How to ship internationally from India to the UK?

Learn how to ship internationally from India to the UK in this guide — from documents required to selling your products in the UK.
How to ship internationally from India to the UK
Over the years, shipping from India to the UK has increased multifold. In this expanding cross-border ecosystem, let’s explore the intricacies of international shipping, from regulatory challenges to cost-saving strategies, ensuring efficient and successful deliveries across borders. When it comes to global trade, shipment of goods across borders stands as a pivotal step. More so, when you are looking to ship to the UK, given the country's customs and regulatory protocols. Trade in goods and services between the UK and India, comprising both exports and imports, amounted to £36.3 billion in the year leading up to the end of Q1 20232. As many businesses and individuals are realizing the potential and benefits of trading with the UK, understanding the entire process of shipping from India to the UK has become paramount.

Key parties/persons involved in international shipping from India to the UK

Engaging in international shipping requires coordination with multiple stakeholders. Understanding their roles and responsibilities ensures a seamless process.

Freight forwarders:

Entities that help businesses manage the logistical aspects of shipping to the UK from India.

Customs brokers:

Professionals who ensure that goods meet the UK customs regulations and are cleared without hitches.

Shipping carriers:

Companies that physically transport goods, whether by air, sea, or land.

Step-by-step guide to ship to the UK

To ensure your goods reach the UK without unnecessary delays or complications, it is essential to follow the below steps:

Research and choose the right freight forwarder

Given the complexities of international shipping, a freight forwarder can be instrumental. Look for those experienced with shipping from India to the UK. Their knowledge of routes, carriers, and the UK shipping charges from India can be invaluable.

Prepare necessary documentation

This includes a Commercial Invoice, Packing List, Certificate of Origin, and Bill of Lading. Each document facilitates different stages of the shipping process.

Determine the shipping method

Decide whether air, sea, or land transport is most appropriate based on your goods, budget, and timeline.

Check import regulations in the UK

Familiarize yourself with the UK’s specific import rules, ensuring that your goods comply with their standards and certifications.

Insure your shipment

Protect your financial interests by insuring the goods, especially if they are valuable or fragile. This offers coverage in case of loss or damage.

Track your shipment

Most carriers offer tracking services. Regularly monitor your shipment's progress to stay informed of its status and estimated arrival.

Calculate total shipping costs

Be aware of all potential costs, including shipping fees, customs duties, and any additional service charges to avoid unexpected expenses.

Arrange for delivery or pickup

After clearing customs, coordinate with a local delivery service or have your recipient pick up the goods, depending on the agreement.

List of prohibited goods when shipping from India to the UK

Every country has its own set of regulations concerning what can and cannot be shipped across its borders. Before packing your goods, familiarize yourself with prohibited goods to ensure smooth customs clearance. Some of the following products are under prohibited category to ship to the UK3:
• Illegal drugs
• Animal products not fit for human consumption
• Counterfeit currency or banknotes
• Toxic and hazardous materials
• Obscene material
• Tobacco and alcohol

Container options to ship to the UK from India

When shipping goods from India to the UK, you have two primary container shipment choices based on your cargo’s volume and nature:

Less than Container Load (LCL):

LCLs are ideal for cargo not filling a full 20 or 40-foot container. Goods are combined with others, providing a cost-effective solution for smaller shipments. Customers pay only for the space used.

Full Container Load (FCL):

FCLs are containers where customers rent an entire container for their goods. Suitable for large shipments over 14 cubic metres or 10 pallets. Offers cost benefits and reduced damage risk by not mixing with other shipments.

Shipping charges from India to the UK

Shipping to international markets, including the UK, is intricate due to varying costs influenced by package weight, dimensions, shipping method, delivery urgency, and added services like tracking. Furthermore, customs duties, taxes, and other fees in the UK can impact the total cost. To get the best rates, research, get multiple quotes from carriers, and be wary of hidden charges.

The new EU VAT TAX laws for imports

The EU, from July 1, 20214, removed the VAT exemption for imports valued below €22, charging VAT on all imports irrespective of their value. The 2021 e-commerce VAT changes introduced measures like the import one-stop shop (IOSS), allowing businesses to declare and pay VAT for B2C distance sales across the EU using a single VAT return, rather than multiple returns in each sale country.

Ship from India to the UK with Amazon Global Selling

With Amazon global logistics, Indian exporters can send their shipments across the world via Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). To assist global sellers and exporters deliver international orders in a hassle-free and seamless way, Amazon takes care of everything from packing, shipping to delivery and customer service through the FBA program. With FBA, sellers can focus on their business expansion in terms of product quality, launches, marketing and more, while Amazon handles international shipping for them.

To export from India, register with Amazon Global Selling in just 15 minutes by sharing a few KYC documents (identity proof, address proof and credit card). With millions of customers globally, you can leverage Amazon’s global scale across 18 global marketplaces. To support you for hassle-free logistics, Amazon has also launched SEND, enabling FBA sellers to ship directly to international fulfillment centers at competitive prices. All you have to do is book, pay and track shipments without any hassles from India to the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does shipping from India to the UK take?
Shipping durations from India to the UK can vary based on the chosen method of transportation such as:
· Air freight: Typically, shipments via air can take anywhere from 3 to 10 days. This duration includes the time for customs clearance at both ends.
· Sea freight: Sending goods by sea is a lengthier process, usually taking anywhere from 20 to 40 days, depending on the specific ports of departure and arrival, as well as other logistical factors.
· Courier services: International couriers or express shipping services might offer quicker door-to-door deliveries, often within 5 to 7 days.

However, it's essential to consider potential delays, especially during peak seasons or due to customs inspections.
Can you courier medicines from India to the UK?
Yes, you can courier medicines from India to the UK, but there are strict regulations to adhere to. When sending medicine from India to the UK, ensure the recipient has a valid prescription, which may be required by the UK customs. The medicine should be approved for use in the UK, as some medications permissible in India might be banned or restricted in the UK. The medicine must be in its original packaging with clear labels. Generally, only send a quantity for personal use, preferably up to a 3-month supply. Always consult with both Indian and UK customs authorities before sending medications to ensure full compliance with all regulations.
What is the cheapest way to send a package from India to the UK?
The most affordable way to send packages from India to the UK is typically sea freight for bulk items, though it’s slower. For smaller items, a postal service might offer good rates for non-urgent deliveries. Consolidating shipments can also reduce costs. Always compare rates from various carriers to find the best deal.
Published on October 16, 2023.


Sell across the world with Amazon Global Selling

Ready to start exporting from India?
Want to learn about Amazon Global Selling?
Disclaimer: Whilst Amazon Seller Services Private Limited ("Amazon") has used reasonable endeavours in compiling the information provided, Amazon provides no assurance as to its accuracy, completeness or usefulness or that such information is error-free. In certain cases, the blog is provided by a third-party seller and is made available on an "as-is" basis. Amazon hereby disclaims any and all liability and assumes no responsibility whatsoever for consequences resulting from use of such information. Information provided may be changed or updated at any time, without any prior notice. You agree to use the information, at your own risk and expressly waive any and all claims, rights of action and/or remedies (under law or otherwise) that you may have against Amazon arising out of or in connection with the use of such information. Any copying, redistribution or republication of the information, or any portion thereof, without prior written consent of Amazon is strictly prohibited.

*Map not to scale. The map has been used for design and representational purpose only, it does not depict the geographical boundaries of the country. These do not conform to the external boundaries of India recognized by the Survey of India.