eBay Global Shipping programme starts to get more complex

By Chris Dawson January 11, 2021 - 2:46 pm

Here at Tamebay we’ve always been huge fans of the eBay Global Shipping programme as it’s about as fire and forget as you could get. You list as normal, tick a box either at the listing level or for your whole account, and eBay lists the product globally. If you get a sale from the UK you ship as normal and if you get a sale from overseas you ship as normal with the tiny exception that you send to eBay’s fulfilment centre and there will be a special code in the address so they can identify your parcel. As soon as you’ve shipped you can forget about the cross border bit.

This ease of trading internationally, without worrying about borders, tariffs, international couriers and customs paperwork, made the eBay Global Shipping programme a clear favourite for many sellers. It made selling cross border literally as easy as selling to domestic customers. And for buyers there were no nasty surprises as everything is shipped DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) with eBay collecting the cost of the international shipping and any applicable duties at the point of purchase.

Benefits of eBay Global Shipping Programme

You simply post your items to the UK Shipping Centre using your usual postal service.
Duty payment, customs clearance, tracking and everything else will be taken care of by us.
You don’t have to pay anything extra – just the cost of posting to the UK Shipping Centre.
Your seller performance standards are protected.

– eBay

Now however, there are indications that the eBay Global Shipping programme might be not quite as attractive as in the past. The beauty is the lack of complexity but eBay have announced some changes to the Terms and Conditions which includes obtaining an EORI number (Economic Operators Registration and Identification number) for export including to the European Union.

We’re not entirely clear of the very basics such as how you would give this number to eBay or to the eBay Global Shipping programme team when you make a sale. Applying for an EORI number in itself doesn’t do anything if it’s not used so we’ll be watching for further updates.

The Government says ‘You need an EORI number to move goods between Great Britain and the EU’. They add that ‘You’ll need an EORI number from an EU country if your business will be making declarations or getting a customs decision in the EU’. Why eBay think you need an EORI number is unclear as they’ll be making all the declarations and doing the moving of the goods.

The thing is, sellers that use the Global Shipping programme don’t consider themselves as exporters. Indeed they have specifically chosen not to be exporters and accepted the offer of the eBay Global Shipping programme on the understanding that eBay and their shipping partners take over the responsibility of exporting.

If you use the Global Shipping Programme then we suggest you apply for an EORI number if you haven’t already done so. It’s free and simple to do online. More importantly, keep an eye out for further announcements as if you need an EORI number than potentially other nasties are coming down the line, even if it’s just additional paperwork to complete.

  • Thanks for the heads up on this. We have not received any emails from ebay about this. On their Brexit page pre 1st Jan 2021 I recall ebay stating that the ebay GSP is an easy alternative compared to exporting yourself.

    Our understanding is that we, (the UK based seller), would not need an EORI number for the reasons you state in the article. We get a handful of sales via the ebay GSP monthly and it works very well. I would go as far to say it has been one of the best ideas ebay have introduced ever. If it becomes mandatory to start providing more information then we would need to find out if we can either automate it or decide if it is worth continuing.

  • Daniel
    7 months ago

    “The thing is, sellers that use the Global Shipping programme don’t consider themselves as exporters. Indeed they have specifically chosen not to be exporters and accepted the offer of the eBay Global Shipping programme on the understanding that eBay and their shipping partners take over the responsibility of exporting.”

    Sadly, it does seem as if this is no longer the case – and it does not matter if a seller who opts to use the Global Shipping Programme does not consider themselves to be the exporter for the shipment at hand. The new terms and conditions outline this, stating the following:

    “You will be the ‘declarant’ for the purposes of all customs declarations, the legally declared exporter and responsible for the accuracy of the information provided.”

    This can be found underneath the “Customs service for shipments” section. According to the new terms, they will now “designate you as the exporter of GSP Items” unless they use their discretion not to do so.

    Why they’d choose not to do that, I have no idea. Perhaps it might come down to per-country ruling or such. Guess we’ll see.

  • stuart
    7 months ago

    I am slightly confused by this, in the terms it states that all sales should be accounted the same as a UK sale for VAT purposes. If we are now required to give EORI numbers doesn’t that mean this changes?

  • victor
    7 months ago

    ebay concierge were not even aware what an EORI number was, the last time our despatch was held up using GSP
    for months we have had problems with GSP dispatch EORI and customs clearance
    yet ebay have done little to warn or inform
    until now

  • victor
    7 months ago

    the last problem was a shipment to japan
    DHL customs hub used by GSP as a forwarder ,
    refused to clear it until they received an EORI number,

    it took so long to sort out ,
    the buyer was refunded and we retained the payment.
    give ebay its due the item was still delivered once we pointed out we supplied an EORI to the DHL jobsworth on steroids, who even telephoned us directly
    for our EORI

  • victor
    7 months ago

    is anyone aware where you actually supply or log your EORI to GSP ?????????

  • Rob Oakley
    7 months ago

    @Victor they are mentioned it in the latest seller update but there is nowhere to put the EORI number. I have asked the question and got passed over to Global Shipping but they have not answered the question just told me I need a EORI number which I already have.
    Also asked do I need a EU or GB EORI number.
    If shipping to NI sellers will need XI EORI number soon

    Would be interested to know if a item is made in the UK should the GSP be charging customs on the price as I thought it was only for items with origin outside the UK/EU.

    If sellers are listed as exports surly they should be suppling sellers with some sort of waybill so items can be properly zero rated as currently being told they are supplied in the UK

  • Dave
    7 months ago

    The GSP may have its benefits, but on the occasion I have been a buyer and the seller has used GSP from the US to the UK it was extraordinarily expensive compared to using the USPS standard air mail to the UK. It also took longer too, but that could have just been the luck of the draw.

    As a seller I always offer a direct to buyer postage price and do the extra bit of legwork re the paperwork side of things. I appreciate for all that is not possible, sales volume. But for some the post and forget is an easy way to lazyville at the buyer’s expense due to ebay’s exorbitant GSP postage charges.

  • BFT
    7 months ago

    I went over to GSP, because Royal Mail was losing or delaying so many international parcels this year and eBay was forcing refunds. With one notable exception, GSP has been good for me BUT not so good that I am prepared to jump through too many hoops.
    Is this another benefit of Brexit?

  • Jim
    7 months ago

    Will eBay insist on private sellers who use GSP supplying EORI numbers?

  • Christopher Clayton
    7 months ago

    I have offered direct postage, both inside Europe and outside Europe.

    Is the UK leaving the EU’s transitional terms (we left the EU formally a year ago) going to complicate direct postage to OUTSIDE the EU? At the moment, if I send something to America or Japan or Australia, the Post Office just asks me to fill in a fairly minor form (weight, value, description, my signature) which is sellotaped to the parcel. No EORI numbers

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