International Shipping

If you have ever gone to the lengths to create your own home-made gift parcel to send to someone abroad, you will know how convoluted, expensive and uncertain the whole process can be. Having already taken time to thoughtfully put your gift parcel together, you then still have to spend hours queuing in a post office, completing bureaucratic customs documents and then having to keep your fingers crossed to see if your parcel is eventually delivered at the other end!

Shipping things abroad is certainly a lot more complex than sending a parcel domestically because your parcel has to travel further, cross borders (where it is considered an import into the destination country even if it’s just a gift) and be handled by many parties in the logistics chain. All this can make international shipping relatively expensive, especially in relation to the often modest value of the parcel being sent.

So here at British Gift Box, we have done all the hard work for you! Not only have we pulled together a fabulous range of quintessentially British Gift Boxes for you to choose from, we will also take care of the international shipping requirements to make sure your Gift Box is delivered safely, efficiently and cost-effectively to your recipient overseas.

 

Our Shipping Services

British Gift Box sends parcels from the UK to over 200 countries Worldwide. We offer international post office and courier shipping services to suit different budgets and different customer needs. The postal services are through Royal Mail and the courier services are offered through our multi-carrier logistics partner to give customers the best possible rates from some of the leading carriers Worldwide, including DHL, UPS and DPD. Not all services are available for all orders as restrictions apply – postal services are restricted to parcels weighing up to 2kg but are the most cost effective option for smaller Gift Boxes. The table below shows the shipping options and the specifics of each service.

Service Specifics:Economy PostTracked PostStandard CourierExpress Courier
Best For
Customers
Looking For
Lowest cost but
can accept some
delivery risk in
using national
postal services
Low cost postal
service with
tracking but no
compensation
for loss or damage
Secure, reliable &
insured courier
delivery service
to mainland
Europe by road
Fast, secure,
reliable & insured
courier delivery
service
Worldwide by air
CarrierRoyal Mail +
destination country
postal service
Royal Mail +
destination country
postal service
DPDDHL / UPS
Expected Delivery
Post Dispatch
(Working Days)
3-5 days Europe
5-7 days Rest of World
3-5 days Europe
5-7 days Rest of World
2-5 days2-5 days
RestrictionsMax weight 2kgMax weight 2kgMax weight or
volumetric weight
30kg
Max weight or
volumetric weight
30kg
Service LevelsNot tracked
No confirmation
No compensation
Tracked
Delivery confirmation
No compensation
Fully tracked
Signed delivery
Insured
Fully tracked
Signed delivery
Insured

To find out the shipping options available for your specific order and the cost of each service, use the Shipping Calculator at checkout.

All courier services are tracked from dispatch to the recipient’s door and all deliveries need to be signed for. Please note, our couriers cannot deliver to PO Box addresses for this reason. Once you receive our Dispatch Confirmation, the recipient will also receive an email from our logistics partner with the tracking information to monitor the progress of the parcel through its journey to delivery.

Postal services rely on the national postal services of the countries that the parcel goes through, starting with Royal Mail in the UK who will generally hand off to the national postal service of the destination country once the parcel gets to customs in that country. Postal services are the cheapest way to send a parcel abroad but the quality of national postal services around the World is variable which can increase delivery risk where a country’s postal service is underdeveloped or poor.

So whilst we do all the hard work for you irrespective of how you want your Gift Box to be shipped, we suggest you do look to understand some of the basic processes involved in international shipping to be aware of the common issues that your parcel may encounter on its way to being delivered to your recipient abroad. The sections below will give you further information about the basics and key issues which you should consider before ordering with us. There are also answers to commonly asked questions in the Shipping section of the FAQs and our blog on Postal vs Courier Shipping Services gives a more in-depth understanding of the different solutions.

 

How to avoid problems when sending parcels abroad

Your Gift Box order is important to us and we want it to reach its destination promptly, without being delayed at customs in the destination country and in the same condition we sent it. At British Gift Box, we take great care to ensure your parcel is carefully and securely packed to withstand the rigours of transit and we complete all the necessary customs documentation and declarations to enable customs clearance as smoothly as possible. But once we hand over your parcel to the carrier for shipment, it is then out of our direct control and goes through many stages of handling by various parties, all of which have some potential for problems. There are things you can do even when you are placing your order on our website which can help avoid these problems and to maximise delivery success:

Check the delivery address – and check it again! The number one tip for avoiding problems when sending internationally is to ensure that the address is absolutely correct. Foreign addresses are often not written in the same format as British ones and spelling of local place names can be confusing. We rely on what you enter as the shipping address at checkout when we book the shipping for your parcel so please do make sure you specify the correct address, and even double-check with your recipient if you’re in any doubt.

Provide an appropriate contact number for the recipient. It is a requirement of customs authorities in the destination countries that parcels are accompanied by a phone number – preferably a mobile number – for the recipient in case they need to contact them about the shipment for customs clearance purposes (normally via the carrier). If customs needs to contact your recipient but there is no contact number or an incorrect number, this will delay customs clearance or risk the parcel being returned altogether, especially for postal services. The contact number is also helpful for the local delivery courier to contact your recipient to reschedule delivery if no-one is home to sign for it at the first attempt. Our checkout process asks for the recipient’s phone number as a mandatory field. It is understandable that many customers want their parcel to be a surprise for the recipient and some will enter their own phone number instead of the recipient’s. The reality is that making a surprise delivery is difficult where international shipping is concerned for these reasons and they risk delivery failure by doing so, which is definitely worse than a ruined surprise!

Provide an email address for the recipient. Similar to the phone number, a valid email address will help the recipient to know that a parcel is on its way and to plan for the delivery, as well as being another channel for communication with customs and the courier if required. We also ask you for this at checkout.

Choose the right shipping service for your needs. Postal services are generally the lowest cost shipping options and are a good choice if you’re on a budget, don’t mind your parcel taking a bit longer to be delivered and can accept a small degree of delivery risk that comes with using national postal services in some countries. If you need faster delivery, visibility and greater certainty that your parcel will be delivered safely, a courier service is a must but expect to pay a bit more for it. Don’t opt for a postal service if you need the benefits of a courier service as it could lead to problems you don’t want during the lengthy shipping process.

 

Customs Duty & Tax Charges

When sending parcels abroad, they are subject to the customs rules and regulations of the country that the parcel is being sent to. All goods entering a country is considered to be an import by the customs authorities, even when it’s a gift, and unfortunately the recipient is always deemed to be the importer even if they may not know anything about the shipment. It’s just easier for customs to target the recipient as they reside in the destination country!

As Shippers of the parcel, we have to declare the value of the goods in the customs documentation that we submit on dispatch. For shipments to countries outside the EU, when the parcel arrives at customs in the destination country, the customs authority will assess the import documentation (and occasionally even open and inspect the package) to determine if they will allow the goods into their country and whether it attracts any import duty or taxes based on their customs regulations. Should they determine and calculate that duty and/or taxes are due, this will be charged to the recipient as the deemed importer and collected through the carrier (DHL/UPS) before final delivery can be made. These are foreign government agency decisions that we are not party to, not informed of and have no control over.

Fortunately, many countries have duty-free allowances for relatively low value goods that our Gift Boxes would generally fall into, so it is rare that any of our Boxes going to popular expat destinations ever get taxed by customs. However, as customs legislation does vary from country to country and change from time to time, it is highly recommended that you check the local customs regulations before placing your order, just to ensure that none of the products in our boxes are prohibited in the country of delivery and that you are aware of any potential extra charges which may be incurred by your recipient. Where we do know that a country has regulations which could result in the recipient being charged some duty or tax on the parcel, we have highlighted it in the ‘Latest known issues by country’ section below to help you to make an informed decision before you order from us.

 

Latest Known Issues By Country

We are keen to help you ship your Gift Boxes to your loved ones anywhere in the World but for some countries that are known as destinations to avoid (in war zones, under international sanctions, have no secure delivery infrastructure, etc) we do not offer shipping to those countries as the chances of successful delivery are low – these countries will not appear on the dropdown menu in the Shipping Calculator. Even for the 200+ countries we will ship to, some come with more potential issues than others.

Whilst it’s impossible to collate all the relevant shipping issues your parcel may come across for every country that we ship to, we have attempted to provide a limited summary of known issues for some of the more popular destinations to aid your awareness when you place an order:

CountryPostal Service
Issues
Courier Service
Issues
Customs & Regulatory IssuesNotes & Guidance
AustraliaSee Royal Mail’s
International Incident Bulletin
for latest updates
No reported issuesNo reported issuesShipping to Australia is straightforward.
Import tax threshold set at AUD1000
(about £540 at current exchange rates)
so no tax or duty to worry about
on our Gift Boxes.
Australia is strict about what it lets into
the country so may occasionally
inspect parcels.
CanadaSee Royal Mail’s
International Incident Bulletin
for latest updates
No reported issuesMost shipments we send
see no duty or tax applied
but some recipients have
reported duty & tax charges
being applied by DHL (on
behalf of Canadian
Customs) before parcel is
delivered.
Canada has a Goods and Services
Tax (GST) and duty on imports above
CAN$20 (CAN$60 for gifts), but the
regulations are complex and variations
between provinces result in some
shipments being charged whilst others are not.
For courier shipments, you can request
to pay any duty/tax for the recipient if
charges do arise – contact us for
information.
ItalySee Royal Mail’s
International Incident Bulletin
for latest updates
No reported issuesEU country –
no customs requirements
The standard of final delivery of both
postal and even courier services can be
a bit hit and miss, occasionally requiring
more than one delivery attempt. Please
ensure you provide a mobile number for
the recipient at checkout to help
maximise delivery success.
New ZealandSee Royal Mail’s
International Incident Bulletin
for latest updates
No reported issuesNo reported issuesShipping to NZ is straightforward.
Duty and/or GST is exempt if the
amount payable is below $60 . At current
exchange rates, this means that orders
up to £150 from our store will be duty free
so no charges to worry about in nearly all
cases. See NZ government Duty Estimator.
New Zealand is strict about what it lets
into the country so may occasionally
inspect parcels which may delay
clearance.
NorwaySee Royal Mail’s
International Incident Bulletin
for latest updates
No reported issuesSome recipients have
reported high duty & tax
charges being applied by
the carrier (on behalf of
Customs) before parcel delivered.
Fairly low import tax threshold –
only goods valued up to NOK 350 (£31
at current exchange rates) are exempt
of duty and VAT. Charges levied
above this threshold can be high.
SpainSee Royal Mail’s
International Incident Bulletin
for latest updates
No reported issuesEU country –
no customs requirements
The standard of final delivery of both
postal and even courier services can be
a bit hit and miss, occasionally requiring
more than one delivery attempt. Please
ensure you provide a mobile number for
the recipient at checkout to help
maximise delivery success.
South AfricaSee Royal Mail’s
International Incident Bulletin
for latest updates
No reported issuesSome recipients have
reported high duty & tax
charges being applied by
the carrier (on behalf of
Customs) before parcel delivered.
Fairly low import tax threshold –
only goods valued up to 500 Rand (£27
at current exchange rates) are exempt
of duty and VAT. Charges levied
above this threshold can be high.
USASee Royal Mail’s
International Incident Bulletin
for latest updates
No reported issuesNo reported issuesShipping to USA is straightforward.
Import tax threshold set at $800
(about £620 at current exchange rates)
so no tax or duty to worry about on our
Gift Boxes.

We are aware that our website is having some problems accepting debit/credit card payments and are working to fix it as soon as we can. PayPal is not affected so you can still pay by PayPal. We apologise for any inconvenience. Dismiss