Arranging delivery of customer returns from USA

Question

Our company is an online retailer specializing in women’s clothing and lingerie. We would like to offer our US customers an option to return items they bought from us via our website (so dispatched to the US from UK) to a local address in the united States. Then we would like to have those items consolidated and shipped back to us to the UK by a US partner (probably a parcel forwarding service that will dispatch them via courier services such as DHL etc). We are seeking advice how to deal in such a situation with customs in the UK. We would also like to know if any other charges may be applicable.
The orders shipped by us to the US will not be subject to US duties as they will not have the required value.
However the consolidated value of the items we will be returning will be substantial.

Answer

Hi Monika.

I note this, and also your other enquiry regarding required documents and declarations. Please let me introduce our company. We are an International freight forwarder, with a vast range of experience of working with companies in assisting them with imports and exports to the US. (Please feel free to take a look at our website for more details – www.velta.co.uk).

We would like the opportunity to discuss your requirements with you in further detail. Please email chris.murphy@velta.co.uk or telephone 07926 279485 who has a great deal of knowledge regarding your enquiry, and will be able to provide you with details as to the best process in taking this forward.

We look forwards to hearing from you soon.

Kindest Regards
Jan (Marketing Manager)

Answer

Information on the Customs requirements for exporting is given in HMRC Public Notice 275. All notices can be viewed on the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk by typing ‘Notice 275’ in the search box and selecting the following links from the search results: > Notice 275 “Customs export procedures” a guide to UK export procedures using the National Export System.

Further detailed information regarding exporting goods outside the EU can be found by using the following link https://www.gov.uk/exporting-goods-from-the-eu-to-a-third-country-outside-the-eu

I would also suggest that you contact the Customs Authorities in the importing countries to ascertain if there are any import restrictions on such items.

EORI

If your business is involved in customs activities and is established in the customs territory of the Community, you will need to apply for an EORI number even if you only import or export goods infrequently.

The registration process to apply for an EORI number in the UK differs depending on whether you are VAT registered in the UK or not. Please refer to the section below that matches your current VAT status in the UK.

Answer

VAT Registered in the UK

If you are VAT registered in the UK it maybe that an EORI number has already been issued to you. You can check the EORI status via the EU EORI Validation Checker. Please prefix your nine digit UK VAT number with GB and suffix it with 000 for example GB123456789000 (do not put any spaces between the digits).

EU EORI Validation Checker

If your EORI number is confirmed as valid you will be able to use this anywhere in the EU and there is no need to reapply for an EORI number.

If you are advised that your EORI number is invalid then please register by email using the link below:

EORI VAT Registered in the UK

If you are registered as part of a VAT group please see our supporting guidance on GOV.UK as the ‘000’ suffix for your EORI number may be different.

Not VAT Registered in the UK

If you are not registered for VAT in the UK then you will need to register by one of the email forms below depending on whether you are receiving a package into the UK/EU or sending a package out of the UK/EU. Please note all the details requested in the email form will be required before an EORI number can be issued. HMRC do not issue EORI numbers in advance of a current customs activity, any advanced or incomplete applications for EORI registration may automatically be refused.

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