When sending items overseas, it is important that you abide by the shipping rules of the destination country. This minimises delays and ensures the smooth and timely delivery of your items.
Below you’ll find all the customs information you need in preparation for sending items to the UK, Europe or further afield.
A customs declaration is an official document provided to the local customs authorities of the destination country. It lists and gives details of the goods being imported to ensure the items are allowed and to calculate if there are any duties or taxes to be paid. These forms are required when sending goods and merchandise off-island (not letters or documents), and it is the responsibility of the sender to ensure that the goods being sent are correctly and accurately declared.
Since 1 April 2022, it has been mandatory to supply customs data electronically when sending goods and merchandise off-island (not letters or documents). This has been driven by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) due to legislation from the US and Europe which has pushed the sector to require specific electronic data in advance of shipments, including information on the sender, the recipient, and the details of the contents within the parcel.
Harmonised System (HS) Codes, also known as Tariff Codes or Commodity Codes, are internationally recognised reference numbers that describe a specific product when importing and exporting goods. Custom authorities worldwide use these codes to easily identify products and calculate any Import Duty tax. HS Codes are mandatory when sending goods and merchandise from a non-EU country into the EU. As a result of Brexit, this includes the UK as we are no longer part of the EU Customs Union.
ICS2 stands for Import Control System 2, a new customs security requirement for EU destinations. Since 1 March 2023, EU customs agencies have begun rolling out additional security measures related to airmail from postal operators. Unlike before, these new measures now require electronic submission of data related to the sending of postal goods prior to despatch. They are intended as a safety measure for all states involved.
The simplest and most convenient way to ensure you meet all the customs requirements when sending items off-island is to use Jersey Post’s online postage portal.
Please refer to our guide on dangerous goods and the relevant terms and conditions before packaging or posting any items to ensure you meet minimum safety requirements. Please note that specific country restrictions may also apply which you should check before posting any item outside the UK, IOM or other Channel Islands. It is your responsibility to check the list of prohibited and restricted items and any applicable packaging, volume, quantity and labelling requirements that apply prior to posting any item. This list of prohibited and restricted items reflects our general terms and conditions.
A gift is defined as an item sent between two private people, is of an occasional nature, such as a birthday or Christmas gift and where no monetary consideration has been made.
Customs declaration forms
If you are using our standard service and sending a gift under £270.00, a CN22 customs form must be completed. You will need to ensure that all of the relevant sections are completed. For gifts over £270.00 a CN23 form is required; this form asks for additional information. If you are using our parcel service a CN23 form is always required.
VAT must be paid on most items sent from Jersey to the UK. Any gifts you are sending that exceed a retail value of £39.00 may need to have VAT paid on them. It is advisable to prepay VAT at the time of sending to minimise transit times and ensure quick customer clearance. In addition, Royal Mail add an £8 handling fee for non-prepaid VAT items, which the recipient may be asked to pay on receipt of the item.
Packages containing more than one gift
When a package contains gifts that are clearly intended for several people, for example, members of the same family, the £39.00 VAT relief applies to each individual person provided the gifts are:
It is essential that you include a return address on the outside of the packaging. Without a return address, Jersey Post will not be able to pre-customs clear gifts sent using our standard or tracked and signed service, which will result in a longer transit time.
VAT on postage
You do not have to pay VAT on standard postal services, but if you use our premium services, the cost of the service will be included in the calculation of VAT.
It is very difficult to provide exact delivery timescales to off-island addresses as there are so many factors* outside of Jersey Post's control e.g. weather, transport delays, processing in the destination country etc. However, as a rough guide we say: UK, other Channel Islands and Isle of Man - 3-5 working days. European addresses - 7-10 working days and Rest of World destinations up to 10-12 working days. Please note - these timescales are for letters and documents. Due to Customs restrictions and controls in other countries it is impossible to provide delivery estimates for goods or merchandise.
*Please note that there will be a handful of occasions throughout the year, due to earlier tide times, when we must bring our post office cut off times forward to ensure same day despatch on the ferry service. On these occasions we will provide notice on our service updates page.