International shipping guide
International shipping guide
Service user guides
Download the International Business Mail user guidepdf, 1.85 MB to find out about sending business letters abroad.
Want to find out more about our International Returns services?
International Business Printed Matter User Guidepdf, 3.29 MB
Prohibited and restricted items
It is your responsibility to check if items you send are prohibited or subject to restrictions. See our prohibitions and restrictions guide for UK and international mail.
We restrict a lot of everyday items, including aerosols, nail varnishes, perfumes and aftershaves. However, business users can send some of these items to some European countries using our International Tracked and Signed service. For more details, check our International Business Parcels user guidepdf, 2.89 MB.
Business customers can now send some ‘Dangerous Goods’ to Europe. This is only available on International Business Tracked with signature services. For full details, please read the relevant section on the International Business Parcels user guidepdf, 2.89 MB.
Read our detailed country guides to help you choose a mail service for your destination. You can also check if you need to fill out customs information, and read about prohibited and restricted items for that country.
New tax rules: From 1 December 2019 there are new Goods and Services Tax rules in New Zealand, which could affect you if you sell goods to New Zealand. Find out more
Electronic customs data
The Import One Stop Shop (IOSS)
As of 1 July 2021, items imported to the EU with a value of €22 or less will no longer be exempt from VAT. This means that all goods sent directly from GB to consumers in the EU, both via online marketplaces and sales made directly, will be subject to the local rate of VAT in your customer’s country. The EU's Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) can help you start, or continue, trading from GB into the EU. You can either register and file your own tax returns, or we can assist you to do so, via the new IOSS Registration and Filing Service offered by Deloitte, or if you don't want to register yourself, we also have Taxamo Assure, an innovative pay-as-you-go solution which is perfect if you simply want to concentrate on selling. For further details about Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) and how Royal Mail can help, please visit our main page here.
Addressing international mail
Read our guide to address formats, which tells you how to write addresses for 40 countries – to help us deliver your item quickly and to the right place.
World mail zones map
Royal Mail services are priced according to geographical zones: UK, Europe, and world zones 1 and 2.
International incidents and public holidays
Sometimes incidents or ongoing situations in different countries can affect mail services, causing delays and other problems.
We regularly update our International Incident Bulletin. If you send a lot of items abroad – or frequently receive items from abroad – you may want to bookmark this page, and complete the form to receive email updates.
Public holidays can also delay mail - check this list of international holidays so that you can factor in more delivery time when needed.
Some countries and international organisations impose restrictions – also known as sanctions – on what you can send to certain individuals, organisations or destinations.
Sanctions can take many forms but are generally intended to prevent certain goods, services, finance and knowledge being supplied to particular recipients.