Shipping to EU with Marketplace IOSS at Post Office

By Chris Dawson June 30, 2021 - 5:00 pm

With major changes to the way we ship to the EU coming into effect this week, the Post Office is alerting its customers that a new post-Brexit change concerning VAT will affect goods being sent from Great Britain to the EU from Thursday the 1st of July. This will especially impact sellers on marketplace where the VAT as already been collected as they won’t need to know the relevant marketplace IOSS when shipping but will need to declare which marketplace the goods were sold on for each individual parcel.

What’s Changing on the 1st of July?

Items sold to EU destinations from Great Britain with a value of €22 or less will no longer be exempt from VAT. They will be subject to the local rate of VAT and charges of the destination country.

The EU have set up a new scheme called the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) that allows businesses that register on the scheme to apply VAT and customs charges at the point an item is sold. For Post office customers, the change predominantly affects marketplace sellers who sell via marketplaces registered on the scheme. Post Office has put in place new checks to ensure the correct information will be collected for the IOSS scheme, so marketplace sellers can continue to buy their postage in Post Office branches with confidence.

“Whilst these changes don’t impact customers sending gifts to the EU, we’re concerned that thousands of marketplace sellers, particularly smaller ones could get a shock on 1 July when having to deal with these new VAT arrangements. We have put new checks in place to ensure marketplace sellers can continue to come to their local Post Office to send their goods with confidence. Crucially they can also receive advice and specialist knowledge from their Postmaster if they need it.”
– Mark Siviter, Mails Product Portfolio Director, Post Office

Marketplace IOSS the Post Office is ready to support

Amazon, eBay, Etsy and NotOnTheHighStreet are ready

Marketplace sellers that use Amazon, eBay, Etsy and NotOnTheHighStreet can continue to visit their local Post Office and the Postmaster or their staff will capture the necessary information now required following this post Brexit change to the VAT rules. Our understanding is that Royal Mail, Parcelforce and the Post Office have these four marketplace IOSS numbers and will apply them to the shipments to indicate that the VAT has already been collected.

We are recommending that if you post parcels at a Post Office that you make sure you segment them so that you can declare which marketplace they were sold at when your present them at the Post Office counter. Our understanding is that you simply need to know which parcel was sold on which marketplace, so write on the parcels or at least have them in separate bags to make your life easy.

Other marketplaces need to liaise with Royal Mail

If you’re wondering how to handle parcels you’re shipping from any other marketplace at the Post Office, the answer is that the marketplace probably needs to be urgently speaking to Royal Mail to enable easy shipments from your local Post Office. If marketplaces you sell on aren’t ready then make sure they’re aware that your EU customers will probably be charged VAT on the doorstep even though the marketplace has already collected the VAT at the point of sale!

When will marketplace IOSS be applicable?

We’ve also asked the question concerning items sold in the last few days of June, before the marketplace IOSS came into effect and before VAT was collected by the marketplace. If you post on the 30th of June, then we understand the EU won’t attempt to collect VAT so long as the postage label shows this date. If you post on the 1st of July or after then tell the Post Office which marketplace the item was sold on.

Finally, what happens for items valued at over €150 where you are responsible for collecting the VAT regardless whether the sale was on your own website or a marketplace. In this case, you are probably a professional seller, have your own IOSS number and will be collecting VAT and have shipping integrations with a Royal Mail or Parcelforce collection rather than posting at the Post Office. However if you use the Post Office then we understand that VAT will be collected upon delivery.

As a reminder, you will also need customs forms when you ship at the Post Office,

Gifts and Northern Ireland

Customers sending gifts to EU destinations are not affected by these changes. Gifts under €45 remain exempt of VAT or charges.

These new changes do not apply to anyone visiting a Post Office in Northern Ireland and posting gifts or sending items sold to EU destinations from Northern Ireland.

  • hak
    4 months ago

    Love this bit from PO “Crucially they can also receive advice and specialist knowledge from their Postmaster if they need it.” …

    … now that I’ve stopped laughing; seriously!?

    You closed our local PO branches ages ago, so all we have are a till at the end of the local Coop checkouts, usually staffed by clueless lads/lasses who aren’t really trained to do anything other than scan a parcel, input the weight & hit return.

    Carnage incoming ..

  • “We are recommending that if you post parcels at a Post Office that you make sure you segment them so that you can declare which marketplace they were sold at when your present them at the Post Office counter. Our understanding is that you simply need to know which parcel was sold on which marketplace, so write on the parcels or at least have them in separate bags to make your life easy.” – good advice 🙂

  • 4 months ago

    Amazon IOSS numbers if anyone needs them.

    Region Storefront(s) IOSS Number
    Europe IM4420001201
    Europe IM4420001201
    Europe IM4420001201
    Europe IM4420001201
    Europe IM4420001201
    Europe IM4420001201
    Europe IM4420001201
    Europe IM4420001201
    US IM4420001234
    Canada IM4420001223
    Japan IM4420001008

  • Toby
    4 months ago

    lol… yes great advice from post office staff….
    Went to posta small printer part to romania from repair the other day. As it was was just for repair and return i asked if i need a customs form. Lady just looked at me. I said would it need it as tecnically it is not being given or sold, as it was coming back to me. She said no idea. I asked if she could check. She said wouldn’t know where to and was too busy. suggested i looked online.
    Yes….. excellent service. Thank god we don’t send abroad any more.

  • Gemma
    4 months ago

    Have just removed EU shipping from our eBay listings after getting our first EU sale following the change. To be profitable on eBay, we need to be able to sell at the price listed, and until now have made allowances for the VAT through reduced postage charges. Now eBay are paying us the net price only – but charging fees on the price including the EU VAT. There is no way we can sustain this on our margins. Hopefully they won’t do the same with GSP – although none of our listings are actually showing to the EU via GSP at the moment, so they must be experiencing teething troubles.

  • 4 months ago

    Anyone know eBay uk code? Or where it can be found, I cat see it on

  • 4 months ago


    Does this mean I f I sell something On Amazon as a UK seller I have to quote this IOSS number on the postage label
    Europe IM4420001201

    Does anybody know the ones for Etsy?

  • 4 months ago

    Hi Karen, The numbers need to be included in the shipping label electronically, and pull through automatically for marketplace sales (if you are using external shipping labels i.e. click and drop then this needs to be integrated with your amazon/ebay/etsy). If regards to Etsy, as far as Im aware (after speaking to Etsy, RM Business, RM click and drop), when you print your shipping labels via Etsy, or an Etsy integrated click and drop account that pulls through your Etsy orders, the code is embedded in the label barcode and confirms vat paid at checkout once scanned by the designated customs authority. They haven’t been particularly clear with this information on their help pages I know. I can only assume that they don’t wish for their IOSS number to be public and therefore open for abuse, just my observation, plus world trade is heading to electronic data on shipping labels anyway.

    They are also telling people to input the cost in euros on the parcel, which isn’t necessary or helpful, as you know, rm ask by default that the currency is gbp on cn22.

    I’m trying to confirm whether we need supporting documents on the outside of the parcel, hmrc couldn’t confirm whether we need to add a commercial invoice…..oh the fun and games….

    Hope that helps, I’m off to fall down a commercial invoice rabbit hole….in the meantime feel free to double check these facts…..

  • hak
    4 months ago

    ebay uk number, as automatically added by RM click’n’drop linked accounts.

    IOSS: IM2760000742

  • Jane Phillips
    3 months ago

    The staff at the post office, royal mail, DPD, FedEx all have absolutely no idea how to handle IOSS. It’s a total disaster.

  • Jack
    3 months ago

    I don’t sell on Ebay or Amazon, only via my own website.
    Do I need to register for IOSS as well? The cost of IOSS for e-commerce is 2k per year plus £300 registration fee. At the moment we are not selling to the EU customers as 2k per year is a joke.

  • Jonty
    3 months ago

    I can see a few naughty people just using the eBay and Amazon IOSS code on their own parcels and thinking to hell with it all.
    Alternatively like us just don’t sell to EU anymore.

  • 3 months ago

    I have pointed it out twice to Ebay that unscrupulous sellers that could use their number. They had no answers to this. I guess as long as they (Ebay) are seen to do the right thing as a platform then it’s not their problem – same with other marketplaces. It’s really a problem for the EU to solve and enforce. I can easily see bad actors using a marketplace’s IOSS number, getting a slick delivery through to their customers & pocketing the VAT money. Would be interested to know if anything is proposed to police this,

  • I too, would like t know what is going to stop some sellers from adding marketplace ioss numbers to their direct sales say on facebook or tiktok, or private webstores?
    I spoke with a company a few days ago about wanting to open my own store and planning ahead with ioss registration, …the £300 joining fee and 2.5k (inc vat) annual fees, flabbergasted me…I mean, I don’t even know if I will earn that amount yet,and I need to pay nearly £3k upfront?
    I asked her the same question….because its unfair if some will be able to get away with that…it doesn’t leave much of a level playing field….reminds me of the time when some ebay sellers were able to have some royal mail staff in their pockets and therefore getting away with not having to pay for postage in the millions every year. But the reply i got was very vague and basically, I was being old that they werent allowed to take on Chinese companies/sellers, due to that very fact of them trying to find ways around the system,….but dodgy sellers are not just Chinese.
    what is stopping joe bloggs selling stuff from him own website, and borrowing ebay or amazon ioss numbers to send stuff to the EU?

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