Five handy tips for Stress-Free Holiday Shipping

  1. Clearly label your package for customs purposes.
    Your Air Waybill should answer three questions about your package: what is it, what is it made of, what is it used for? Customers who don’t supply enough information about their package may find it’s held up by customs. To avoid disappointing delays, ensure your package is clearly labeled.
  2. When sending a gift, make sure you write “personal gift” on your Air Waybill.
    Telling Customs that your package is non-commercial by clearly stating “personal gift” after its description will help ensure you don’t attract unnecessary customs duties and taxes. Personal gifts worth up to £36 entering the UK, for example, do not attract any duties or VAT. Gifts valued over £36 and up to £135 will be free of duty but may be subject to VAT. Gifts over £135 and up to £630 per person may attract a flat 2.5% duty and VAT may be payable.

    Important note – only very small quantities of excise goods such as perfume will be accepted as gifts in the under £36 gift concession. 
  3. If purchasing via the internet, check to see if local taxes and duties are included in the price.
    Many people think they’re getting a great price when they buy items overseas via the internet, but get a surprise when their package arrives with a demand for customs duties and VAT. For example, clothes valued at USD$200 arriving in the UK will attract 12% duty, plus 20% VAT, adding more than 30% to the cost of the purchase.
  4. Ensure your package is well wrapped, with plenty of padding.
    FedEx provides free shipping boxes, but customers need to wrap their packages carefully. Invest in some bubble-wrap, styrofoam beads or lots of newspaper to help protect your present! Have a look at our packaging tips.
  5. Accurately estimate the cost of your package and take out adequate insurance.
    The vast majority of FedEx packages are delivered safely to their address, but sometimes things can go wrong. All customers are asked to declare the value of their shipment – undervaluing can affect their insurance. Customers should also ensure they have adequate insurance, especially for high-value shipments.