E-commerce is one of the fastest growing elements of the internet, and Poland has become a prime target as more and more Polish people find a taste for the things that they can’t get back home. More people are buying products from outside of Poland than ever before, and eagerly awaiting the delivery of their exotic snacks to their homes. Shipping is one of the key points for e-commerce – good shipping can make or break a sale – but shipping internationally can be an intimidating experience. However, it sounds more difficult than it really is, and international delivery experts ParcelHero have put together this guide to show just how simple it is to send to Poland
The shipping process
Sending to Poland varies depending on where you’re shipping from. If you’re sending from the UK, or another country in Europe, it’s extremely simple. As part of the EU’s agreement to allow the free movement of goods, shipments within the EU don’t require any sort of customs paperwork, and you won’t have to pay duties and customs on them. In this case it’s as simple as packaging up your goods, booking a delivery and waving it goodbye. Normally your package should arrive at its destination within 1-3 days, depending on the shipping option you chose.
When shipping from countries outside Europe, this is not the case. Shipments from countries like America will have duties and customs attached when entering the country, and will require customs paperwork that declares the contents of your package, along with the value, purpose for shipping and shipping destination. Some companies, like ParcelHero, will generate this information for you when you book, but if this is not the case then it’s important to remember to be as descriptive as possible and not skip any information. If there are any problems with your paperwork, it may cause trouble during customs clearance, or the recipient may be charged higher duties and taxes than are necessary.
One of the most important aspects of shipping internationally is the packaging of whatever it is that you’re sending. Moving a parcel internationally is not a gentle process so you need to make sure that your goods are packaged well to ensure that they arrive intact. There are a few important points to consider when packaging your items:
- It’s best to invest in a new cardboard box for the outer packaging, especially for fragile items
- For internal packaging, use bubble-wrap and wrap your items individually.
- Remember to fill any remaining space left in the box with any left-over bubble wrap, newspaper or foam. No part of your item should touch the walls of the box.
Need more information about packaging your goods? Click here for ParcelHero’s packaging and labelling guidelines.
Customs and taxes
When you’re shipping from within the EU you don’t have to worry about duties and taxes, but for shipments from elsewhere there are some key points to keep in mind.
- The low value threshold is €22 EUR. This means your parcel is exempt from import duty and tax if it is worth less.
- Poland’s gift exemption is 45 Euros per shipment. As long as the total value of your shipment remains below this amount then your receiver will not need to pay any import duties or taxes. You will also need to specify that the item is a gift on the customs invoice otherwise you will be charged import duty and tax.
If duties and taxes are applied, the recipient of the parcel will be contacted to pay them before the package can be released from customs. Obviously this isn’t ideal if the item is a gift, so try to make sure that you don’t creep over that threshold!
You can’t just send anything to Poland. Like any other country, there are a variety of items that aren’t allowed through customs and, in a similar vein, many couriers refuse to carry many items. In general, the items listed below are universally banned:
- Alcohol (or any flammable liquids)
- Live animals
- Perishable items (see below)
It’s easy to forget, but perishable items are banned by all couriers. Perishable items include food and drink that could spoil during transit. This means that food often falls afoul of this rule, and we have some requirements for sending food without any problems:
- Foods must be in the original manufacturer’s packaging.
- Food packaging must be sealed and not tampered with in any way.
- Food label must list all ingredients.
- Foods must have a shelf life of longer than six months from the date of shipping.
- All foods that have a shelf life of less than six months will be classed as perishables, and cannot be sent via courier, even if store bought.
If you follow these rules, you’re unlikely to have any problems sending to Poland.
Living in a rural area
Poland is a vast country, and some communities live far off the beaten track. Delivering to remote areas like these isn’t a problem, but may take a couple of extra days and have surcharges attached. If you’re not sure whether your destination is in a remote area, think about the following:
- Is the location difficult to service
- Is the suburb or town distant, inaccessible or infrequently serviced
- Is the location defined as an island.
If the destination fulfils any of the criteria above, have a look at the DHL Remote Areas list to avoid being surprised at extra charges during your booking process.
How do I get the cheapest quote?
ParcelHero ships to 220 countries and offers a high quality, reliable service at a fraction of the cost of booking couriers directly. We only use the world’s leading couriers, including UPS, DHL and FedEx, ensuring our delivery services are of the highest quality, but without the premium price tag.
Keegan is a writer for ParcelHero. When not crafting expert shipping advice or speaking in the third person, he can be found with his nose in a book, or trying and failing to learn Polish.