simplified Procedure as per Incoterm 50)?

The British government has decided that the limit for low-value clearance will cease to apply on the day of Brexit.

All goods, however low the value, must be declared.

Is collective customs clearance possible?

Alongside the option of individual customs clearance, GLS also offers collective customs clearance in order to make customs handling as efficient and cost-effective as possible.

  • Individual customs clearance: customs consignment comprises one or more parcels for a single recipient. Generally speaking, customs clearance will be carried out directly for the end recipient or an importer acting on behalf of the end recipient.
  • Collective clearance: customs consignment comprises multiple parcels for different recipients. Customs clearance is carried out for different recipients (i.e. for multiple delivery addresses) on the basis of a single invoice via an importer. In this instance, only one clearance fee is charged, which can then be broken down to individual parcels. For example, the importer may be the branch office of a consignor company, the fiscal representative of a Danish company registered in the UK with a British tax number or a sole importer.

Are there any new rules for exporting to the Channel Islands?

The existing rules for exporting to the Channel Islands will cease to apply after Brexit.

After Brexit, the same rules will apply for the Channel Islands as for the United Kingdom.

What changes will take place in terms of imports?

Basically, goods coming from the UK will be subject to import customs clearance.

For recipients, this means that any resulting taxes, customs duties and clearance fees may, depending on the Incoterms stipulated by the sender, have to be borne by the recipient.

What additional costs will be incurred when shipping to the UK?

When shipping to the UK, additional costs (i.e. taxes, customs duties and clearance fees) will occur in addition to shipping costs.

  • Import VAT in the UK currently stands at 20%.
  • The customs duties payable depend on the type of goods being shipped and the tariffs set by the British government, assuming that no exemption based on country of origin applies.
  • The clearance fee will be charged by GLS for its customs clearance service and covers the significant additional labour incurred as a result of the customs clearance process.
    The customs clearance fee to the UK will be DKK 125 incl. 3 position numbers and DKK 25 per extra item position number in addition to the three.

What delivery times apply to shipments to/from the UK?

GLS parcels from Denmark will reach their destination in the UK within a standard delivery time of 2-3 workdays. This delivery time also applies to parcels shipped from the UK to Denmark. We will do everything we can to maintain these delivery times after Brexit. However, the customs clearance process may lead to delays that are beyond our control.

The invoice on the shipment must reach GLS no later than 3 pm on the day of departure, if you want to make sure that the parcels will be sent to the UK the same day.

The invoice must be sent to

Are there any restrictions on shipping goods to the UK?

Not beyond those mentioned in our General Terms.

GLS is ready to help regarding Brexit

Where can I get more answers about Brexit?

GLS' export department is available, if you have questions. Contact us by phone +45 76 33 12 79 or mail

Other websites that might be relevant for more information: