Shipping to Iceland from the UK
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Iceland boasts a robust import market where UK-based products are popular.
With one of the highest GDP per capita in Europe, Iceland presents a lucrative market for UK exporters. The Icelandic people have significant spending power, making them an attractive target for UK exporters seeking new markets.
Icelanders exhibit high levels of internet usage and in recent years, both domestic and international ecommerce has grown significantly in Iceland.
For an ecommerce business seeking to expand its customer base and strengthen its presence in the European market, these conditions may appear highly appealing.
But shipping is among the key challenges faced by international online retailers doing business in Iceland.
If you’re a business operating out of the UK and you want to serve customers in Iceland, this guide will help develop an international shipping strategy to meet customer expectations.
Cost & delivery speeds for shipping to the Iceland from the UK
When shipping internationally, choosing the right carrier that meets your needs is important for a seamless experience.
Some factors that are worth considering before deciding are cost-effectiveness, delivery timelines, tracking capabilities, parcel protection cover, etc.
Among the top carriers that ship from the UK to Iceland are Royal Mail, FedEx, UPS, Evri (The new Hermes), DPD, and Parcelforce Worldwide.
To assist you in making a general comparison below is a table with details on rates and shipping services offered by these carriers.
Information in the table is subject to revisions. Rates shown here have been calculated in February 2023 for a sample package of 2 kg. The value of the package was entered as £50 wherever sought.
Note: These are general options for consumers’ shipping orders directly from a carrier’s store. To know what ShipBob offers when shipping to other countries like Iceland, please request a quote here.
ShipBob’s exact rates for customers will vary as we charge an all-in ‘total fulfillment cost’ that includes picking, packing, and shipping, among other factors.
|3-5 business days
|3-5 business days
|10-15 business days
|International Tracked and Signed
|3-5 business day
|2 business days
|1 business day
|5 business days
|2 business days
|3-7 business days
|3+ business days
|1+ business days
|5+ business days
|2-3 business days
At present, UPS, Royal Mail, and FedEx charge the same amount for pickup as well as drop-off services. While Parcelforce Worldwide, Evri, and DPD have varied pricing for drop-offs and pickups.
For these three companies, only pickup service pricing has been shown in the table above. The package dimensions were used as 45cm X 35cm X 16cm (L X W X H), wherever requested.
How to choose a shipping carrier
Since choosing the right shipping carrier 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 carriers that offer shipping services to send goods from the UK to Iceland.
Shipping to Iceland from the UK with Royal Mail
With over 500 years of experience in delivering mail, Royal Mail is a renowned and reliable name in the logistics industry.
Its expansive network allows the company to send parcels to more than 230 countries and territories across the globe.
When to use Royal Mail to ship from the UK to Iceland
If you require to send a package of up to 2 kg max at the cheapest costs, Royal Mail would be perfect for you.
Delivery timelines are reasonably set at 3-5 business days for most options when shipping to Iceland from the United Kingdom.
Shipping to Iceland from the UK with UPS
UPS is a highly respected player in the international shipping industry and has a well-established reputation.
The company’s network enables it to reliably deliver packages to more than 220 countries and territories around the world, making it a trusted choice for customers.
When to use UPS to ship from the UK to Iceland
For those seeking a balance between cost and delivery time when shipping packages from the UK to Iceland, UPS could be an excellent option.
With quick and efficient delivery options available on the route, UPS may be an ideal choice for your needs.
It is also suitable when sending heavy shipments since it can ship packages of up to 70 kg per unit.
Shipping to Iceland from the UK with FedEx
FedEx offers reliable shipping services to more than 220 countries and territories around the world.
Having established its presence in Europe for over 35 years, FedEx can efficiently ship packages from the UK to Iceland and beyond.
When to use FedEx to ship from the UK to Iceland
If you are looking to ship heavy packages of up to 68 kg and want a trusted name, FedEx could be a credible choice for you.
While the solutions offered are expensive, FedEx account holders stand to get up to 40% discounts.
Shipping to Iceland from the UK with DPD UK
DPD boasts a seamless service experience for its users, made possible by leveraging cutting-edge technology and information systems.
This enables the company to provide efficient and reliable delivery solutions to customers.
With a delivery network that spans over 230 countries and territories worldwide, DPD can ensure that packages are successfully delivered to destinations across the globe.
When to use DPD UK to ship from the UK to Iceland
There are several compelling reasons to opt for DPD’s services, including the ability to track packages, access to multilingual customer service agents, and the option to purchase additional parcel protection cover of up to £5,000.
In addition, DPD has a large enough drop-off network within the United Kingdom and offers a reasonable weight allowance of up to 30 kg per individual parcel collected, providing greater flexibility and convenience for customers.
Shipping to Iceland from the UK with Evri
Evri, a trusted logistics company, provides parcel delivery services to over 190 countries and territories worldwide.
Many of the UK’s top retail brands, including but not limited to Next, ASOS, BooHoo, Missguided, PrettyLittleThing, John Lewis, Debenhams, eBay, and Amazon, use Evri’s delivery services.
When to use Evri to ship from the UK to Iceland
If you appreciate fully tracked services, are flexible on delivery timelines, and want the convenience of a large drop-off network of 6,000+ parcelshops and lockers, Evri might be the right fit for you.
Also, Evri offers the option to integrate your account with eBay, Amazon, and Shopify. This can help you quickly sort multiple parcels in just a few seconds.
Shipping to Iceland from the UK with Parcelforce
Parcelforce Worldwide of the Royal Mail Group is a reliable choice for delivering your shipments.
Along with a dedication to providing expert parcel delivery services, it boasts an impressive reach that covers over 99% of the global population.
Its customers have access to a vast drop-off network within the UK of depots and 11,000+ post office branches where they can drop-off parcels when shipping to anywhere in Iceland.
When to use Parcelforce to ship from the UK to Iceland
For those who value convenience, Parcelforce Worldwide’s extensive network of drop-off points throughout the United Kingdom is a significant draw.
Additionally, it offers its customers a variety of services that differ on delivery timelines, costs, and compensation covers.
Thus, making it a good option for someone who ships regularly but may have changing requirements.
Duties & taxes when shipping to Iceland from the UK
Goods imported into Iceland are subject to customs as per Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS).
A standard Value Added Tax (VAT) rate of 24% is charged on all goods imported to Iceland. Some categories such as foods, books, magazines, and other items attract a reduced rate of VAT of 11%.
In addition to customs duty and VAT, goods may also be subject to excise duties.Certain goods are exempt from import charges and/or VAT if necessary conditions are met. These may include travelers’ luggage, household effects, heirlooms, and gifts.
Iceland customs information
Upon arrival in Iceland, goods from outside the country need to be declared to the customs department for clearance provided that international agreements that Iceland is a party to do not state otherwise.
As part of the customs clearance procedure, an import declaration needs to be submitted to Iceland’s customs department. In addition to that, wherever applicable the following documents also need to be presented:
- An invoice
- A bill of lading or transport
- A bill covering freight charges
- A certificate of origin must be provided if you are seeking preferential customs treatment per international agreements to which Iceland is a signatory unless a declaration of origin has been included on the invoice
- Other documents, such as an import license, wherever essential
For further details about customs procedures in Iceland, please visit the official website.
Prohibited items when shipping to Iceland
Every country maintains a list of items that are prohibited from being imported.
Additionally, even shipping companies have a list of items they do not transport. There may be other items that require special licenses and certificates to clear customs.
It is important for you as a shipper to review these lists to avoid delays and hassles.
Below is a list of some things that are prohibited from being imported into Iceland.
Items you can’t ship to Iceland from the UK
|Gases and flammables
|Hazardous chemicals and paints
|Hazardous cosmetics and toiletries
To update yourself with information regarding prohibited and restricted items it is best to check the official customs website of Iceland before shipping.
What ecommerce businesses need to know about shipping to Iceland
With a population of less than half a million people, the domestic market in Iceland is relatively small. However, the thriving tourism industry in the country has led to a growing number of consumers and business opportunities.
Additionally, private consumption in Iceland is generally high, as many households have two sources of income.
In Iceland’s ecommerce sector, here is a breakdown of the dominant industries in ecommerce:
- Fashion industry dominates with a 30.8% share of the total revenue
- Food & Personal Care sector at 30.6%.
- Furniture & Appliances come in third with 15.9%
- Electronics & Media account for 12.4%
- Toys, Hobby & DIY category makes up the remaining 10.3%.
Icelanders have great spending power making the country a promising option for British ecommerce businesses. The country has high levels of education, connectivity, and English proficiency.
If you are a UK-based ecommerce business seeking to venture into the Icelandic market, we have compiled some useful insights that may benefit you in your market-entry strategy.
1. Abide by EU product standards and regulations
Iceland’s membership in the European Economic Area (EEA) allows it to participate in the European Union’s (EU) domestic market.
For British companies looking to export to Iceland, it is worth noting that Iceland follows EU product standards and regulations, which include requirements for food product labeling and the CE (European Conformity) marking on products.
This conformity marking indicates compliance with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold in the EEA.
Despite not being a member of the EU, Iceland’s participation in the EEA means that these regulations are generally applied without exceptions.
As a British ecommerce business looking to sell in Iceland, it is important to ensure your products comply with such regulations.
2. Build personal relationships
In Iceland’s tight-knit society, first-name basis is the norm, and building personal relationships is highly valued. A face-to-face meeting can be crucial in establishing a successful business relationship.
Due to the small market size, it is quite common for Icelandic companies to act as agents for foreign exporters, taking care of importation, distribution, and marketing.
Therefore, as an ecommerce business from another country, you must build personal relationships for greater chances of success in this market.
3. Partner with a logistics expert
Since Iceland is an island nation, logistics can be both expensive and time-consuming. While air freight is a dependable option, it can also come with a higher price tag.
It is important as a cross-border business to look at innovative solutions that can help you mitigate shipping-related challenges.
To better optimize your shipping operations, you can consider teaming up with a reputable international 3PL provider like ShipBob, which can offer a range of solutions such as inventory management, order fulfillment, and more.
Expand into new markets with ShipBob
ShipBob is a global omnichannel fulfillment partner that makes it easy for online businesses to go global. By partnering with ShipBob, you save time and costs on logistics by leaning on the experts.
ShipBob offers invaluable international ecommerce sellingresources, including:
- Access to global shipping carriers
- DDP shipping solutions
- A network of global fulfillment centers
- And much more!
We not only take care of picking, packing, and shipping your orders to Iceland with a fulfillment center in the UK and other locations across the world, we also offer upfront fulfillment costs that include customs, duties, and additional taxes.
“We definitely saw advantages in the number of ShipBob’s international locations and the various features associated with being a global company. We have DDP shipping enabled for all of our international orders – that’s currently one of our favorite features. We now have peace of mind that we can actually get things sent and delivered worldwide without having to worry about duties. People will reach out and say “Wow, that’s already done?” And we tell them, “Yep, it’s done.”
Ben Jablow, VP, Alliances at Postal
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Shipping to Iceland FAQs
You can find below answers to some of the most common questions asked when shipping to Iceland from the UK
What’s the cheapest way to ship to Iceland from the UK?
Royal Mail’s International Standard is the cheapest option when shipping from the UK to Iceland. It promises delivery within 3-5 business days.
However, keep in mind that there is a 2 kg weight limit per parcel for this service.
What’s the cheapest way to ship large packages to Iceland from the UK?
UPS’s Express Saver is the cheapest option when shipping large packages of up to 70 kg. It aims to deliver your package within 1 business day.
What’s the fastest way to ship a package to Iceland from the UK?
UPS’s Express Saver is among the fastest options to get a package from the United Kingdom to Iceland. It can deliver your package within 1 business day and allows for packages as heavy as 70 kg.
Do I have to pay customs duties and fees when shipping to Iceland from the UK?
Goods imported into Iceland may attract customs duties as per Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS).
Additionally, a standard Value Added Tax (VAT) rate of 24% is charged on all goods imported to Iceland. Some categories such as books, foods, etc. may attract a lower rate of VAT.
What’s the easiest way to ship something to Iceland from the UK?
Parcelforce Worldwide is among the easiest ways to ship from the UK to Iceland.
This is because it has a vast drop-off network, and offers its customers a bouquet of services with varying delivery timelines, trackability scale, etc.
Additionally, it also offers its users the option of pickup.