Shipping to Ireland from UK

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Shipping to Ireland from the UK: A Comprehensive Overview

Shipping goods from the UK to Ireland involves navigating through a complex web of procedures and requirements that demand attention to detail. With the advent of Brexit, international shipping to Ireland from the UK has seen significant changes, necessitating a comprehensive understanding of customs processes to ensure seamless transactions. This reality places the spotlight on the importance of being well-informed and prepared when undertaking shipping to Ireland from the UK.

This article aims to provide a thorough overview of the shipping landscape, offering insights into customs procedures and the implications of Brexit. Moreover, it will guide readers in choosing the right shipping partner, leveraging technology for tracking, and finding cost-effective shipping solutions. As the industry evolves, preparing for the future becomes paramount, underscoring the need for adaptability and proactive planning.

Understanding Customs Procedures and Brexit Implications

Navigating the complexities of customs and Brexit implications requires a thorough understanding of the new regulations and procedures for shipping to Ireland from the UK. Since the transition period ended, several key changes have taken effect, significantly altering the landscape of international shipping between these regions.

Key Changes in Customs Regulations

  1. Customs Declarations and Charges: All goods entering or leaving the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland from Great Britain now require customs declarations. This includes detailed information such as commodity codes and clear descriptions to ensure accurate processing. Additionally, parcels from GB to Ireland may incur customs charges, though An Post has negotiated with most retailers to apply these charges at the point of purchase.
  2. VAT and Duty Requirements: From January 1, 2021, additional import charges and VAT apply when purchasing from UK websites, depending on the value and origin of the products. Items valued over €150 may be subject to customs duty depending on their category, with all packages requiring VAT payment at the standard rate of 23% in Ireland.
  3. Registration and Compliance: It is essential for importers to get EORI registered for international trade and submit electronic customs declarations using customs software. This is crucial for the smooth transition of goods across borders and to avoid delays.

Brexit’s Impact on Shipping Dynamics

  • Shift in RoRo Traffic: The introduction of new customs and trading arrangements has significantly affected roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) traffic, particularly the use of the UK Landbridge. There has been a noticeable shift in traffic routes, with some moving away from ROI-GB routes to NI-GB routes to mitigate the complexities introduced by Brexit.
  • Regulatory Adjustments: Since October 1, 2021, mandatory safety and security declarations have become a requirement for all consignments entering or leaving Great Britain. This regulatory change aims to enhance the security and compliance of goods moving across borders.

These adjustments in customs procedures and the implications of Brexit have created a new operational environment for shipping to Ireland from the UK. Businesses and individuals must stay informed and adapt to these changes to ensure compliance and minimize disruptions in their shipping operations.

Choosing the Right Shipping Partner

When selecting the ideal shipping partner for shipping to Ireland from the UK, several factors must be considered to ensure efficient and reliable service. Here are some critical aspects to keep in mind:

Freight, eCommerce, and Returns Services

Freight, eCommerce, and returns are the primary services provided by shipping companies. It’s essential to choose a partner that excels in these areas to handle your specific needs effectively.

Insurance and Reliability

Ensuring your items during transit is crucial as many shipping companies offer insurance options to protect against loss or damage. Additionally, reliability is a key factor; look for a shipping partner with a proven track record of on-time deliveries and minimal lost or damaged packages.

Speed, Cost, and Coverage

Speed is another significant consideration, especially if your deliveries are time-sensitive. Select a partner that offers expedited shipping options if needed. Moreover, compare pricing structures between different shipping partners, taking into account both base rates and any additional fees for services like expedited shipping or package insurance. It’s also vital to ensure that the shipping partner services the specific areas in the UK and Ireland that you need to reach.

Customer Service

Opting for a shipping partner with robust customer service is advisable. This includes responsive support and clear communication channels that can greatly enhance the shipping experience.

Specific Shipping Services

Several courier services are known for their reliable and cost-effective solutions. DPD, for example, offers a collection and drop-off service for parcels to Ireland, with parcel cover up to £50 included in the shipping cost, and allows sending up to 70kg on selected services. DHL provides express parcel delivery to Ireland with various service options and an estimated delivery time from the UK to Ireland of 1 working day. Additionally, Parcel Monkey offers discounted services comparing prices from world-class couriers, and Clarity Cargo provides comprehensive shipping services with customs expertise and transparent tracking.

Selecting the right shipping partner involves careful consideration of these factors to ensure that your shipping needs are met efficiently and your parcels reach their destination safely and on time.

Technology and Tracking

In the realm of shipping to Ireland from the UK, technological advancements play a pivotal role in enhancing the efficiency and reliability of services. Seven Seas Worldwide has integrated GPS tracking into their services, allowing customers to monitor the real-time location of their shipments. Similarly, Pro Carrier Ltd has developed the Horizon platform, which not only offers real-time tracking but also facilitates comprehensive data analysis and report generation, making the logistics process transparent and manageable.

Additionally, the Track My Parcel feature provided by Pro Carrier Ltd enables customers to access up-to-the-minute information about their parcel’s journey, ensuring they are always informed of the status and location of their shipments. This level of detail in tracking is paralleled by Primeline Express, which has significantly invested in track and trace technology to provide customers with real-time delivery updates throughout the shipping process.

The integration of these technologies into shipping services is not just about tracking; it’s about creating a seamless and responsive logistics framework that adapts to the dynamic demands of international shipping. As the industry leans more towards digital solutions, services like DPD’s NEXT DAY and CLASSIC Two Day, which use direct air and combined road/sea transportation, exemplify how traditional shipping methods are being enhanced by technological advancements to offer more efficient and faster delivery options. This evolution is part of a broader trend where digital innovations like blockchain are poised to further revolutionize global trade by improving the security and efficiency of maritime transport, which handles over 80% of the world’s merchandise trade.

Cost-Effective Shipping Solutions

Understanding Shipping Costs

When planning shipping to Ireland from the UK, it’s essential to consider several factors that influence the cost. The price of shipping is determined by the size, weight, shape, and distance of the shipment. Additionally, duties and taxes may apply, which are crucial to consider for budgeting accurately. To get a precise shipping quote, measure your items in cubic meters or feet. Options like Full Container Load (FCL), where only your goods fill the container, and Less than Container Load (LCL), where your goods share space with others, offer flexibility depending on shipment size.

Streamlining Costs with Technology and Consolidation

Leveraging technology and consolidation strategies can significantly reduce shipping expenses. Services like Wise provide multi-currency accounts with fair service fees, helping save money on international payments. Moreover, consolidating multiple packages into one shipment can also cut costs. It’s beneficial to compare prices and services from various shipping providers to select the most cost-effective option. Additionally, optimizing packaging to reduce dimensional weight can further decrease shipping costs.

Preparing for the Future

In the evolving landscape of international shipping, particularly between the UK and Ireland, staying ahead requires strategic foresight and adaptability. Key steps include registering with Revenue for an EORI number, classifying goods accurately, and ensuring product values are precise. Consulting with experienced professionals like a DPD Account Manager or using resources such as is also recommended to navigate future changes effectively.

The shifting dynamics in RoRo (Roll-on/Roll-off) traffic highlight a significant trend; 71% of all Republic of Ireland RoRo traffic is now unaccompanied, a notable increase from previous years. This shift is paralleled by the increase in direct routes to European Union ports, which now account for a third of all RoRo traffic in the Republic of Ireland, doubling since Q2 2019. These changes underscore the necessity for businesses to adapt their logistical strategies to maintain efficiency and competitiveness in the new shipping environment.

Economic factors also play a crucial role in shaping the future of shipping. The potential global recession, high inflation, and fluctuating currency rates are predicted to impact the industry. For instance, the depreciating value of sterling adds pressure on UK importers, especially as global shipping rates are typically priced in US dollars. These economic conditions necessitate a strategic approach to financial management and risk assessment in shipping operations.


Navigating the complexities of shipping from the UK to Ireland, especially in the post-Brexit landscape, requires not only a thorough understanding of customs, VAT, and regulatory changes but also a strategic selection of shipping partners and technologies. The insights and resources outlined in this article aim to provide businesses and individuals with a comprehensive guide to facilitate smooth shipping operations, emphasizing the importance of adaptability, strategic planning, and leveraging technological advancements for efficient service delivery.

As we move forward, the evolving nature of international shipping mandates a proactive stance towards future changes, including economic factors and regulatory updates. Emphasizing the significance of the insights shared, it’s imperative for stakeholders in the shipping industry to stay informed, consult with professionals, and anticipate shifts within the sector. The guidance offered here not only prepares readers for current shipping challenges but also equips them to navigate future developments effectively, ensuring a resilient and responsive approach to shipping goods between the UK and Ireland.


1. How do I determine the customs duty when shipping goods from the UK to Ireland?
To calculate the customs duty, you need to multiply the value of your goods by the tariff rate applicable to your items, which is expressed as a percentage. For instance, if your goods are valued at €1,000 and the tariff rate is 5%, the customs duty would be €50.

2. Are there customs charges on packages sent from the UK to Ireland?
Yes, you might need to pay customs duties on some items purchased online in the UK and shipped to Ireland, despite the Brexit Trade Deal. Additionally, since 1 January 2021, you may be liable for VAT on these purchases. It’s advisable to check the VAT and import charges before ordering from a UK website.

3. What are the requirements for shipping items to Ireland?
When sending mail to Ireland, you must include your name and address, the dimensions and weight of your parcel or letter, and a customs declaration category (such as ‘Gift’, ‘Documents’, or ‘Returned Goods’). Also, provide a clear description of each item in the parcel to comply with customs requirements.


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