Commercial Invoice Top Tips
The best way to avoid shipping delays and to navigate customs without any headaches is to make sure your commercial invoice is completed.
We’ve put together this list of top tips to help you every step of the way!
Here's What You Need to Know
- If you’re sending a parcel to a recipient outside of Great Britain, some couriers may ask for a commodity code. These are also known as a tariff code or a HS code (Harmonised System).
- These codes are used to identify the item(s) so border officials can check they’re safe and legal, and calculate any duties owed. Using the correct HS code can prevent unnecessary delays to your parcel.
- HS Codes can be anything from six to a twelve digit number, but don’t worry – looking up and classifying goods is really easy on Parcel2Go!
Using the description of your parcel contents you entered in the order journey, our system will suggest closely matching HS codes. This allows you to quickly review and select the right code. If you’re sending a common item – such as a 'book' or 'trainers' – your goods can be classified in a few clicks.
Before you arrive at the Customs Details page, within the order process, you're asked to describe the parcel contents in a few words. You enter 'Hand-made dog statuette, made from oak, ornamental'.
The description is brought through to the Customs Details page and will be used to suggest potential codes.
Under the Parcel Description section you will find several pre-populated suggestions.
There are 12 categories to choose from, click on 'Show More' to see all of these.
The statuette you’re sending doesn’t seem to fall info any of the categories so you go ahead and clock on 'Other'. At this point you can also click on 'Enter Manually'.
If you are already familiar with HS codes and you know the correct code you can enter this manually in the Tariff Code field provided.
Otherwise click on 'Browse for Code' to search through the database of codes.
When the pop-up shows, you will see the full list of categories available. You will need to browse these and the sub-categories to find the closest match to your item. The descriptions here are being pulled through from the UK Government database.
Remember: HS Codes are used to identify an item within a box. So therefore the code needs to represent what the item is made from, in this case it’s wood.
Looking at the pop-up there are two possible matches:
- 'Wood and Articles of Wood...'
- 'Works of Art, Collectors' Pieces and Antiques'
Upon clicking 'Wood and Articles of Wood…' (44-66) you can see that none of the sub-categories makes sense for the wooden statuette you’re shipping, so you 'Start Again'.
Click on the Works of 'Art, Collectors’ Pieces and Antiques' (97) category. Browsing the sub-categories here looks like you can find a relevant option.
You settle on 'Sculptures and statuary: original, in any material' as you’re sending a handmade (original) statuette (statuary), made from oak (any material)
Once you’re happy with the chosen code select 'Use This Code', which automatically populates your code in the form field. With your goods successfully classified, you’re free to continue with the booking journey – easy!
The following items (or any item similar in description or content) cannot be carried on any service.
Any person sending such an item may be subject to their order being cancelled without notice:
- Animals Or Organisms Of Any Form
- Any Perishable Goods Or Perishable Food
- Batteries And Items Containing Built In Batteries
- Biological Samples
- Compressed Air & Empty Cylinders
- Covid Tests (FedEx Express, FedEx UK, TNT)
- Drugs, Medication, Prescriptions, Tobacco And Tobacco Products
- Food Items - (All Food Items, Including Non Perishable Are Prohibited). (Landmark)
- Food Of Any Kind
- Hand Sanitiser (FedEx Express, FedEx UK, TNT)
- Hazardous Goods Including Aerosol, Asbestos, Explosives, Fire Extinguishers, Lighters Including New, Used And Empty, Fireworks And Christmas Crackers. Items Containing Alcohol, Flammable Or Explosive Substances.
- Illegal Goods - Including Any Items Considered Illegal In Either The Exporting Or Importing Country.
- Large Vehicle Parts - Including Vehicle Panels, Spoilers, Doors Or Engines, Any Car Parts Containing Oil Or Liquids Or Items Related To
- Lighters And Refills Containing Flammable Liquid Or Gas (Including New, Used And Empty Butane, Petrol Cigar And Cigarette Lighters). (Parcelforce)
- Liquids, Creams, Oils, Wax Or Gels
- Medical Equipment
- Monetary/Currency Including Cash, Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Coins, Cheques, Stamps (Unless Franked) And Any Financial Documents.
- Paint (FedEx Express, FedEx UK, TNT)
- Perfume (FedEx Express, FedEx UK, TNT)
- Personal Effects (Suitcases Or Personal Belongings) (DPD)
- Personal Identification Documentation, Like A Passport, ID Card Or Driving Licence
- Poisonous, Toxic Liquids, Solids Or Gases Including Pesticides
- Radioactive Materials
- Weapons - Including Replicas Or Ammunition
- White Goods Including Cooker Hoods Or Hot Tubs
- Wood And Wooden Items (Items Made Out Of Wood)
Items Protected For Loss Only:
The services provided to us by the couriers will send the following items, however, they will not protect for any damage.
If the item is lost within their network they will refund the cost of the carriage and the items value (Parcel protection must be taken out for any loss to be claimed)
- Any Type Of Wooden Flooring Including Laminate
- Coffee Machines, Coffee Grinders, Coffee Roasters
- Cycles, Bicycles, Unicycles, Tricycles. - maximum Parcel Protection value for lost items is £1,000.
- Electrical Appliances - Such As Cameras, Monitors, Computers, Drones, Tvs Or Items Related To
- Fishing Rods
- Knitting Machines Or Sewing Machines
- Models, Kits
- Musical Instruments Including Amplifiers, Speakers Or Turntables. All Musical Instruments Must Be Sent In A Hard Case And Boxed - maximum Parcel Protection value for lost items is £1,000.
- Suitcase - A Suitcase Will Not Be Protected If This Is Used As Packaging For Internal Items.
- Telescopes Or Microscopes
- Wall Decor Items Including Canvas Prints, Clocks, Framed Pictures, Pictures, Posters, Prints, Paintings
No Protection items:
The following items (or any item similar in description or content) can only be carried on a no-protection basis on any service.
Any person sending such an item does so at their own risk:
- Ceramics / Porcelain / China / Stone / Granite / Marble
- Glass Items Of Any Type - Including Glassware, Crystal, Bulbs, Screens, Fiberglass, Fish Tanks, Mirrors, Spectacles, Windows, Perspex
- Packaging - Including The Box, Media Packaging, Suitcases Used As Packaging
- Precious Metals And Stones - Including Gold, Silver, Gems, Diamond - Including In Jewellery Form
- Small Vehicle Parts Including Headlights, Taillights, Gearboxes