Shipping to Poland from the UK
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Poland is the European Union’s 6th largest economy. The country has a large population, a competitive workforce, and promising economic growth prospects.
It is also among Europe’s fastest-growing ecommerce markets.
Ecommerce sales in the year 2020 accounted for 14% of all retail sales. This number is expected to grow to 20% of all retail sales by the year 2026.
That’s why UK-based online businesses seeking to expand into untapped markets may find it worthwhile to consider this as a potential market of interest.
But a significant challenge when sending goods across borders is navigating the shipping process.
Whether you are sending personal items from the UK to loved ones in Warsaw or shipping commercial products to Polish customers, there are many factors including costs, delivery timelines, and customs, to consider.
If you’re a business operating out of the UK and you want to serve customers in Poland, this guide will help develop an international shipping strategy to meet customer expectations.
Cost & delivery speeds for shipping to the Poland from the UK
Picking a suitable courier is a crucial step in the international shipping process.
Various factors such as delivery speed, costs, package weight limit, etc. may influence your decision.
Many leading couriers such as Royal Mail, UPS, FedEx, Evri (The new Hermes), DPD, and Parcelforce Worldwide ship to Poland from the United Kingdom.
Below is a table with the costs and timelines of the services offered by these couriers. It is meant to give you an indication of the variety of options available.
The rates here have been calculated using each courier’s unique calculator in February 2023. A standard sample package of 2 kg was used for all calculations. The parcel value was entered as £50 wherever sought. The information in the table here is subject to revisions.
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 Poland, 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.
|Royal Mail||International Standard||£10.98||3-5 business days|
|Royal Mail||International Tracked||£11.75||3-5 business days|
|Royal Mail||International Economy||£14.25||15 business days|
|Royal Mail||International Tracked and Signed||£13.46||3-5 business day|
|UPS||Express Saver||£21.37||2 business days|
|UPS||Standard||£12.99||3 business days|
|UPS||Express||£28.87||2 business days|
|FedEx||International Economy||£138.72||5 business days|
|FedEx||International Priority||£151.49||2 business days|
|FedEx||International First||£230.11||2 business days|
|FedEx||International Priority Express||£159.03||2 business days|
|Evri||Evri Courier||£15.92||3-7 business days|
|Parcelforce Worldwide||globalpriority||£17.35||3+ business days|
|Parcelforce Worldwide||globalexpress||£116.58||1+ business days|
|Parcelforce Worldwide||globalvalue||£55.50||5+ business days|
|DPD local||Air Express||£61.25||2-3 business days|
|DPD local||Air Classic||£45.58||6-7 business days|
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
Since choosing the right shipping courier is among the most important steps in international shipping, it is a good idea to weigh the merits and demerits of the major delivery companies.
To assist you in making a decision find below a table with the pros and cons of top couriers that offer shipping services to send goods from the UK to Poland.
Shipping to Poland from the UK with Royal Mail
With a history dating back centuries, Royal Mail is a leading name in the world of shipping and logistics.
It provides a range of services to get your package to over 230 countries and territories safely and securely.
When it comes to shipping from the United Kingdom to Poland, Royal Mail’s cost-effective options make it a top choice for many.
When to use Royal Mail to ship from the UK to Poland
If you prefer the convenience a vast drop-off points network provides and are looking to send lightweight packages of up to 2 kg at affordable rates to your Polish customers or friends, Royal Mail could be the perfect fit for you.
Shipping to Poland from the UK with UPS
As a worldwide logistics powerhouse, UPS boasts a vast network that can deliver your shipments to over 220 countries and territories. Within Europe, it can connect and deliver across 56 countries and territories.
UPS offers versatile shipping choices to meet diverse needs. Additionally, it provides specialized solutions for small businesses such as flat rate options.
For UK-based ecommerce companies seeking reliable shipping options to Poland, UPS is a dependable and trustworthy choice.
When to use UPS to ship from the UK to Poland
If the speed of delivery is a key parameter for you and if you are looking to send heavy packages of up to 70 kg, UPS offers competitive options and might be ideal for you.
Customs support for shipments is also offered to individuals as well as small businesses.
Shipping to Poland from the UK with FedEx
FedEx is a prominent and influential player in the global shipping industry providing delivery services to more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.
With a presence in Europe spanning nearly four decades, FedEx has established a robust network and infrastructure to support its operations in the region.
When to use FedEx to ship from the UK to Poland
FedEx offers among the speediest solutions when sending items to Poland from the United Kingdom. It is a reliable option when sending packages of up to 68 kg each.
While FedEx services are priced higher than other couriers, account holders can enjoy discounts of up to 40% on shipments.
Shipping to Poland from the UK with DPD UK
DPD is a leading shipping company that offers delivery services to more than 200 countries worldwide.
With a vast drop-off network consisting of over 6,000 locations across the UK, customers can easily drop their packages at a convenient location.
Moreover, DPD also provides pickup services for those who prefer door-to-door solutions.
When to use DPD UK to ship from the UK to Poland
If you like to keep a tab on your shipments you would appreciate the traceability and notifications that come with all DPD services when shipping from the UK to Poland.
Also, if you are sending expensive items and like to secure your shipments, DPD has an option where you can purchase additional parcel protection for your package up to the value of £5,000.
For an ecommerce business shipping to customers across countries, DPD’s multilingual customer agents can be of immense value.
Shipping to Poland from the UK with Evri
Evri is a reliable shipping service that provides deliveries from the United Kingdom to more than 190 countries offering competitive pricing and an extensive network of parcelshops and lockers.
When to use Evri to ship from the UK to Poland
If you are sending goods lighter than 15 kg in weight, prefer trackability, and are flexible on the delivery timelines, Evri could be the courier for your requirements.
Customers using Evri can enjoy both drop-off and collection options.
Shipping to Poland from the UK with Parcelforce
Parcelforce Worldwide is a globally trusted shipping company. It has a vast drop-off network that constitutes the UK’s post office network making it a convenient choice for customers.
It can deliver shipments to Poland starting from 1+ business days.
When to use Parcelforce to ship from the UK to Poland
If you prefer to have a variety of choices to pick from, Parcelforce Worldwide might be a good option for you.
When shipping to Poland from the UK, Parcelforce Worldwide offers a range of services that vary on the delivery timeline, trackability scale, compensation cover offered, weight allowance, etc.
Parcelforce Worldwide offers among the cheapest options when shipping heavy packages of 30 kg on this route.
Duties & taxes when shipping to Poland from the UK
Poland has been a European Union (EU) member state since 2004. This means that customs rules applied to goods imported into Poland are the same as for other EU nations.
Post Brexit in the year 2021, postal items from the UK entering the EU are treated as non-EU items and are subject to applicable customs duties. In addition to customs, the goods are also levied a Value Added Tax (VAT) as per the rules.
A standard VAT of 23% is charged on all goods entering Poland from non-EU countries such as the United Kingdom. But certain categories are covered by special VAT provisions and are charged a reduced rate of VAT. These include pharmaceutical products (8% rate of VAT), books and journals (5% rate of VAT), etc.
Additional details about customs tariffs, license requirements, etc. for trade with the EU are available on the EU’s TARIC (integrated Tariff of the European Union) website.
Poland customs information
Upon arrival in the EU, goods must be declared to customs as per the classification in the Combined Nomenclature (CN) document laid out on the European Commission’s website.
Since it is updated annually it is advised to check it before shipping items from the UK to Poland to ascertain the appropriate classification for the goods in your shipment.
Additionally, some goods may require special licenses or certificates before being cleared by the customs department.To stay updated with the latest information on customs regulations of Poland it is recommended to visit the official Polish customs website.
Prohibited items when shipping to Poland
It is common across countries to prohibit certain items from being imported to safeguard the national economy and protect citizens. Poland also has a list of items that are not allowed to cross borders.
In addition to the country-specific lists, even couriers have a list of items that they do not ship.
When shipping to Poland from the UK, it is a good practice to review these lists to ensure that your goods arrive safely and on time.
You can find below a list of some items that are prohibited from import in Poland.
Items you can’t ship to Poland from the UK
|Hazardous toiletries and perfumes|
|Tobacco and tobacco leaves|
|Animal products and ivory|
|Acids and hazardous chemicals|
|Gasses and flammables|
Since these lists get revised from time to time, it is advised to check the official Polish customs website before shipping goods to avoid hiccups.
What ecommerce businesses need to know about shipping to Poland
Did you know that Poland’s ecommerce market is the 21st largest globally and is placed ahead of Switzerland?
It is also the biggest net fund beneficiary as per the 2021-2027 EU budget which has allocated €75 billion (in current prices) for the country.
Poland is also the United Kingdom’s 22nd-largest export market.
The country’s strategic location in the heart of Central Europe can serve as an entry point for ecommerce businesses looking to reach customers in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region. It can even be made a base to access emerging markets further east.
If you are a UK-based ecommerce business looking to enter the Polish market, read on below for more insightful information.
1. Prepare for a price-sensitive market
Price is often paramount to Poles when buying. Thus, to be successful in this market an ecommerce company must develop a competitive pricing strategy.
Polish firms have difficulties accessing capital. Business transactions are usually self-financed. Therefore, British firms that can source financing are likely to have a competitive advantage.
Also, it will be of use if a business can develop creative pricing terms, have adequate information and literature available for buyers that justify the costs, etc.
2. Personalise and localise for better resonance with customers
Polish customers engage in discussions to explain their requirements and like to understand the technical parameters of the products. They also like room for negotiation on the price.
Since Poles often need convincing and are skeptical of claims until they are proven, the use of product demonstrations can be an essential tool in this market.
Additionally, while the English-speaking audience in Poland is on the rise, especially in major cities, if you are looking to garner quick responses, communicate in Polish.
For greater chances of winning in the market, it would be wise to partner up with a local agent or distributor that can help you navigate the Polish market.
3. Prepare for longer sales cycles
Poles like to take their time to consider points discussed in initial meetings and to source financing.
Orders may be small at first since Poles have limited amounts of working capital and interest rates on loans are high.
However, you can expect rapid growth in repeat sales once a product’s effectiveness and profitability are established.
Also, it may take several meetings and negotiation rounds before deals are finalised especially when large organisations or government bodies are involved.
This is because approvals from all departments involved within an organisation for a deal are required before closing it.
Expand your global presence with ShipBob
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, including access to shipping courier,DDP shipping solutions, a network of global fulfilment centres, and much more.
We not only take care of picking, packing, and shipping your orders to Poland 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.
“Currently, we have stock in ShipBob’s fulfilment centres in the UK, Canada, and Australia. We’ve also just begun moving into ShipBob’s fulfilment centre in Poland, as we have customers in Germany as well! With new locations being added all the time, ShipBob will help us service customers in more and more countries around the world over time.”
Aaron Patterson, COO of The Adventure Challenge
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Shipping to Poland FAQs
You can find below answers to some of the most common questions asked when shipping to Poland from the UK
What’s the cheapest way to ship to Poland from the UK?
The cheapest option when shipping from the UK to Poland is offered by Royal Mail and is called International Standard.
The service however is suited only for packages of up to 2 kg. The delivery timeline is set between 3-5 business days.
What’s the cheapest way to ship large packages to Poland from the UK?
For packages up to 30 kg each, Parcelforce Worldwide’s globalpriority is the cheapest option available when shipping from the UK to Poland.
For packages over 30 kg and less than 70 kg, UPS offers competitive rates when shipping on the same route.
What’s the fastest way to ship a package to Poland from the UK?
FedEx’s International priority service is among the fastest delivery solutions on this route.
It aims to deliver your package to the destination as early as 10:00 am the second business day.
Do I have to pay customs duties and fees when shipping to Poland from the UK?
Yes. Post Brexit, items sent from the United Kingdom to Poland are subject to customs and duty fees.
A standard Value Added Tax (VAT) of 23% is charged on all goods entering Poland from non-EU countries such as the UK. However, some categories such as pharmaceutical products, books and journals, etc. attract a reduced percentage of VAT.
More details about customs tariffs, licenses, etc. can be found in the EU’s TARIC (integrated Tariff of the European Union).
What’s the easiest way to ship something to Poland from the UK?
Royal Mail has a vast drop-off network of over 14,000+ locations including 24/7 parcel post boxes.
It also has a collection option available for its users at no additional cost.
Both of these options add to customers’ convenience and make Royal Mail the easiest choice to ship from the UK to Poland.