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No IOSS number? No problem. How to ship in to the EU without an IOSS number....

Article by Simon Perkins

8 July 2021 / 7 minute read

Since Brexit, and the start of IOSS on July 1st 2021, accounting and managing EU sales VAT has become confusing and expensive. Here we show you:

  • How to ship into the EU hassle-free if you don't have an IOSS number
  • Why sending DDU is absolute no-no and how to avoid those local delivery 'VAT handling charges'
  • What to do if your parcel carrier refuses your parcels without an IOSS number
  • How to avoid rip-off DDP and clearance surcharges applied by other parcel delivery companies
  • What to do if your parcel delivery company can't deliver into certain EU countries for you

Read on or contact us directly. Click here to view our EU parcel tariff and start shipping with us today, Email us by clicking here, WhatsApp us directly by clicking here. or complete the contact form at the bottom of this page and we'll get in touch to go through your options.

Your Problem: Since Brexit, UK e-com companies selling into the EU have had to account for EU sales VAT over €22. Until July 1st 2021 this was either done by declaring parcels under the €22 minimum value consignment VAT exemption (legitimately or….not!) or sent DDP (Deliver Duty Paid) or DDU (Deliver Duty Unpaid). The ‘Duty’ bit in that is a bit of a red herring because it’s actually VAT in most circumstances.

However, since IOSS was introduced on 1st July 2021 the €22 exemption has been abolished, and IOSS introduced which now means you have 3 options for your EU deliveries. DDU, DDP or the IOSS scheme. Trouble is that they all involve additional actual or hidden cost - or so you thought!

Let's get in to the detail about the current issues facing UK e-com businesses shipping to the EU, then move on to your solution for all this. Below are the top 5 problems we’re asked about:

1. DDU

How do I stop my EU customers having to pay local handling fees and VAT on delivery?

What’s happening: If sending DDU your customer pays VAT and a “local handling” charge before delivery. The local handling charge can be up to €60 and is a terrible customer experience, resulting in refusals and returns. Some postal services have defaulted to DDU since 1st July which feels like you don’t have a choice. You may also have discovered your parcel carrier will no longer take DDU shipments and are insisting that you provide an IOSS ID number, which you may not have.

2. DDP

Why does my parcel carrier charge so much for sending DDP. I feel ripped off?

What’s happening: Your parcel carrier pays the VAT at point of import into the EU and reverse charges this back to you. This is normally accompanied by a hefty DDP surcharge applied to your invoice from your parcel carrier. This can triple the cost of shipping.

3. IOSS

I haven’t got an IOSS number can I still ship into the EU?

What’s happening: IOSS is a scheme whereby any EU import VAT due from your EU shipments are applied to a unique IOSS ID number and you settle the VAT due on a monthly basis that are applied to your IOSS number. Click here for more details. Unfortunately, you can’t do this yourself, and need an EU intermediary, who will charge for providing this service. This can be quite expensive too and it is not easy to get set up. It’s a great system if you are doing larger volumes, but if you’re volumes are more modest then it can be cost prohibitive. Also, if the value of your shipment is over €150 you can’t use this system and only have DDP or DDU to fall back on, with the caveats detailed above.

4. Clearance

My parcel carrier can only clear parcels into certain EU countries?

What’s happening: Some parcel carriers are unable to clear parcels from the UK in to certian EU countries. They may also refuse certain tariff codes or ask you to send the parcels on air services which are much more expensive. This means having to split deliveries across other carriers and juggling different customer service systems, invoicing, tariffs and shipping systems.

5. Refusals and returns

Why do my EU parcels frequently get refused and returned?

What's happening: Parcels seem to disappear in to the abyss for weeks on end without explanation or guidance from your parcel delivery company on what you need to do. Some are suddenly returned after a period of many weeks, some may be returned promptly. This is mainly for two reasons - 1. your customer refusing to pay the VAT and a local handling charge or 2. the destination country refusing to import the product.

All sound familiar? Frustrating, isn’t it?

Your Solution:

Ideally you need a parcel delivery company that can send your shipments at a great rate to all EU countries, doesn't insist you have an IOSS number, can ship any value consignment, ensures that your customers do not recieve any 'local handling' and VAT charges on delivery, does not apply surcharges or have any hidden extra costs and can deliver parcels across Europe in 2-5 days fully tracked without hassle.

Relax! That’s where we can help.

Our service ‘Samos Connect’ click here for more details is suited to you if any of the above situations or more apply to you since Brexit or when the IOSS system commenced on 1st July 2021.

We can ship B2C parcels of any value into the EU on a hybrid clearance and delivery service for a great, highly competitive low rate without any surcharges at all. You do not need an IOSS number to ship with us. Your customers will never be asked for VAT or local handling charges. If you do have an IOSS number we can clear your parcels on your IOSS number too, without clearance surcharges or any other additional hidden costs. Click here to view more information on how our hybrid EU clearance and parcel delivery service works or check out our "Frequently Asked Questions" by clicking here.

Sound like what you’ve been looking for? We can set you up to start shipping straight away. Click here to view our EU parcel tariff, or use the quote calculator below and start shipping with us today. To get in touch, email us by clicking here, WhatsApp us by clicking here. or complete the contact form at the bottom of this page and we'll get in touch to go through your options.

Who are we? SAMOS e-commerce - Alternatively brilliant.

We are a parcel logistics company specialising in creating and engineering customer-focussed e-commerce parcel delivery solutions. We have become particularly well known for our hybrid EU parcel delivery solution. It's growing very fast and enabled many e-com businesses to get back on track and develop their EU markets without fear of all the export problems experienced with the other mail and parcel delivery companies.

We totally understand the fustrations of using parcel and post delivery services so we have engineered these out of our service. Customers always ask us "why didn't we know about you before?" Well, you do now. We can ship all your B2C parcels across the EU whether your have an IOSS number or not. We do not surcharge at all, just one ultra-low cost per parcel. Simple. For more information about us click here.

What Our Customers Say

‘’We are incredibly happy with the service provided by Samos and would recommend their EU shipment services to any businesses requiring a solution for EU logistics since Brexit. Deliveries are fast and our customers are happy. Samos take all the stress and hassle of the new (and confusing) requirements away and provide a comprehensive and fully rounded service for both us and our customers. It’s win-win solution. We were apprehensive about the future of shipping B2C into the EU after experiencing delays in transit and confusion around additional charges, until we joined Samos. They are incredibly helpful, knowledgeable and reliable, it really is joy to be working with them.’’ - Alie Mackintosh, CEO, AYM - www.aym-studio.com.