Customs considerations for return shipments

Some shipments of your returned goods may require customs information in order to be shipped. In most cases this will depend on your location and where the goods are being shipped from. 

Many countries operate a scheme where returned goods can be re imported exempt of taxes and import duties as long as there is evidence of original export (shipments within EU countries are not subject to any such requirements).
If customs information is required we will contact you with a form called a commercial invoice to complete regarding the items in the shipments. It can seem like quite an onerous task, especially the first time you do it, but the information asked for should all be held on record by you. It is good practice and indeed a legal requirement in most countries to keep accurate records of exports and imports. 

We are developing systems to automate as much of this process as possible in the future. 

You will need to provide the following information on every item in the shipment
  • Order number

  • Description of the item

  • The value of the item (that is the selling price in the local currency)

  • HS/commodity tariff code: this is the code that customs uses to monitor the import and export of goods.  To find out what code customs have assigned to your products please go to your local tax authority web site. For UK as an example see here

  • Evidence of the original export. You will need to provide at least the postcode of the customer you originally shipped the items to, the courier used,  date shipped to your customer, the tracking reference or equivalent (such as MAWB). This is all needed as evidence of the original export.  When you provide this information your shipment back is then classed as a re-import of returned goods and should not be subject to customs duties and taxes.

Most shipments will pass through customs without any issue. However, even with this information it is possible that a courier or local customs authority may hold the shipment and ask for further information / evidence. There can be various reasons why this may happen such as spot checks, staff not used to dealing with returned shipments, incomplete or inaccurate information. etc. They may ask for copies of invoices, credit notes or refunds and proof of shipping.

It is your responsibility as the owner and consignee to provide the information requested. If you are having trouble we can advise on what to say to help the goods get released.

Any delays, costs or penalties incurred are not the responsibility of Ezi Returns, Get Out Ltd or any of its agents or partners.

For advice regarding potential changes as a result of Brexit see our Brexit page here.