Customs and VAT - Sending a Gift

If the value of the gift is below £39.00, there is no VAT payable. If the value is over £39.00 then VAT must be paid or the recipient will be charged the appropriate amount in addition to a handling fee.
The UK Border Force states that a gift is an item sent between two private people, is of an occasional nature such as a birthday or Christmas gift and where no monetary consideration has been made.
Yes, if you are using our standard service and sending a gift under £270.00 please complete a CN22 customs declaration form. You will need to ensure all of the relevant sections are completed.

For gifts over £270.00 a CN23 form is required; this form asks for additional information. If you are using our parcel service a CN23 is always required.

It is essential that you include a return address on the outside of the packaging. Without a return address Guernsey Post will not be able to pre-customs clear gifts sent using our standard or special delivery service which will result in a longer transit time. Please note that we are unable to pre-customs clear gifts sent via our parcel service.
No, but we strongly recommend that you do. If you choose not to, the gift will have to be sent to Border Force in the UK to clear, which will result in a longer transit time. Furthermore the recipient will be asked to pay the VAT plus a handling fee.
When a package contains gifts that are clearly intended for several people, for example members of the same family, the £39.00 VAT relief applies to each individual person provided the gifts are:
  • Individually wrapped
  • Specifically addressed to each individual
  • Declared separately on the customs declaration form
You can post your gift using our standard service. However, we recommend that customers use the Special Delivery service when sending items of value (please note that VAT is payable on both gifts over £39.00 and special delivery postage). This is the only service available that has full tracking and offers insurance up to the value of £2,500.00.

An agreement between Jersey Post, HM Revenue & Customs and the Jersey Border Agency means that it is possible to use the Special Delivery service on gifts to guarantee next day delivery (applies to gifts under £39.00 or gifts where the VAT has been pre-paid. This is currently subject to a maximum value of £873.00 HMRC Notice 143). Ideal for sending that last-minute present.

No, you do not have to pay VAT on standard postal services but if you upgrade to Special Delivery, the cost of the service will be included in the calculation of VAT.