Consumer Advice

Members are uniquely well placed to give advice on your mailing requirements. They have many years of experience in the industry. They all have to adhere to the MCA Code of Conduct and are subject to the mediation service if things go wrong. And their businesses are built on long-term commercial relationships, which they will make every effort to acquire, retain and develop.



We do recommend that you obtain more than one quotation for any project you are contemplating. We have provided a simple quotation request form that will allow you to send a specification for your mailing to one or more MCA member.

We also recommend that you consider the following points when planning your mailing:

  • Allow sufficient preparation and delivery time if your mailing contains time-sensitive materials like competitions or financial reports.

  • Make sure your data is cleaned and de-duplicated to avoid waste.

  • Use recycled paper where possible.

  • Ask your supplier for written transit time guides for the destinations involved.

  • Allow for public holidays both domestic and internationally.

  • Consider the dimensions and item weights when designing your mail pieces. Many international destinations have different regulations for the best discounts.

  • Ask your supplier to quote for materials as they have access to the highest volume discounts.

Your MCA accredited supplier will be only too happy to provide expert guidance on all the above and more. Use our form to send a quote request to up to five MCA members.


IMPORTANT – Brexit Update

VAT and Duty Advice for BREXIT 

Working in conjunction with MCA members and their respective VAT and Tax consultants the MCA has collated advice for UK customers shipping goods into the European Union.


UK based clients processing online orders and shipping stock held in the UK to a consignee in the UK, Europe, and the rest of the world we draw your attention to the below status for the period to 2021 (Mch/Oct):-

If the event the UK exits the EU in a ‘Hard-Brexit’ scenario, local distance selling registrations & requirements may be altered whereby UK VAT will not be chargeable on sales for export to EU consignees. An existing EU VAT registration will not be applicable in other Member States unless the stock is held there.

Goods sent from UK clients to EU consignees will become subject to VAT and duty at the point the goods clear into the EU. However, if the shipment value is less than €22, this will benefit from low value consignment relief (LVCR) and be cleared into the EU VAT duty free. Any shipments above €22 will attract import VAT but not duty.

In the event the consignment value is more than €150, import VAT and duty will still need to be paid at the point of entry into the EU (MCA members will be able to advise and assist clients navigate the various EU requirements).

Changes are expected in 2021 and information will be updated in 2020.

UK - EU Duty

The UK as an EU member is part of the customs union, and as such there is no duty on cross border movements between the UK and the individual EU member states. This is likely to change if the UK leaves the EU without a ‘Deal’ – that is a ”Hard Brexit”.
As noted above, shipments below €150 will attract import VAT but not duty and if the total shipment is below €22 it will be import VAT and duty free until 2021.
Consignments with a value above €150 will attract both import VAT and import duty.

There are various options to manage the tax implications: one method would be to charge the consignee the duty when they purchase the goods if the shipment value is above €150 and for this to be remitted to your mailing/shipping agent to account to the relevant tax authority.
Other options for accounting and paying the import VAT and duty, include:

  1. Import and create a stock of goods in an EU location and sell them to the consignee whilst the goods are in the EU (you would need to create an EU corporate entity (or nominee) and VAT register in the country where the EU facility is located) or;

  2. Appoint a handling agent located in an EU country that purchases goods from you and sells them to the consignee (intermediary arrangement). The agent would then pay the import VAT and Duty and sell the goods to the consignee, and if required register to account for VAT (on EU distance sales terms).

Members are available to discuss and meet with clients and other interested or concerned parties on a no-obligation basis.

Returned Goods

If a consumer wishes to return the goods (e.g. incorrect goods, size, colour etc) it is possible to recover the duty charged but not the VAT (except in selected cases with fully auditable export and return information). This is on the basis that all requirements are met for claiming a refund in the member state where the goods were originally imported. This is known as ‘duty-drawback’ and MCA members can help to facilitate this process. It is important to note that only returns that have re-entered within 90 days will be eligible for duty drawback.
There is no standard refund mechanism for the VAT at present.

Below is a link to a paper setting out the conditions per member state: