Fulfilment in the EU

Let’s be honest, since the end of the Brexit transitional period, shipping from the UK to the EU even with a trade deal in place, just got a whole lot more complicated.

For any business who sells online to customers in the EU, it may now be more advantageous to have these orders picked, packed and shipped from within the EU.

We are therefore delighted to announce the opening of our EU operation in North West Germany, which offers quick and easy access to order fulfilment and shipping to any EU market.

There are a number of advantages in using our EU centre over shipping to the EU from our UK warehouse;

Reduced transit times*

The shipping time to addresses in Germany is normally just 24 hours from dispatch.

From Germany to other EU countries is typically 1 – 3 days with even the most distant addresses reached in 6 days.

Simple VAT & Duty process

Goods with a value over €22 sent from the UK to customers within the EU attract local VAT, and, for goods valued at over £135, import duty also applies, which is usually collected at the point of delivery.

The final mile delivery provider will normally add a handling fee for the collection of any applicable VAT & duty. Even if this is flagged to the customer at the point of purchase, it is not always palatable when it comes to accepting the delivery, risking refusal and the return of the order back to the UK, at the seller’s cost.

It is also predicted that the current €22 exception from VAT threshold will be removed in July 2021, if that is the case, VAT may be collected at the point of delivery for every item sent from the UK to the EU. Alternatively, you as the seller can collect the applicable VAT and any duty on behalf of the customer at the point of sale and send the goods ‘DDP’ (delivery, duty paid), though this is probably a complication most sellers could do without.

Less paperwork

Although many shipments to the EU from the UK do not attract VAT or duty, each shipment still needs a CN22 customs form completing to accompany it, this includes a description of the goods, commodity code, value, origin, weights etc, which we complete on your behalf.

The checking of this paperwork at customs for clearance on entering the EU can slow deliveries down and, in some cases, reduces the number of shipping methods we can offer for the carriage of particular categories of goods, as some carriers do not now accept certain commodity codes, which they were able to handle in the past.

Reduced costs

Shipping goods shorter distances across Europe does on the whole reduce shipping costs as well as transit times. We work with GLS and offer a simple pricing structure for fully tracked delivery, with a single cost price per country for any shipments under 3kg.

Working with Rapid both in the UK and the EU couldn’t be easier. You will have the same team looking after your account for both locations and we operate the same CRM system in both locations, nice and simple!

The only real downside of working with our two fulfilment centres is that you will need to maintain a stockholding in both locations, which may mean an increase in your cost to get your stock to our warehouses, though if you are sourcing stock within the EU, you will of course benefit from both reduced transport costs and potentially, a reduced cost in duty. And the savings in costs when shipping to your customer and benefits in customer service will no doubt outweigh any downside.

If you’d like us to quote for your EU to EU fulfilment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll put together a quote for you within 24 hours.

Shipping times from Germany*

Country

Days

Country

Days

Austria

Bulgaria

Cyprus

Denmark

Finland

Germany

Hungary 

Italy

Lithuania

Malta

Poland

Romania

Slovakia

Spain

1-2

3

4

2

3-5

1-2

2

2-3

3

3

2

2

2

3-6

Belgium

Croatia

Czech Republic

Estonia

France

Greece

Ireland 

Latvia

Luxembourg

Netherlands

Portugal

San Marino

Slovenia

Sweden

1-2

3

2

3-4

2-3

4-6

3

3-4

1

1-2

3-4

2

3

2-4

* Delivery to the mainland. Lead times may be longer for deliveries to islands or to areas which are supplied by GLS via another country. Delivery times quoted are a guide and not guaranteed.