Shipping to Italy from the UK
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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 carrier for your shipping needs.
Royal Mail, UPS, FedEx, DPD, Evri (The new Hermes), and Parcelforce Worldwide are among the top carriers 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 carriers. 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 carrier’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 fulfillment cost’ that includes picking, packing, and shipping, among other factors.
|Royal Mail||International Standard||£12.20||3-5 business days|
|Royal Mail||International Tracked||£13.05||3-5 business days|
|Royal Mail||International Economy||£14.25||15 business days|
|Royal Mail||International Tracked and Signed||£14.95||3-5 business day|
|UPS||Express Saver||£20.83||1 business day|
|UPS||Standard||£13.45||3 business days|
|FedEx||International Economy||£124.29||4 business day|
|FedEx||International Priority||£123.36||1 business day|
|Evri||Evri Courier||£14.25||3-7 business days|
|Parcelforce Worldwide||globalpriority||£50.75||3+ business days|
|Parcelforce Worldwide||globalexpress||£116.58||1+ business days|
|Parcelforce Worldwide||globalvalue||£46.15||5+ business days|
|DPD local||Air Express||£60.92||1-3 business days|
|DPD local||Air Classic||£20.11||5-6 business days|
|DPD local||Air Express||£60.92||2-4 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 carrier
Now that you understand the costs, it’s time to choose the right carrier based on the services they offer, as well as advantages and disadvantages.
Here is a brief overview of the top carriers’ pros and cons.
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 carrier. 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 carriers.
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 carriers 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 carriers 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)|
|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 fulfillment 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 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 currently use ShipBob fulfillment centers in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Global fulfillment 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
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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.