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The dos and don'ts of EU parcel shipping. A shipping manager's ultimate guide to best practise in EU e-commerce parcel delivery in a post Brexit world.

Article by Simon Perkins

11 August 2021 / 7 minute read

Since Brexit and the introduction of the EU IOSS scheme in July, e-com businesses shipping B2C to customers into the EU have suddenly had to become experts in commercial exporting. Often this is a world that they’ve never been exposed to and can seem intimidating. Here we look at the all-new 'post Brexit' and 'post IOSS' “dos and don’ts” of UK to EU e-com shipping to help you make the right decisions for successful EU deliveries, improve your reviews, increase efficiency and ultimately grow your customer base and following.

If you have any questions about parcel shipping into the EU, we're happy to help. 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 discuss your situation and look at your best options.

Below are some of the most common questions that e-com businesses ask themselves about EU shipping and what 60 years worth of joint experience at Samos e-commerce will tell you are the do's and don'ts!

Am I getting the best EU parcel prices?

Don’t: Never ever accept the pricing and surcharging from your parcel delivery company as the status-quo, there is always a better deal without compromising service. Covid and Brexit has created a volume bonanza for the parcel carriers. Supply and demand economics mean it's not currently a buyer’s market, resulting in very high parcel delivery costs and excessive surcharging from the UK into the EU.

Do: Always be looking elsewhere. Shop around, don’t just approach your existing parcel delivery company or the ones you’re familiar with. Independent specialists can offer far better pricing and service. Samos e-commerce recently took on a customer who was sending e-com parcels into EU from UK using a large multi-national parcel carrier. They thought they had a good deal with a 77% tariff discount until Samos saved them an additional 65%. Click here to view the Samos e-commerce EU parcel tariff and start shipping today. TOP TIP! - reducing your costs to increase profit is far more economical than the business development investment required to increase sales to create the same additional profit.

Should I send parcels DDU (DAP) or DDP?

Don’t: Try not to ship anything DDU (DAP) unless it is B2B. It will mean that your receiving customer will have to pay VAT (possibly duty too) and local delivery company handling charges up to €60 before the parcel is delivered even for very low value product. This is a terrible customer experience and will result in a very unhappy customer and risk the parcel being refused and returned.

Do: Ship DDP (you capture VAT at checkout and pay this to the parcel delivery company, who pays the VAT for you) so that your customer has no fees to pay to take delivery. Also seriously consider getting an IOSS number. Samos ecommerce has a hybrid DDP delivery service that enable customers to ship DDP at no extra cost if they do not have an IOSS number yet or find registering for one cost prohibitive. Click here to find out more. We can also help you get an IOSS number if you don't have one. Click here for more details.

How do I do my EU Export data correctly?

Don’t: Do not fake it, or make it up. It may eventually catch up with you.

Do: Make sure you have researched each of your product lines and you have the correct 10-digit tariff (or commodity) code. You can find the right tariff code by clicking here. Make sure that your country of origin is correct, and the description of goods is accurate. Check for any potential restrictions of shipping your product to certain countries and respect these. Samos e-commerce can help you get your customs data right. 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.

Do I have to have an IOSS number to ship to EU?

Don’t: Do not think that having an IOSS number is your only option for dealing with EU sales VAT, or that you have to send DDU (DAP). Not having an IOSS number should not be stopping you shipping orders into the EU.

Do: Look at other options like hybrid DDP solutions. The Samos Connect EU parcel service does not require an IOSS number straight away in order for you to ship in to the EU. Click here for more details on how this works.

Should I send EU parcels on tracked services?

Don’t: Since Brexit it is advisable not to use untracked services for EU parcels because of potential export complications. You simply would not know if there is a problem on untracked services. Untracked may seem cheaper but clearing up the issues when you don’t have visibility can result in a lot more cost, time, effort, and customers to put right.

Do: Use tracked services. Make sure your customer also has access to the tracking data. It is a far better user experience, and they can make informed decisions on the delivery process. The Samos Connect service has PUDO delivery options for your customers. Click here for more details.

How do I stop my EU parcels from being delayed?

Don’t: Do not skip proper customs data, or ship DDU or DAP. Incomplete customs information and/or shipping DDU (DAP) risks your parcel not being cleared or being refused and ending up in no-man’s-land.

Do: Complete customs data properly from the outset. If your parcels are constantly delayed, consider using a smaller or independent parcel delivery company and avoid large high-volume and process-driven parcel carriers that won’t have the flexibility or agility to sort your problems out quickly. Ship DDP or use an IOSS number. Click here for details on how to use our hybrid DDP EU parcel service without the need for an IOSS number. Ultimately you will create a much better experience for your customer.

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

We are a logistics company specialising in e-commerce parcel shipping from the UK to the EU, Russia and Israel. We totally understand the fustrations of using parcel and post delivery services so we 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 you're on the IOSS scheme yet or not. If not, you can use our DDP service. We do not surcharge at all, just one ultra-low cost per parcel. Simple. You can find more information about our EU B2C parcel service by clicking here or 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 -