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United Kingdom (UK) Importer of Record and IT Shipping

The United Kingdom has importer requirements that are amicable for IT Hardware shippers, but export services fall under stricter scrutiny.

United Kingdom Importer of Record at a Glance: 

Importer of Record 

  • Importing into the United Kingdom is relatively straightforward and we encourage clients to act as their own Importer of Record if they are able 
  • You cannot act as your own Importer of Record if you only have an entity in the EU, since the UK has left the EU
  • Exporting out of the UK is much more complicated as there are strict controls on equipment that utilizes encryption

IT Shipping & Logistics 

  • The UK is amicable to telecommunications equipment shipments and the customs clearance process is completely digital
  • Air freight into London is readily available and equipment can even be sent overnight from most major US airports

Importer of Record and Pre-Shipment Documentation 

Importer of Record 

The UK is one of the most common locations for our clients to act as their own Importer of Record. FGX encourages and facilitates our clients acting as their own Importer of Record, allowing them to save overhead costs and reclaim their VAT. However, since Brexit, you can not use entities in other European countries to act as the IOR in the UK and vice versa. 

The United Kingdom, at the time of this writing, has a 20% VAT rate. The rate is slightly higher than a lot of other regions but is average for Europe. The good news is that once you’ve paid your VAT at the time of import, you may be eligible to reclaim it.

Exports Out of the United Kingdom 

While importing into the UK is a fairly easy process, exports are much more heavily controlled. Depending on what you are planning to ship, you may need to get a license from the online Export Licensing System (SPIRE). There are several types of licenses and it’s best to consult an experienced logistics provider like FGX for further guidance. If the proper export licenses are not in place in advance of shipping, it is very likely that the UK border force will stop your shipments.

IT Shipping & Logistics 

The UK is fairly lenient when it comes to what products and IT hardware are allowed through customs. You can easily import used goods as long as they are well packaged and properly labeled.

Additionally, air freight into London is widely available and very quick. We even overnight the equipment once we receive it but at most the shipment will take a day to land in London.

FGX manages all of our client’s shipments door-to-door (or door-to-data center). This case study showcases how we navigated IT logistics and importation into the United Kingdom at the time that it was written. Regulations and challenges are constantly changing and exact shipping requirements may have changed. To learn more about FGX and how our global shipping platform can help your company, reach out here.