With Brexit, the UK is one stands alone from the EU as one of Canada’s leading export markets. Jet Worldwide provides low cost parcel shipping solutions for delivery to England, Wales, Scotland and the entire UK.   Brexit does not change the customs clearance process for goods shipped from Canada to the UK.    However, Brexit does affects goods sent to the EU via the UK.

While technically, the process for Canadian and American shippers to the UK will remain the same, H.M. Customs will be resource constrained.       It is imperative that shippers to the UK follow the correct processes and provide the necessary documentation as even minor infractions could result is significant customs delays.

The government information and communication technology (ICT) ‘Customs Declaration Services’ programme will be tested after Brexit.    The program was initiated well before Brexit and has been given a higher priority in order to avoid  systematic significant disruptions.

In this blog, we review parcel shipping H.M. Customs clearance and Canadian carrier option to the UK.   For shipping online orders to the UK, read our latest blog on VAT collection for online orders to the UK.


FREE-TRADE-GRAPHICFree Trade Between Canada and the UK: From CETA to TCA

The Canada-U.K. TCA  has been ratified providing Canadian and UK businesses with continued preferential access for goods shipped between both countries.    Canada and the U.K. are engaging in future negotiations on a more permanent bilateral free trade agreement that could include the U.K. potentially joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

For imports valued under £135, the term "import vat" has been replaced with "supply VAT."   This new term reflects the idea that VAT is not longer collected at time of import but rather than from the supplier.  Contact Jet's logistics team to start shipping your online orders direct to the UK from Canada and the USA.

Contact our team for direct shipping solutions to the UK for Shopify and other online orders.

Shipping e-commerce to the UK


A Note on the UK and the EU from Canada

Canadian supply chains and retailers have relied on the United Kingdom which served as both one largest European market for Canadian goods and a platform for free movement within the EU.   Following Brexit, and until a new agreement is ratified by both governments, Canadian shipments to/ from the UK will likely be conducted under Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff rates.  Contact Jet for European Distribution solutions.   

Just as the UK is demanding prepaid VAT for online so orders, so is the European Union.  Read about VAT collection for online orders shipped to the EU.

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See Below:  HM Customs clearance process for import to the UK from Canada

  • Duty free for low value parcels
  • Valuation for parcels to the UK 
  • Valuation, Duty and VAT for online orders to the UK
  • Shipping commercial samples to the UK from Canada
  • HM Customs Clearance for gifts
  • Shipping personal effects from Canada

See Below:  Common carrier options from Canada to the UK

  • Canada Post
  • FedEx, UPS, DHL / Jet
  • Purolator

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jet-logo-vectorGetting a spot quote for shipping between the UK and Canada.

Jet Worldwide gives access to all companies seeking shipping quotes from Canada to the UK for parcels pallets, and online orders.   For a quote, please provide:

  • Your company name and contact details
  • Ship from Address
  • Ship To Address
  • Weight and dimensions of each piece
  • Item(s) being sent
  • Value

For a quote for shipping online orders, provide details including shipping volume, item(s) being shipped, average value and weight of each parcel.  The more details the better :).

jet world wide ecommerce parcel delivery specialists


Canadians have many choices for shipping to London, Manchester and all the UK from Quebec, Ontario, British Colombia and all Canada.

In this blog, we review:

  • The importance of declaring the correct value for UK Customs
  • Customs clearance duty, VAT and other fees for goods shipped from Canada
  • Delivery company options from Canada for shipping to the UK

Clearance and Import to the UK from Canada

HM Revenue and Customs clearance processes for shipping parcels from Canada to the UK are focusing on the growth of parcels. The information is provided below is for general reference. For rates and information on restrictions, contact Jet's team.   About Jet Worldwide.

Shipments to the UK require clearly defined commodity descriptions and value. UK Custom considers the transaction value to include Cost, Insurance, Freight (CIF). The commercial invoice used for customs should include a clear description of the item(s) being sent (and H.S. code if available) and the reason for export. Also, it should be noted that the value is a “CIF value.”


UK Most Favoured Nation For Canadian Origin Versus UKTCA 

The UK Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff rates are the default duties applied to imports from all countries to the UK, including Canada.  Under the Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement (UKTCA) Canadian origin goods may qualify for a preferential -duty free - tariff.

  • Tariff preferences under UKTCA apply to goods imported from Canada that meet the rules of origin under this agreement.
  • The MFN tariff rates of The European Union apply to goods imported from Canada that do not meet the rules of origin (non-originating goods) under UKTCA.

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Duty Free status for low value parcels to the UK

Canadian companies can send low value international shipments to the United Kingdom can take advantage of the “de-minimus limit” for relief from payment of customs duty (below £135).

  • Up to £135: Exempt from duty. VAT is due
  • Over £135 (around $240 CD) : Duty and VAT due

For online orders processed via Shopify and eBay, the value added tax must be paid in advance.   Read about VAT collection for online orders shipped from Canada to the UK.

The valuation as it related to online orders is calculated on the total sale of all the items in the order, or consignment.    

Duty Rates to the UK from Canada

UK customs bases their duty assessment on the "CIF value" which means includes the cost of the goods (C), insurance (I) and Freight (F).    The duty rates are similar to other countries with no duty for most electronics such as computers and a 12% average duty on clothing, shoes and other fashion items.

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Declared value for goods shipped to the UK

With an influx of undervalued parcels, H.M. Customs is now taking active enforcement actions to ensure the correct declared value. When shipping to the UK, it is recommended to have supporting documents in case UK Customs challenges the declared value.

For valuation of your package to the UK, the most common method is known as the '"transactional value." Simply, what you paid or sold for the item is what should be declared to customs.


Sending Parcels to the UK containing Samples:

For companies who send sample shipments, they should be aware of the criteria necessary to qualify for exemption from duty and VAT:

  • Sample goods must have been “mutilated”
  • The commercial invoice must clearly note that the item is a mutilated sample and not for resale.
  • An alternative to mutilated sample is for the item(s) to be clearly marked as “sample” in indelible ink
  • Only single samples of each style. If shoes, only one shoe can be sent.

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Sending Shopify parcels from Canada to the UK

The UK is a major shipping destination from Canadian e-commerce merchants using on-line shopping platforms including Shopify, Big Commerce, Wix and other sites.   

Jet Worldwide offers direct shipping to the UK from Canada and the USA for online orders.

  1. Canada Post offers discounts via such e-commerce shipping platforms and is the lowest cost choice for small parcels.
  2. Contact Jet's team for updates on our new parcel shipping solutions for online orders to the UK. 

 Read about prepayment of VAT for orders to the UK.   

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For imports valued under £135, the term "import vat" has been replaced with "supply VAT."   This new term reflects the idea that VAT is not longer collected at time of import but rather than from the supplier.  Contact Jet's logistics team to start shipping your online orders direct to the UK from Canada and the USA.


Shipping Canadian Commercial Samples to the UK

Companies who wish to send an international shipment to the United Kingdom containing commercial or “Salesman’s Samples” should note this clearly on the commercial invoice. The importation of such samples may qualify for duty relief but may be subject to special handling such as a Temporary Import. Such special procedures will result in extra clearance costs and potential clearance delays.


Shipping personal Gifts to the UK from Canada

Articles sent as "Unsolicited gifts" are acceptable and will be allowed entry free of any duty or VAT providing the shipment is valued at less than 40 UKL/ $70CD, consigned to an individual, and are individually wrapped. The parcel may contain multiple gifts as long as the individual parcels enclosed are individually tagged with the recipient's name, are individually wrapped and the value does not exceed the per person limit of 40 UKL (around $70 CD).  

When shipping gifts the UK, the preferred option is Canada Post.

Shipments consigned to companies as gifts for an individual may be denied entry as gifts and will be subject to full duty and VAT.

To qualify for duty/tax free status, the gift:

  • Must be clearly described on the commercial invoice (a common error is when shippers describe the item only as a “gift” but does not specify what the item itself is.
  • Under 40 UKL (around $70 CD)
  • Does not contain restricted goods and are of a “non-commercial character.”
  • Be addressed to a private individual (rather than a company)
  • Items subject to excise tax, such as cigarettes, perfume, toilet water, and alcohol should be avoided. They are only accepted in limited quantities and, anyway, often forbidden for transport by courier.

Parcel distribution to the UK and the EU:  Shipping Direct

Jet Worldwide offers bulk H.M. Customs clearance, warehousing, pick/pack and low cost ground delivery solutions to the UK and across Europe. Pending Brexit, we have developed solutions for delivery to the EU from the UK via bonded transfer and distribution capabilities in the Netherlands and France. Contact our team for rates and information on UK and European shipping and last mile delivery solutions.

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Shipping personal effects from Canada to the UK

Among our most common request is shipping personal affects to the UK. In general, our advise is as follows:

  • In general, bringing an extra suitcase or two is easier and - even with airline excess baggage fees - the least expensive method.
  • For shipping personal affects less than 100 kg, contact our team for rates.
  • For shipping an entire household, contact a Canadian moving specialist.

When shipping personal effects to the UK, the goods must first be approved by HM Customs (via a unique number) prior to shipping


Shipping UK from Canada

Carrier Delivery Company Options

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Shipping to the United Kingdom via Canada Post

Canada Post's small packet service offers low cost for individuals shipping small parcels to the UK.

For shipment to the UK under 2 kg/ 4 pounds

  • Canada Post Small Packet International Surface UK, Air and Tracked Packet
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For larger parcels to UK, Canada post offers the following services


Shipping UK via FedEx and UPS Canada

FedEx and UPS are North America's largest carriers and -along with DHL - offer reliable express delivery from Canada to the UK. FedEx and UPS Canada can be expensive for small and medium sized businesses and their processes are inflexible.

Fedex and UPS Canada Delivery Options to the UK include:


Shipping to the UK via Purolator Canada

Purolator Courier is a leading Canadian domestic carrier. Purolator provides delivery to the UK via partner carriers, such as UPS.

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jet-logo-vectorDelivery between the UK and Canada via Jet Worldwide

  • Jet Worldwide:  A trusted brand offering international shipping for over 35 years!
  • Jet Worldwide offers options for shipping between the UK and Canada for parcels, pallets, and online orders (with Shopify integration)
  • Jet Worldwide offers transparency and logistics support.  We are not shy to recommend alternative options that are better suited for your needs.  

SEE SECTION ABOVE:  INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR A SHIPPING QUOTE


jet-globe-vectorLearn more from Jet's Logistics Experts :

Disclaimer:   The information in this blog is for general information only.   Producers, shippers, exporters, importers should confirm their processes with their customs brokers, carriers and regulating authorities.


Shipping to your British customers direct

As mentioned above, Jet Worldwide is building international shipping solutions for direct to the UK from Canada and the USA.    Building on Jet Worldwide’s decades of Canadian cross-border parcel shipping experience, online sellers can reach their UK (and European) customers using low cost import and last mile delivery solutions.

For updates on the latest international shipping solutions for Canadian online orders, connect with Jet Worldwide’s e-commerce team.

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Written by Timothy Byrnes