Sanitary and Phytosanitary shipments to EU paused by DHL

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DHL are seeing a high number of shipments requiring Sanitary and Phytosanitary checks being held by Customs in the EU. This is a problem as it’s probably not a single parcel that is held, but the entire truck containing that parcel is likely to be delayed at customs clearance.

This unfortunately means that DHL have had to temporarily suspend all Business to Consumer (B2C) shipments from GB to the EU that require special Sanitary and Phytosanitary control formalities, with immediate effect.

Sanitary and Phytosanitary include cosmetics

Goods that come under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary category include animals, products of animal origin, plants and plant based products, but also items that can be absorbed, for example cosmetics and perfumes.

Veterinary and Phytosanitary shipments that do not require control formalities (i.e. no authorisation, no import/export license requirements) can still be carried, but you must ensure that you complete the Veterinary and Phytosanitary Control – Customer Statement Form for every shipment that does not require control formalities.

DHL say that they will issue further guidance as soon as they can resume carrying Veterinary and Phytosanitary goods requiring special control formalities to consumer recipients.

DHL Customer requirements reminder

To help ensure your other shipments clear Customs as quickly as possible, DHL are requesting that you check that you’re doing the following

  • Goods Descriptions
  • European Customs require an accurate and specific Goods Description to be on the Waybill as well as the Commercial or Pro-Forma Invoice. This needs to list each item by line, starting with the most valuable. This will help clear your shipment quickly.

  • EORI
  • For Business to Business (B2B) shipments, please ensure that the Receiver’s EORI number is included on the Commercial / Pro-forma invoice. Once again this will facilitate the prompt clearance of your shipments. This requirement is critical for B2B shipments to Germany.

  • Tariffs
  • The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement allows for a zero tariff to be applied to goods entering the EU from the UK (and vice versa), only when they meet the rules of origin requirements and the Proof of Origin statement is clearly stated on the Commercial or Pro-Forma Invoice. An example of a generic Commercial Invoice can be viewed here – please be aware there are country-specific requirements which will be additional to the invoice example. It is also imperative that the goods are valued correctly to ensure smooth movement through Customs.


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