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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 / 8 minute read

For details on a radical new solution by SAMOS to ship into Europe completly hassle-free can be found here. This EU delivery solution means that you don't need an IOSS number and it even prevents any recievers from getting local VAT and handling charges before delivery. It also immeasurably simplifies the customs process and delivery is within 3 to 7 days. If you have seen your EU orders drop or have switched off EU shipping altogether and haven't seen this, then you really are missing a trick!

More general top tips on shipping in to Europe can be found below.

Since the UK left the EU and the introduction of the EU IOSS scheme in July 2021, UK 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. Customs issues, high parcel delivery costs and excessive surcharging from the UK into the EU continues to cause challenges.

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 operates a hybrid delivery service that enable customers to ship into the EU even if they don't have an IOSS number yet or find registering for one cost prohibitive. Import charges can be invoiced back to UK shipper free of charge. 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 parcel 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 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 need 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 (see below).

Do: Look at other options like hybrid solutions. The SAMOS Connect EU parcel service does not require an IOSS number 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 customs problems. 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. Incomplete customs information and/or shipping risks your parcel not being cleared or being refused and ending up being returned or lost.

Do: Complete customs data properly from the outset. Avoid large high-volume and process-driven parcel delivery companies and consider smaller comoanies offering different solutions. Click here for details on how to use our hybrid 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 - www.aym-studio.com.

"We have been working with Samos since November 2021 to fulfil all our EU customer orders. Previously we had been using mail services, which meant a lot of hassle with customs and increased expenditure to the customer and us, and taking several weeks for parcel deliveries. We have trialled other courier companies, who’s services, pricing and customs issues have been appalling. 

Since using Samos our EU order deliver is running smooth and fast, without any issues. Customers also get delivery notifications, and can easily keep track of their parcels. Their online platform is very easy to use with minimal time spent to create shipping labels and customs paperwork. The prices are extremely competitive, and the customer services is the best we have experienced compared to any other delivery partner and couriers. This has been the best service provider we have worked with. I would highly recommend Samos!" - Daphne, Co-founder, TIC CC, tic-cc.com

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