Have you ever felt you need a second mortgage to send a parcel from Canada to the UK? Canadian shipping rates can be outrageously expensive, but there are some cheaper options.
Canada Post generally offers the cheapest Canada to UK shipping for envelopes and very small packages. For larger packages, the best options are cross-border shipping companies or parcel brokers. Parcel brokers are the best option for express shipping.
What Type Of Carrier Can I Use For Canada To UK Shipping?
Most people are aware that they can ship internationally via the post office or by using a courier such as FedEx. As someone that has worked in online retail for eight years, I have discovered some cheaper, less obvious shipping methods. The four main types of carriers are listed below. Depending on your needs any could offer the cheapest Canada to Uk Shipping.
Not Sure Where To Make Your New Home?
1. Canada Post
This is the government-owned post office option. They generally offer the cheapest Canada to UK shipping for letters and small packages but can be extremely expensive for larger packages and for packages that require express shipping.
Couriers are privately owned companies, such as FedEx and DHL, that offer package delivery and express mail services. They can offer extremely fast shipping but generally do not offer the cheapest Canada to UK shipping.
3. Cross Border Shipping Companies
These companies (eg DYK Post and Chit Chats) are usually based in major Canadian cities and offer international shipping services via the US. They will take your parcel across the border to the US, then ship it to the UK using a US shipping service.
Cross Border Shipping Companies offer some of the best pricing by taking advantage of the cheaper shipping rates available in the States. They are not a great option if you need very fast shipping as delivery times can be from 10-22 days.
4. Parcel Brokers
Parcel brokers act as intermediaries between couriers (such as FedEx and DHL) and the customer. Brokers ship large amounts of parcels and are able to secure low rates from couriers. They often offer the cheapest Canada to UK shipping option, especially when an express service is needed.
An Analysis Of The Cheapest Canada To UK Shipping
We have analyzed each of the four types of carriers listed in the previous section. We checked pricing with a number of carriers for a regular letter, for a small package (0.5kg, 20cm x 10cm x 5cm), and for a large package (5kg, 70cm x 35cm x 10cm).
The couriers and parcel brokers have high base prices, which means that they aren’t competitive for mailing regular letters. For this reason, we haven’t listed pricing for letters for these companies.
(4-7 bus days)
|Priority W’wide Envelope|
|Canada Post Surface|
|Small Packet Air|
(6-10 bus days)
|Xpress Post Int’l|
(10 bus days)
(2-3 bus days)
(4-5 bus days)
(2-4 bus days)
|Cross Border Shippers||DYK Post|
(10-15 bus days)
(5-22 bus days)
|Parcel Brokers||Parcelmonkey.com |
(1-3 bus days)
(3-5 bus days)
(2-5 bus days)
(3-5 bus days)
(4-5 bus days)
Will I Have To Pay UK Customs Duties And VAT?
If you are sending a package as a gift then anything up to the value of GBP 39.00 will be exempt from VAT and customs duties. Items from GBP 39.01 to GBP 135.00 remain free of VAT but will be subject to customs duties. I have summarised the details below.
|Value in GBP||VAT||Customs Duties|
|£0.00 to £39.00||None||None|
|£39.01 to £135.00||VAT applies||None|
|£135.01 to £630.00||VAT applies||Flat Rate of 2.5%|
|£630.01+||VAT applies||Rate Dependent on Item|
Note that these rules only apply to gifts sent from one individual to another individual. If you send the item in a company name or to a company address, then it will probably be taxed as a commercial item.
What Are The Rules For Multigift Packages?
You can send one package that contains separately wrapped gifts for different people. The individual gifts will still be eligible for VAT relief if each gift is worth less than £39.01. The following rules apply:
- Each gift within the package is separately wrapped
- Each individually wrapped gift has the recipient’s name on it
- Each gift is listed separately on the customs declaration
- The value of each gift is listed separately on the customs declaration
How Do I Complete The Customs Form For The Package?
You will need to complete a customs form, regardless of the postage method. The most important section is the description box. In this box, you will need to list the items in the package (eg 2 books and a picture frame), and state that they are a gift if this is the case. You will also need to state the value in Canadian dollars.
If it is a multi-gift package, you will need to identify the items in each separate package, along with the name of the person they are intended for. The value of each separate package must also be stated.
Are There Items I Should Avoid Sending?
The table above regarding VAT and import duty exemptions doesn’t apply to alcohol, tobacco products, toilet water and perfumes. These items are all subject to different rules and limitations.
This doesn’t mean you can’t send them, but you should carefully check the regulations beforehand.