Shipping to Italy From the UK

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Italy is the world’s 14th largest market for ecommerce in the year 2021 and has grown at a double-digit rate since 2017.

Despite growth in the home market, 51% of Italians purchased from international brands in the year 2020 due to a lack of domestic choice.

Per a J.P. Morgan 2020 ecommerce Payments Trends Report, of the foreign online shops preferred by Italians, the ones in the United Kingdom are among the top most popular ones. Italy is also among the UK’s closest trading partners and biggest export markets.

If you’re a UK-based business, serving customers in the Italian market is a great way to generate more sales.

But first, is important to understand international shipping rules and regulations.

If you’re a business operating out of the UK and want to serve customers in Italy, this guide will help develop an international shipping strategy to meet customer expectations.

Cost & delivery speeds for shipping to the Italy from the UK

Do you want the most affordable shipping solutions and are flexible on delivery timelines or is the speed of delivery of essence to you even if it means paying a premium? Are you shipping heavy or lightweight items?

An ecommerce business may have more parameters such as customs assistance offered, sustainability efforts, flat-rate shipping solutions, etc., to look into before they decide on a delivery company for its shipping needs.

It is answers to questions like these that become important when choosing the right courier for your shipping needs.

Royal Mail, UPS, FedEx, DPD, Evri (The new Hermes), and Parcelforce Worldwide are among the top couriers that ship from the United Kingdom to Italy. There are many services offered by these companies.

The table below shows the services offered on this route by the aforementioned couriers. Prices have been calculated using each delivery company’s specific calculator for a uniform sample package of 2 kg in September 2022. Parcel value was entered as 50 GBP wherever mandatorily requested. Costs reflected in the table are indicative and may change.  

Note: These are general options for consumers’ shipping orders directly from a courier’s store. To know what ShipBob offers when shipping to other countries like Italy, please request a quote here.

ShipBob’s exact rates for customers will vary as we charge an all-in ‘total fulfilment cost’ that includes picking, packing, and shipping, among other factors.  

ServicePriceDelivery Time
Royal Mail International Standard£12.203-5 business days
Royal MailInternational Tracked£13.053-5 business days
Royal Mail International Economy£14.2515 business days
Royal MailInternational Tracked and Signed£14.953-5 business day
UPSExpress Saver£20.831 business day
UPSStandard£13.453 business days
FedExInternational Economy £124.294 business day
FedExInternational Priority£123.361 business day
EvriEvri Courier£14.253-7 business days
Parcelforce Worldwideglobalpriority£50.753+ business days 
Parcelforce Worldwideglobalexpress£116.581+ business days 
Parcelforce Worldwideglobalvalue£46.155+ business days
DPD localAir Express£60.921-3 business days 
DPD local Air Classic£20.115-6 business days
DPD local Air Express£60.922-4 business days

Parcelforce Worldwide, Evri, and DPD local prices in the table are for pickup options.

The parcel size entered to calculate the prices for Evri, Parcelforce Worldwide, and DPD local is 45cm X 35cm X 16cm (L X W X H). FedEx, UPS, and Royal Mail options do not presently attract additional charges for collection options.

How to choose a shipping courier

Now that you understand the costs, it’s time to choose the right courier based on the services they offer, as well as advantages and disadvantages.

Here is a brief overview of the top couriers’ pros and cons.




Royal Mail
  • A vast network of 14000+ drop-off locations within the UK
  • Economic shipping options offered
  • £50 – £100 compensation cover included in the shipping cost. Option to get additional compensation cover up to £250
  • Special solutions and options for businesses are available
  • Package weight limit set at 2 kg
  • Pick-up service comes at a small additional cost
  • Package weight limit set at 68 kg. Freight options for heavier loads
  • Robust tracking mechanism
  • Shipping paperwork and customs support are available
  • Priority one-day delivery available
  • Expensive when compared to other top couriers
  • Lesser number of drop-off points vis-à-vis other players
  • Packages of up to 70 kg can be shipped. Freight shipment available for larger load sizes
  • Next day delivery options are available with time defined slots
  • Offers a dedicated small business platform
  • Flat-rate shipping options available for small businesses
  • Drop-off locations network not as vast vis-à-vis other couriers
  • Pick-up service comes at an additional cost
  • Recipients notified of 1-3 hour delivery window in local language
  • Multilingual agents available for international delivery service
  • Environmentally conscious practices such as carbon-neutral shipping adopted
  • Parcel tracking service available for all shipping options
  • A £50 compensation cover is part of the shipping costs. It can be increased up to £5000 at additional charges
  • Pick-up service is priced higher
  • The maximum shipping weight for parcels collected is 30 kg
  • Shipment weight limit set at 20 kg for drop-off options
  • £20 compensation cover included in the cost of shipping. Parcel protection of up to the value of £1000 can be bought at additional charges
  • Tracking comes as standard for both collection and drop-off shipping options
  • Special solutions for businesses in the UK are available. These include services such as an assigned account manager, a returns account, UK based customer service team, etc.
  • Collection option comes at a nominal charge
  • Economic solutions for shipping packages of up to 15 kg
  • Only packages of up to 15 kg can be shipped. This limit is lower when compared to other couriers
  • Neither collection nor delivery are bound by a guarantee. Meaning, that while they enjoy a high success rate, you can’t be certain of when the action (collection/delivery) will be completed by
  • Strong drop-off points network within the UK
  • Fully trackable shipping options are available
  • Compensation cover of £100-£200 included. Options to get additional protection cover of up to a value of £500-£2500
  • Parcelforce Worldwide Guarantee offers refunds for some of the shipping options in case deliveries are delayed or unmet
  • Packages heavier than 30 kg cannot be shipped
  • Post offices drop-offs capped at a maximum of 20 kg
  • Pick-up services are more expensive than drop-off options

Shipping to Italy from the UK with Royal Mail

Royal Mail can deliver packages to over 230 countries and territories worldwide.

This company with a long history is a respected and trusted choice when shipping internationally from the UK to Italy.

When shipping on this route a range of services is offered by the courier. Most of the options offered are competitive on both cost and delivery timelines. The solutions however differ on parameters such as compensation cover, the scale of trackability, etc. 

When to use Royal Mail to ship from the UK to Italy

If you are looking to send books, letters, or lightweight goods to your customers or friends, and are flexible on delivery timelines, Royal Mail can have them delivered within reasonable time limits and at affordable rates.

The weight of each package however cannot exceed 2 kg.

Shipping to Italy from the UK with UPS

A global leader in the shipping domain, UPS has connectivity across the globe to deliver your parcels to over 220 countries and territories.

It offers two services, namely, Express and Standard when shipping from the UK to Italy. Express as the name suggests is the faster of the two solutions, while Standard tries to balance cost and delivery timeline competitively.

UPS Express Saver is among the fastest options to ship on this route across a range of couriers.

When to use UPS to ship from the UK to Italy

A generous weight allowance of up to 70 kg per parcel, time-definite delivery solutions, trackability, reliability, customs assistance, flat-rate solutions for small businesses, etc. make UPS ideal for someone looking for a bouquet of services for their shipping needs.

Shipping to Italy from the UK with FedEx

FedEx is a world-renowned logistics and transportation solutions company. Within Europe, it has been present for over 35 years.

With FedEx, you can ship your parcel to over 220 countries and territories worldwide and trust it to reach the destination reliably.

FedEx International Priority is among the fastest services that you can use when shipping to Italy from the UK.

When to use FedEx to ship from the UK to Italy

Time-definite delivery with reliable tracking mechanisms are the strengths of FedEx. Also, if you are shipping heavy items of up to 68 kg per parcel, FedEx would fit your needs.

Do note FedEx services are charged at a premium and are among the most expensive options vis-à-vis other competitors. FedEx account holders may however enjoy discounts of up to 40%.

Shipping to Italy from the UK with DPD UK

DPD is one of the leading time-critical couriers in the UK. It has the capabilities to get your consignments to over 230 countries or territories across the world.

It has a strong ground-based service to Europe, along with Air Express service which allows the company to satisfy its customers’ logistics needs well. 

When to use DPD UK to ship from the UK to Italy

DPD offers options to its users that range from more economic ground-based services that take longer to Air Express services that are faster but cost more.

It also has a large drop-off network of 6,000+ shops within the UK. All options are fully tracked. Additionally, with DPD Classic service last mile notifications are sent to recipients across Europe so that they know the exact hour their parcels will arrive

If you like your parcels tracked, appreciate multilingual customer service availability, like the convenience of a large drop-off network, and want a range of options to choose from, DPD could be a good fit for your needs.

Do note that the individual parcel weight limit is capped at 30 kg for collected options and 20 kg for drop-off options.

Shipping to Italy from the UK with Evri (The new Hermes)

Evri is a multinational delivery company that has a network to get your packages to over 190 countries and territories worldwide.

It has a large network of parcelshops and drop-off shops within the UK that bring added convenience to its customers.

When to use Evri (The new Hermes) to ship from the UK to Italy

If you need affordable solutions, like your parcels tracked, and are comfortable with a flexible delivery timeline, Evri might work well for you.

However, it is suited only if you want to ship packages of a maximum of up to 15 kg each.

Shipping to Italy from the UK with Parcelforce

Parcelforce Worldwide is a part of the Royal Mail Group. It processes thousands of parcels daily to over 240 countries and territories worldwide.

With a domestic drop-off point network within the UK that includes Parcelforce depots and 11,500+ post office branches, Parcelforce Worldwide is a convenient choice when shipping from the UK to Italy.

When to use Parcelforce to ship from the UK to Italy

If convenience and variety are critical to you, Parcelforce Worldwide can be the right fit for you.

With its massive drop-off point network within the UK and range of services from those that aim to deliver in 1+ business days to those that deliver in 5+ business days, you are sure to find a suitable option for your needs.

Duties & taxes when shipping to Italy from the UK

Once products enter the European Union (EU), they must be declared to customs authorities as per the classification designated in the Combined Nomenclature.

All products that enter the EU are classified under a tariff code that has information on applicable duties, levies on imports/exports, information on protective measures (if any), external trade data, export-import formalities, and other non-tariff requirements.

This is true of goods that are shipped from the UK to Italy as well.

Exporters should consult the Integrated Tariff before shipping to identify rules that may apply to goods they intend to send to the customs territory of the EU. This will also help them to understand if a license may be required for the product being exported.

Additionally, a Value Added Tax (VAT), called IVA in Italy, is levied at a rate of 22% on all items imported into the country from non-EU countries. There are some categories such as essential foods that may attract a lower rate of VAT.

Italian customs information

When packages from the UK enter the customs territory of the European Union (EU) several documents need to be presented for customs clearance. These may include but are not limited to, commercial invoices, certificates/licenses (if applicable), import declarations, etc.

In addition to the documents required, businesses and individuals wishing to trade in the EU must use an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number for identification in all customs procedures when sharing details with the customs authorities and administration.

After necessary formalities and duties are met, the Italian customs authority would usually release the items for circulation within the country.

Since information on customs may change from time to time, to be better prepared when shipping internationally it is best to review the official Italian customs website beforehand.

Prohibited items when shipping to Italy

To protect its citizens and in the national interest, Italy restricts and prohibits many items from crossing the country’s borders. As a responsible shipper, you must ascertain that your package is devoid of any such items that flout the rules of home as well as the destination country.

Additionally, even couriers have lists of items that they do not carry.

It is best to update yourself on these before shipping your items to avoid unnecessary delays.

You can find below some items that are prohibited from import in Italy. 

Items you can’t ship to Italy from the UK

Live animals, furs, and animal skins (non-domesticated)
Pornographic material
Dangerous goods/hazardous materials, and firearms
Ivory and ivory products
Money and negotiable items
Watches over the value of $500 (or local currency equivalent) per parcel

Since these lists are subject to revisions, it is advised to review the country’s official customs website before shipping.  

What ecommerce businesses need to know about shipping to Italy

Italy is the world’s 8th largest economy. The country also has a growing ecommerce market.

Among the top categories that generate the most revenue in Italian ecommerce are electronics and media with a contribution of 29% followed by fashion at 26%.  

It is also one of the UK’s largest export markets.

If as a British ecommerce merchant you are keen to get a slice of this market, it is important to acquaint yourself with the Italian way of doing business.

Here are some insights to get you started.

1. Build local partnerships with patience

To win in the Italian market partnering with the right agent or distributor is key.

For a cross-border business, it can take up to two to three times longer than usual to make relationships, establish a presence locally, or set up a business in Italy.

Therefore, to build successful partnerships in this market, you will need to be patient.

Be sure to choose an agent or partner with a strong network of relationships and a sound sense of local business norms and practices. Having such an ally can put you on the fast track to success.  

For products that may require after-sales service within Italy, it is best to partner with a local player that has proven capabilities.

2. Take advantage of the growing trade exchange

Italy plays host to several trade exhibitions that attract European buyers as well as buyers from across the world.

It can present exciting opportunities to test new waters for UK-based businesses. On-site support can be requested for such shows.

Trade between Lombardy, a region in northern Italy, and the UK has been growing and is an important region to the Italian economy.

It may serve you well to check the trade show calendar in advance and prepare for suitable ones accordingly.

3. Prepare for longer payment cycles

Prepare for longer payment periods than those in the UK. Business-to-Business payments may take up to several weeks and in some cases even longer, especially if you are dealing with public bodies as creditors.

Only recently a prompt payment code of practice has been introduced. It is a good idea to plan as per the prevalent payment term environment in the country. 

Grow global with ShipBob

Ready to ship globally without the additional stress and headaches?

ShipBob is a global omnichannel fulfilment partner that makes selling internationally accessible and affordable.

Selling internationally can be challenging, time-consuming, and costly. But with ShipBob, you’re given everything you need to serve customers across the globe while saving time on logistics. 

We not only take care of picking, packing, and shipping your orders to Italy with a fulfilment centre in the UK and other locations across the world, we also offer upfront fulfilment costs that include customs, duties, and additional taxes.

By partnering with ShipBob, you eliminate the need to manage retail fulfilment, logistics operations, and hire labour.

“We currently use ShipBob fulfilment centres in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Global fulfilment is a huge need in the corporate gifting market and a necessity for our clients. At Postal, we’re building and actively executing an international strategy. There’s no way we’d be able to do this ourselves – but ShipBob’s combination of tech-forward APIs and logistics expertise allows us to scale globally with ease.

Ben Jablow, VP, Alliances at Postal 

Ready to start shipping to Italy from the UK? Get started with ShipBob. 

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Shipping to Italy FAQs

You can find below answers to some of the most common questions asked when shipping to Italy from the UK

What’s the cheapest way to ship to Italy from the UK?

Royal Mail’s International Standard service is among the cheapest solutions offered when shipping from the UK to Italy. Delivery timelines are set between 3-5 business days. Individual package weight limit is capped at 2 kg per parcel.

What’s the cheapest way to ship large packages to Italy from the UK?

UPS Standard offers the cheapest rates when shipping heavy packages to Italy from the UK.

What’s the fastest way to ship a package to Italy from the UK?

UPS Express Saver and FedEx International Priority are two solutions that offer time-defined delivery of your package by the next business day.

Do I have to pay customs duties and fees when shipping to Italy from the UK?

Due to Brexit, the UK is no longer a part of the European Union’s single market. This means goods imported into Italy from the UK are subject to new rules, import duties, and taxes. This includes customs duties and applicable Value Added Tax (VAT).

Customs duty on goods imported to Italy from the UK is calculated as per the information laid out in the Integrated Tariff for the EU.

Additionally, Italy also levies a 22% VAT on goods. Some product categories such as essential foods may attract a lower rate of VAT.

What’s the easiest way to ship something to Italy from the UK?

Parcelforce Worldwide has a vast drop-off point network of depots and 11,500+ post office branches within the UK. 

It also gives its users a variety of delivery speed choices ranging from 1+ business days up to 5+ business days. Both pickup and drop-off options are available on the services with varied delivery speeds. 

There are other services such as the option to buy additional compensation cover to a value of up to £2,500, fully tracked options, etc.

All these factors make Parcelforce Worldwide a credible and easy choice when looking to ship from the UK to Italy.