Customs Labels

Hi anyone else having problems with customs labels? My local post office told me that the common Customs Label the CN22 now went on the FRONT of an envelope to help process the item quicker, but the main post office told me the label still went on the BACK! I’ve found that a “Post Office” is perhaps not a “Post Office” and the service can differ depending where you post your item!

This CN22 Customs form guide | Post Office doesn’t seem to help much as well… lol

Thanks all


Hi Ed,

The rules on this changed a while ago and now we have to put a customs label on every small package ie not a letter going from the UK to anywhere else in the world. The only exception is from Northern Ireland into the EU for some bizarre reason to do with the Northern Ireland status after Brexit. I always put my labels on the back of the package, as it’s stuff for direct swaps it’s always a gift and you just need to fill in the rest esp weight and value. The fronts are usually plastered with stamps anyway !! I also doubt whether they all get scanned in, which is what the website suggests. I’ve never had one returned. Different Post Offices all have different ideas about how the system should or actually does operate !

I got a load of stickers from the Post Office so complete it all at home and just add the weight at the Post Office using their scales to ensure the Horizon label price tallies with the sticker.
You may want to get a brochure with prices from the Post Office as with small packets ( aka Large letter to some )there is a steep increase in rates over 250gm, ie under for World zone 3 is £ 5-85 but this jumps to £8-30 at over 250 gms. So keep under 250gms. You can save a few pennies doing it online. I’d be interested to know when a Large letter becomes a small parcel ??? As my Post Office don’t know. There are loads of interesting anomalies such as Russia ( think Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean !!! ) is apparently part of Europe amazingly but Morocco is World Zone 1 ( Africa).
The expression blind leading the blind comes immediately to mind but here’s the latest pricing brochure , page 9 onwards and there a link in there to show more of the Royal Mails geographic explanations of world zones, useful to use such similar colours on their map to delineate the zones?
There is of course economy international which is slightly cheaper for a less efficient and less rapid service and this has been on the forums in the past, maybe goes by Bike or maybe Boat or Coracle who knows? Only shady reference as to exactly how it might get there but in my experience it all goes by air anyway.
Good luck , have fun…


Hi and thanks, yes Economy, I’ve only ever been offered “Standard” or then tracked and signed, I asked once for Economy, but the Post Office in question said it did not exist! lol

Royal Mail said “As long as there is a correct customs label on the item, front or back then it will be processed by them.”

Thanks for the extra info as well…

All the best

Anyone in Northern Ireland having a nightmare trying to get packages delivered to Germany? Mine are all being returned. The Post Office have said we don’t need customs labels but Germany doesn’t seem to believe this :frowning:

Oh no! I know recently I had to argue with the post office to put a customs label on item going from U.K to Portugal as there was a metal pin badge inside, and that would surely set off any metal detectors if the post goes through them, or seen on X-ray…

If you’re really struggling, you can send them to me and I can try from England…

All the best


It wouldn’t surprise me, if German Customs think that people in Great Britian are trying to smuggle post into the EU via NI?

I’ve found that Germany & Finland (too which countries in the EU I have sent recently) have imposed what I think is the strictest Customs rules on the UK since leaving the customs area.

A few of my letters in a postcard give away to these countries have not arrived, despite being posted in November and with a legible return address, I simply wrote on the envelopes ‘Postcards, Please Do Not Bend’ as I had run-out of customs forms and simply couldn’t be bothered to go to the post office and get the CN22 forms.

There was an information about this posted here, but has since been removed and updated.


OMG! Sorry, but Postcards, surely they’d get through without a customs label! Brexit, I mean, well…

I hope your items make it… I offered @clareaye to post to me and I could post on, be happy to do the same as I’m in England. :slight_smile:

All the best.


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Seem, other are having a similar problem,

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hi all, I’m not sure if this fits here or not but worth a try…can anyone send me a link to, or explain customs charges?? I’ve paid for postage before when the sender didn’t add enough…that’s ok, it happens. But I just got quite a big customs charge (I was happy to pay) but I don’t understand why? There was a customs label on it that seems to be accurate and the person paid a ton of postage, what am I paying for? It also doesn’t seem like the package was opened and inspected so I’m even more baffled? If they said what it was, paid at the post office, why am I getting an extra charge?

Where was the package coming from?

I’ve had to pay a US export charge once, parcel was never opened. Some countries do that. :unamused:

It was from Canada. But shouldn’t they tell you at the Post Office- ‘you’re going to make this person pay to receive this?’ It’s like they pay 3 times, when they buy it, send it and when I receive it.

and maybe this is an inappropriate question…but should you just write ‘gift’? or are there certain things that incur charges? I don’t want to be sending packages that anyone on the receiving end has to pay for through no fault of theirs or mine. I just don’t understand how it works, what is chargeable.

update, I found this: Tax and customs for goods sent from abroad: Tax and duty - GOV.UK which might be accurate, so seems to be because the value was more than £35?

Yes you will always pay customs charges on items above a certain value (I thought it was £27?), regardless of whether it is declared as a gift or not. In fact if it was not declared as a gift the whole thing would probably get even more complicated. And unfortunately if your item has been identified as requiring a customs charge then you are also paying a handling fee to ROyal Mail / the courier who have to collect the fee and pass it back to HMRC.

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Thanks @AnjuschkaC :pensive: It’s so annoying! Do you know what goods need to be paid for?? I only see tobacco and alcohol listed and my gift contained neither.


You better look for yourself on the Tax and Customs page you already referred to:

You pay VAT on gifts/everything over £39 and (additional?) customs duty on some too.


Some of my recipients have had to pay customs charges.

I recently sent some London Underground tube maps and a few limited edition Elizabeth Line Oyster cards to someone in the Netherlands, I marked it as a gift and It was opened by Dutch Customs with a €7 fee for them to pay.

Even some blank postcards I sent a year ago, where subject to custom charges as its deamed commercial (or potentially sales) as apposed to a written postcard(s) in an envelope which is not.


:cry: It’s annoying because it seems like such high fees for inexpensive items! And it’s already expensive to send a package internationally.