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The Great British EU Parcel Shipping Conundrum

22 September 2022 / 4 minute read

By the time you get to the end of this article, you’ll have an easy, no-hassle solution for shipping B2C into the EU.

That’s a bold claim - but it takes a change of mindset.

We’ll take a guess - you probably found this article because you run an e-commerce business and were happily shipping to EU customers before Brexit changed all that. You think this may finally be a workable solution. This is exactly what it is.

Let’s just recap your conundrums.

You’ve probably tried shipping into the EU since Brexit and realise there are ultimately two issues:

1. What do you do about the VAT & IOSS?

2. What do you do about customs problems?

As a result of the above, you probably did one of these:

1. Closed your EU shipping off completely

2. Unsuccessfully tried to find a solution with your current or other parcel delivery companies

3. Now running an unsatisfactory parcel delivery solution to the EU full of unpredictability, frustration, and extra cost

The trouble is most parcel delivery companies export into the EU the same way. They offer you:

1. DDU: your customer picks up the VAT cost and local admin charges. A terrible customer experience.

2. DDP: VAT is reversed back to you (although not always) and it comes with a hefty surcharge

3. Unpredictable clearance, parcels often returned

4. Ship on an IOSS number but have to pay for it

They export and clear into the separate 27 different EU member states, all of whom have different rules and regulations about what they will and won’t accept from the UK. This creates a mind field.

Most e-commerce businesses have accepted this from the parcel delivery companies as the status quo with no other choice - WRONG!!!

If you do the same thing over and over again, you get the same results.

So, back to that 'bold claim' and 'change of mindset'....

The most important (and often forgotten) aspect of delivering orders to your customers in the EU after Brexit is to make certain they're not affected by it. So far this has been impossible to ensure as we’ve seen above.

Problems create innovation and innovation creates solutions. That’s the way it’s always been. So here's our solution and it’s all about what can be done, not what can’t.

At SAMOS, we took pen to paper and redesigned parcel exporting into the EU.

We export and clear EU parcels ourselves with one EU entry point, not 27 different ones. This immeasurably simplifies the customs process. Other parcel delivery companies won’t do that.

We pay the import charges on your behalf and invoice this back to you in the UK at no extra cost. Other parcel delivery companies won’t do that.

You don’t need an IOSS number to ship with us. Other parcel delivery companies won’t do that.

Even without an IOSS number, your customers will never be charged anything before delivery. Other parcel delivery companies won’t do that.

Starting to see the pattern yet? – A change of mindset.

Here’s an example of how our EU parcel shipping solution works:

You sell a widget on your website for £40 to a customer in Germany. It weighs 1kg. You don’t have an IOSS number You use SAMOS to ship it to your customer

  1. You create a SAMOS label either on our platform or on one of our many integrations here.
  2. We export it through one EU entry point and pay the import charges for you
  3. Parcel at this point is in free EU circulation.
  4. Parcel is shipped cross-border within the EU and delivered
  5. Your customer simply takes delivery. They will never be asked for any tax or fees before delivery
  6. We send you 2 invoices. One for the shipping cost, in this case £10.89 - exactly according to our tariff here, nothing more. We send a separate invoice, in this case for £8.40 for the import charges.

Remember! You'ill know what the import charges are (around 21% of the order value) before you ship the order and charge this in the checkout process - it isn't a cost to you and it doesn't come out of your margins.

Your customer will transact with you once in the checkout process and take delivery, that's it – just like before Brexit – nothing to pay before delivery, no customs delays or issues.

With SAMOS you'll find out that with a great customer delivery experience you can once again build an EU customer base, customer loyalty and repeat business.

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