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This article applies to selling in: United Kingdom

Amazon Global Logistics importer setup and customs compliance

All inventory shipped to Amazon fulfilment centres is required to meet FBA inventory requirements. When booking transportation with Amazon Global Logistics, you must also provide customs compliance information for your products.

For more information, see these Help topics:

Importing and exporting inventory

Product compliance

Restricted products and dangerous goods (hazmat)

Import and export documents

Documentation requirements for the import or export of goods will vary by country, customs authority and product type. Typically, the following documents will be required:

Commercial invoice: Provided by you (or the shipper if you are not the shipper).

Packing list: Provided by you (or the shipper if you are not the shipper).

Bill of lading (BOL): Generated by the carrier. A BOL for air freight is also called an airway bill.

Entry summary form: Generated by the customs broker.

After you book transportation, you will be informed about the specific documents required for your shipment.

EORI and VAT numbers

Both an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number and a VAT number are required for importing goods into the EU. They are required even if your business entity is not established in the European Union.

Requesting an EORI number

An EORI number is a unique identifier that an EU country assigns to companies and individuals that import products into EU countries. This number is required for customs declarations and other topics

Businesses that import goods into the EU use a single EORI number for all shipments into any and all EU countries. If you have an EORI number in one EU country, it is good for every EU country.

To request an EORI number, see the European Commission’s national customs websites. For example, you can request your EORI from the UK, Germany, the Netherlands or any other individual country.

  • If your business entity is in the EU, request the EORI number from the customs authority in the country where your business is located.
  • If your business entity is not in the EU, request the EORI number from the EU country where you intend to import your goods.
Note: Because of the UK’s departure from the European Union, all businesses importing goods into the UK after December 31, 2020, must acquire a UK-specific EORI number that begins with ‘GB’. This requirement applies to businesses that imported goods into the UK on or before December 31, 2020, using a previous EORI number, and those importing into the UK for the first time after that date.

For more information, visit the European Commission’s EORI page.

Registering for a VAT Number

VAT is a consumption tax assessed on the value added to goods and services. Every EU country issues its own VAT number. This means that for businesses supplying goods or services in several EU countries, a VAT number may be required in each of these countries.

Importer of record (IOR) or declarant

You or an entity appointed by you must act as the importer of record (IOR) or declarant for inventory entering the EU. You will be asked to provide information and documentation related to your IOR when you set up your Amazon Global Logistics profile. This information includes your company name and contact information.

Note: For step-by-step instructions on IOR or declarant setup, download Using Amazon Global Logistics in Seller Central in English.

The IOR or declarant is responsible for the following:

  • Ensuring that imported goods comply with local laws and regulations
  • Filing a completed customs entry summary form and associated documents with information provided by you
  • Paying the assessed import duties and other taxes on those goods

The IOR or declarant is also the consignee for your shipment. For Amazon Global Logistics, the shipping and customs entry documents will be addressed as:

Your name), in care of FBA
(Fulfilment centre address)

IORs or declarants for imports into the EU must be registered with EU customs authorities and have a valid EORI number. Your Amazon-assigned customs broker can also complete customs clearance as a direct representative for a party registered with a valid EORI number.

Amazon will not act as an IOR (or declarant), consignee or partner government agency (PGA) agent for any shipment, regardless of the size, value, origin, destination or product. However, Amazon is the ultimate consignee for FBA shipments with a ship-to destination in the EU. For more information, visit Importing and exporting inventory and scroll down to Ultimate consignee.

When booking transportation, you will also be asked to provide other contacts for your shipment. This includes an exporter of record (EOR).

Indirect representatives for businesses outside the EU

For businesses established outside of the EU, the IOR or declarant must appoint an indirect representative to deal with EU customs authorities. This is typically the Amazon-assigned customs broker.

As the indirect representative, the customs broker is jointly and financially responsible for all customs liabilities arising from customs-related transactions. Amazon will not act as the indirect representative or declarant for your shipment.

Customs broker

A customs broker is an individual or firm that does the following:

  • Prepares and files customs entries with any additional required documents
  • Arranges for the payment of duties
  • Arranges for the release of goods from CBP custody
  • Otherwise represents importers in customs matters

Amazon Global Logistics provides access to third-party customs brokers as part of our end-to-end service. This means that all of your shipments are automatically routed to an assigned customs broker.

Power of attorney (POA) with Amazon

When you get started with Global Shipping Services, we will ask you to sign a primary POA with Amazon for imports into the EU. A customs POA form authorises a party to act as your agent during customs clearance.

A POA can take some time to receive approval, but it simplifies the movement and clearance of your future shipments. The POA allows us to issue sub-POAs to other carriers and customs brokers on your behalf. Your assigned customs broker may contact you directly if there are questions about your shipment, customs entry or both.

  • If your company is a corporation, sole proprietorship or limited liability company (LLC), your POA with Amazon is continuous.
  • If your company is a partnership, your POA must be renewed every two years.

Whoever signs the POA for your company must have the proper authority. This authority varies according to the type of company or seller and is determined by EU regulations:

  • Corporation or sole proprietorship: The president, vice president, treasurer, corporate secretary, chief executive officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, chief administrative officer, chairman, sole proprietor or owner may sign.
  • LLC: The manager, director, president, officer, member or managing member may sign.
  • Partnerships: The partner or general partner may sign.

We will ask for additional information and documents when you are getting started with Amazon Global Logistics to confirm that the signatory is an authorised person for you or the company. This may include a business licence, proof of business in good standing, annual reports, proof of individual authority or all of the above.

If the POA requires documentation, we will upload it to your IOR or declarant profile. This information will be available for your shipping transactions, saving you time with future shipments.

Tariff classification (HS or TARIC codes)

You can provide or review tariff classifications for your inventory when booking transportation or later in the shipping process.

Most countries classify globally traded goods using tariff classification codes. These codes determine the customs value of products and flag requirements for partner government agencies (PGAs).

Many countries or regions (including the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain) use Harmonised System (HS) codes administered by the World Customs Organization (WCO). HS codes are part of the TARIC code classification system in the EU. For the purposes of Amazon Global Logistics, ‘TARIC’ is the same as ‘HS’.

HS codes are universal in all countries for the first six digits and use the final four digits to convey country-specific classifications. The WCO offers several tools to help sellers find appropriate tariff codes for their goods. The European Commission also provides a database for checking tariff codes, and the UK provides a separate database for checking tariff codes.

Note: An EU HS code is not necessarily the same as the Harmonised Tariff Schedule (HTS) code used for the same product in the US or China.

Accurate HS codes help reduce clearance and shipping times, and ensure that your shipment complies with regulations. Inaccurate codes can result in shipment delays, customs duties being incorrectly calculated, your shipment being held or rejected by customs, or all of the above. You may also be subject to financial penalties or other actions by customs authorities if your HS codes are inaccurate.

In some cases, Amazon may provide an alternate HS code that describes your product more accurately. We may also suggest the first six digits of your HS code and then ask you to provide the final four digits.

It is ultimately up to you to determine the most accurate HS code. Your importer of record or declarant is responsible for that determination. You can consult the Harmonised System for guidance, your customs broker can review your HS code for accuracy, or both.

Example HS Code: 6406.10.1010 (parts of handmade leather footwear)

  1. The first and second digits of a HS classification code refer to the product’s chapter. In our example, ‘64’ refers to ‘Footwear, gaiters and the like; parts of such articles’.
  2. The third and fourth digits of a HS code indicate the specific category within a chapter or heading. In our example, ‘06’ refers to ‘Parts of footwear (including uppers whether or not attached to soles other than outer soles); removable insoles, heel cushions and similar articles; and gaiters, leggings and similar articles’.
  3. The fifth and sixth digits of a HS code define the sub-heading or subcategory of a product. In our example, ‘10’ refers to ‘made of leather’.
  4. The last four digits of a HS code are for country-specific classifications. In our example, ‘1010’ is an EU tariff classification that refers to ‘handmade footwear’.

Customs value

Customs value is the assigned monetary value of an imported good. It is also what countries and customs authorities use to assess duties or the taxes collected on imports and some exports.

You can provide or review customs values for your inventory when booking transportation or later in the shipping process.

The World Trade Organization outlines six methods for determining customs value. Importers should use the first applicable option from the list below.

Transaction value is the primary method for determining customs value of an imported good. It is the total actual payment for that good, including all payments made as a condition of sale like packing costs, royalties and licensing fees.

Transaction value of identical goods determines the customs value of an imported good using the transaction value of an identical good. To be considered identical, goods must have the same quality and physical attributes and be produced in the same country by the same producer.

Transaction value of similar goods determines the customs value of an imported good using the transaction value of a similar good. To be considered similar, goods must have a close resemblance and share common characteristics. They must also be commercially interchangeable and produced in the same country by the same producer.

The deductive method determines the value of an imported good using its unit price (or the unit price of an identical or similar good). The importer must use the unit price of their product when it is sold in the greatest quantity to an unrelated buyer in the country of importation. Applicable deductions for profits and commissions, transportation charges and insurance costs, and customs duties are subtracted from the unit price.

The computed method determines the customs value of an imported good using the cost of production (materials and fabrication), as well as profit and related expenses (processing, transport, loading and unloading, insurance, and handling charges).

The fall-back method uses the other valuation methods above and makes minor adjustments as necessary to determine the value of an imported goods. This method is only used when no other method is applicable.

Make sure that each item in your shipment has the correct appraised value as its customs value on all commercial and entry documentation. Customs authorities may scrutinise nominal or false values in order to prevent under- or overpayment of duties. If no customs value is provided, the shipment will be rejected.

To determine the proper customs value for your product, you can contact your Amazon-assigned customs broker or ask an external consultant. For information on how EU customs values are assessed, visit the European Commission’s website.

Remember that your IOR or declarant is responsible for declaring the proper customs value to customs authorities.

VAT and import duties

The amount of VAT, customs duty, additional taxes and fees assessed on your shipment depends on the kind of products that you are importing (determined by their HS or TARIC codes), their customs value and the country of origin. Customs authorities might also levy excise or other taxes on some products.

The buyer pays VAT as a percentage of the price for goods sold. You as the seller transfers the collected VAT to the revenue authorities. You can also deduct the amount of VAT you have paid to other ‘taxable persons’ on purchases for business activities.

You can also register for VAT Services on Amazon. To learn more, visit our Help page.

Paying VAT

You may have to pay VAT the moment that your goods enter Europe or in the destination country where you ultimately ship your goods. VAT is usually payable in the member state of import by the IOR or declarant. We strongly recommended appointing a tax agent to ensure your company fulfils all VAT-related obligations, including obtaining a VAT number, filing VAT declarations and submitting VAT refund claims.

Consult your tax advisor to assess any import and VAT obligations in these cases:

  • If your company is not established in Europe and you ship your products from a non-European country directly to a customer in a European country
  • OR you ship your products to a fulfilment centre in Europe

Your VAT invoice

You can view your VAT invoice for Amazon Global Logistics by going to Tax Document Library. Your invoice is updated every month.

You can view the breakdown of your VAT invoice by referring to the Debit Notes sent to you via email. If you have a question regarding your invoice, please contact us.

Note: You are responsible for the accuracy of the data used for any reporting or tax purposes.

Additional import duties

In addition to VAT, you will be charged import duties. Import duties are determined by the HS codes that you supply as part of your customs documentation.

Some products may also be subject to additional taxes (including excise taxes) or anti-dumping duties. Alcohol, alcoholic beverages and tobacco are often subject to excise taxes. The applicable excise duty rate will vary per product type and country of import.

You can find more information about excise duties in EU on the European Commission’s website. Anti-dumping duty rates are also available on the European Commission’s website via the EU TARIC database.

Entry summary form

We will email you a customs entry summary form. It lists the duties and fees paid for the importation of your freight as assessed by Customs authorities.

If any changes are required or if you have questions about the duties or fees paid, reply to the email within 24 hours. Otherwise, no reply is necessary, and we will continue processing your customs declaration. You can review a sample customs entry summary form called the single administrative document.

Deferring payment on taxes and duties

Import tax and customs duties for goods imported into the EU are normally payable at the time of importation.

However, importers can defer payment by gaining approval from the member state’s customs authorities. To defer payment, you must provide security in the form of a guarantee from a bank or insurance company. A deferment account is not required, because customs brokers can use their own deferment account on your behalf.

Note: The information above does not constitute tax, legal or other professional advice, and must not be used as such.

Partner government agencies (PGAs)

A product’s tariff classification (HS code) may flag country-specific requirements for importation. These requirements are assessed and regulated by various partner government agencies (PGAs). The requirements often require special permits or additional documentation.

When uploading your products via Amazon Global Logistics, you can enter relevant PGA information. You can also upload PDFs or other documents with test results, trademark authorisation letters, permits, licences or other applicable forms.

Your carrier, customs broker or Amazon may contact you if PGA data is missing or incorrect. All such data must be accurate and complete before your booking can proceed. Shipments not declared with proper PGAs will be held or seized and returned or destroyed at your expense.

If you ship products protected by trademark, customs authorities may ask for a copy of the trademark authorisation or licence. You might therefore be required to provide the trademark authorisation when booking your shipment. Check the EU TARIC database for any additional document requirements, based on the HS code and country of origin.

CE marking and EU declaration of conformity

Items in your shipment may be subject to standard import regulations and requirements that are governed by CE marking and EU declarations of conformity. If so, you will be asked to apply them.

When booking transportation or later in the shipping process, you may be asked to confirm whether standard import regulations and requirements that are governed by CE marking and EU declarations of conformity apply to your shipment.

For more information, visit Amazon Global Logistics product compliance.

Frequently asked questions

My business licence address is not the same as the IOR or POA. Can Amazon accept still it?

Amazon cannot accept a business licence if the address does not reflect what is on your POA. However, it is OK if the address on your business licence does not match the address on your IOR.

What are the requirements for filling out the power of attorney form?

When filling out the POA form, make sure 1) the signatory name is both printed and signed, 2) the printed name is in English, and 3) the signature is consistent with the printed name, including being in the same word order. (For example, if the printed name is ‘Zhang, San’, the signature name must read ‘Zhang San’, not ‘San Zhang’.)

Chinese characters, a company stamp (chop) or both are allowed as long as printed English is also used. (For example, the printed name can read ‘张三 Zhang, San’.)

How is the information I enter during my IOR or declarant setup used?

The information that you provide during setup is used to create the power of attorney for your IOR or declarant. It also verifies the signatory party of the POA and their business details.

If you change the information that you provided during setup, do so before submitting the IOR or declarant. If the information is incorrect, your approval may be delayed.

If I have companies registered in multiple countries, which country should I use with Global Shipping Services?

Select the applicable company for registration according to your own business conditions. To avoid delays in processing, make sure that your information is correct. If your business conditions change, also update your registration with Global Shipping Services.

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