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Don't let phone and email details cost you big in post-Brexit trading

Brexit has brought with it lots of changes to the way we do business across UK-EU lines. Chief amongst those will be the need for customs declarations for each parcel being exported to the EU. Shipping companies and couriers now require a range of rejigged data guidelines, helping to protect parcels from getting lost and verifying their contents for added security. If shipping with Royal Mail, companies will now need to fill in CN22 or CN23 customs declaration forms which companies will be familiar with when shipping to countries like the US. Other couriers have their own versions, although requiring mostly the same information. With so many new rules and guidelines, even the most prepared company could easily be caught out.

Many of the new guidelines simply reaffirm information which you will already be acquainted with – including the weight of the parcel and product descriptions which give information on the contents.

The key areas for change are more concerned with data which originates from your customers themselves – so making sure you receive the right details during customer input, such as your online checkout process, is essential.

Address details

Sending parcels has always required adding an address of course, but with new EU regulations and penalties you should be extra-careful about getting that address right! To avoid returned goods and hefty fees, data accuracy in your address field is more important than ever.

The details which you need to include are:

  • Full customer name
  • Street address
  • Postal/zip code
  • Country

Contact details

This is the area most likely to catch out unsuspecting retailers, as it represents a new frontier for EU customs declarations. When sending a parcel under the updated guidelines, not only do you need to include the address, but contact details for the recipient.

Providing this information is designed to help limit error – it’s already standard practice in many other nations and continents, providing an added layer of identity verification as well as a handy communication channel should something happen to the parcel in transit.

Failure to supply these details could result in your courier not processing the package and returning it to you at a cost – as detailed in DPD’s recent EU Shipping data checklist. The details needed are:

  • Email address and/or
  • A valid phone number

What happens if I don’t include these details?

Unfortunately, if you don’t supply these details for EU-bound shipments, then your parcel is liable to be sent back to you at cost. Over time, the financial and reputational toll of lost orders and paid returns can stack up and become a big problem.

What can I do to ensure accurate data?

If you’re not sure how to tackle this newfound problem, don’t panic! Fetchify is here to help. At Fetchify, we’re trusted experts in data capture, with a suite of fetching tools designed to help our customers achieve data accuracy and grow their businesses.

As well as address validation across more than 240 countries, we also offer phone validation and email validation, ensuring the data you are given is accurate at the point of entry. Integrating easily into the leading eCommerce/CRM platforms, Fetchify’s tools are designed to be user-friendly as well as ultra-powerful. With a per transaction cost of a few pennies, these can help protect you from costly customer errors – and keep your EU-bound parcels winging their way to happy customers.

Why not take a 14-day free trial of the services we offer, including Phone Validation and Email Validation, no credit card is needed and our friendly support team can help you integrate into your existing checkout, forms and/or CRM systems.

About Fetchify

We are a pioneer in SaaS address lookup and data validation solutions. We process millions of data transactions each day for thousands of clients ranging from small e-commerce startups to large household brands such as Heinz and RBS. Our flagship products Address Auto-Complete and Postcode Lookup reduce friction on checkouts, leading to increases in conversion rate of up to 40%, and helps reduce failed deliveries by as much as 75%. Since launching in 2008, we have differentiated by our ease of integration and exceptional support.