Exports ― postal, courier and rail exports

Produced by Tolley

The following Value Added Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Exports ― postal, courier and rail exports
  • Postal exports
  • Procedure for exporting goods via the post
  • Procedure for sending goods using Parcelforce
  • Exports using a courier or fast parcel operator
  • Exports by rail
  • Parcels
  • Bulk cargo services
  • Exports under the ‘groupage’ arrangements
  • Exporting goods that require an export licence or are sent under outward processing (OP)
  • More...

Exports ― postal, courier and rail exports

This note should be read in conjunction with the Exporting goods ― overview and Exporting goods ― evidence of export guidance notes.

Postal exports

Businesses can zero-rate goods exported via the post providing the goods are ‘direct exports’ (see the Exporting goods ― overview guidance note) and the exporter has obtained acceptable proof of export. Businesses also need to follow these procedures when exporting goods via the post.

Procedure for exporting goods via the post

Letters and large letters containing only correspondence, commercial invoices or shipping documents do not require a customs form.

If a package is exported to a non-UK destination, the exporter must complete and affix a customs declaration that is either obtained from the Post Office or downloaded using the relevant link below. One of the following declarations needs to be obtained:

  1. a CN22 declaration form can be used for items valued at £270 or less. If the item is being sent by a Royal Mail International Tracked, Signed or Tracked & Signed service, the CN22 declaration can be download using the following link: Customs declaration ― CN22. If the exporter is exporting the item by Royal Mail International Standard or Economy, the Post Office branch will provide the exporter with the appropriate barcoded CN22 label. Information on how to complete a CN22 can be found using the following link: Post Office ― Customs forms for sending abroad

  2. a CN23 declaration form can be used for items valued over £270. A blank copy of this form can be downloaded using the following link: Customs declaration ― CN23

  3. a single administrative document (SAD) (form C88) is required for certain exports including all goods for export with a value exceeding £900

Post Office ― Customs forms for sending abroad; Notice 143, para 3.3

The CN22 or CN23 forms must be completed accurately and then attached to the front of the item as close as possible to the top left hand corner

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