Royal Mail - New International Shipping Requirements

Royal Mail Are Implementing Some Changes!

As some of you may have seen already, Royal Mail are in the process of implementing new rules for international shipping, these rules stem from the current trend that many international countries are starting to reject shipments that don't have Electronic pre-advice data. I'll give you a quick rundown of what this means for you as a Royal Mail customer.


What Is Electronic Pre-Advice Data?

Electronic pre-advice data is basically all the data about the shipment sent electronically and in advance to the shipment arriving at customs, this really helps automate the import/export process and saves customs time and money as they can just scan a barcode and verify whether or not a shipment can be allowed through.

The data that Royal Mail want you to start sending electronically is;

  • Sender details (name, address, telephone number and email)
  • Recipient details (name, address - including destination country, mobile number and email)
  • Item details (description, quantity, weight, value of contents, postage and insurance cost)
  • Trade Tariff (Harmonised System or HS) Code and country of origin of contents

An important thing you should know about this data is that we pull all of this from your store's catalogue, so if you aren't sure if you have all of this information populated, you should get in touch with us so we can help you get ready for this big change.

When Will I Need To Worry About It?

As long as Shiptheory is doing its job you won't need to worry about this at all, existing OBA customers can continue using OBA the same as before and we'll deal with the technical stuff. As of the date this post was made, netdespatch don't cover the new scheme being proposed so unless they make this change all netdespatch users who want to ship internationally will have to move over to OBA.

For anyone particularly interested, we'll be making this change so that any shipments arriving in the US, China, Brazil and Russia after April 1st 2018 will have this data carried with them, all other countries have extended this date until April 1st 2019.

Here's the link to the statement made by Royal Mail, there's a PDF document which gives an in-depth look at the changes