How well do you manage your shipping and returns?
As cross-border shopping becomes more habitual for consumers, it's projected that the total global revenue will amount to nearly $2 trillion of worldwide retail sales by 2018*. With projections like this, it's not uncommon for online retailers and marketplace sellers to have an international customer base and therefore send their goods cross-border.
For eCommerce goods under £270GBP CN22 declarations are one of the most common method's used to send goods internationally. Using these customs declaration documents makes sending goods internationally relatively quick and simple - goods are packaged up, address labels applied and a CN22 label is completed and affixed to every parcel.
Whilst sending goods out using CN22's is perfectly acceptable - things can get complicated further down the line if accurate records have not been kept. If HMRC asked could you track down an individual export record from 2 years ago and would this match your VAT records? Do you have the original certificate of export for all posted items?
Any business or individual trading internationally who is involved in the movement of goods is expected to keep a detailed record of all imports and exports. On occasion, HMRC can and do inspect businesses to ensure these records are accurate. Upon request, a business would be expected to provide a full breakdown of a product's journey...from the country of origin, duty & VAT that's been paid when it was imported...to where the product was sold & exported too..and that's just half the journey.
What happens should your customer choose to return the goods for a refund? Businesses that send goods out using CN22 declarations don't always have proof of export as the declaration forms have been attached to the goods themselves. Without this original proof of export, it makes it near on impossible for a business to get these returned items back from a 3rd country without incurring additional cost. The cost of not being able to provide this information could result in additional duty and VAT on re-importation of the goods to the EU.
Compliant eCommerce Shipping and Fully Managed Returns
UKP Worldwide provide a range of 3rd country local postal services that exceed customer expectations and ensure businesses remain compliant with customs routines and export procedures. We can help implement a process where all business exports are documented on the National Export System (NES) which in turn would provide a full paper trail of all cross-border shipments for a business.
Our cross- border delivery options can include:
- Express tracked
- Standard tracked
- Email notifications with tracking information
Implementing a cross-border returns service can seem like a headache but with the right systems, businesses can improve time management and cash flow internally, as well as enhance the customer experience.
Our Returns Portal is easy to use, mobile friendly and can be white labelled with merchants brand logo and contact information. The portal offers flexibility and allows the merchant to offer options of both exchanges and refunds, as well as the customer paying to return their item or merchant pays for returns postage. And, if you do not require your items repatriating, we can assist with donating to a local charity or by safely and securely destroying your items.
If a business sells goods on marketplace platforms such as Amazon, they are required to have a local in-country returns address for customers to return their unwanted goods to. We are able to both provide a local in-country address for particular countries, as well as get goods returned under the relevant programme, saving on customs tax and duty charges.
What is an Authorised Economic Operator?
UKP Worldwide are an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO). AEO status is an internationally recognised accreditation in the global supply chain. It confirms that a business' systems and processes have been audited by local customs authorities, the internationally supply chain is secure and that customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant.
How could you benefit?
By choosing a distribution partner who understands the international postal services and is AEO compliant, means you will benefit from:
- Consistent and faster custom clearances at both local and overseas borders for both your outbound and returns traffic
- Permitted access at a time of increased border controls
- A compliant and secure supply chain protecting people, cargo and information
- Access to custom simplifications
- A compliant record of exports and any subsequent returns
- Improved cash flow and increased margin, if participating in tax duty deferment programs
If you're a business which sends goods internationally and would like to learn more about topics covered in this post, then please get in touch with our team on +44 (0) 1844 398880 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.