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Your VAT Guide to Sending Packets & Parcels


Is VAT applicable to gifts sent in the post? 

If the value of the gift is below £34, there is no VAT payable. If the value is over £34 then VAT must be paid or the recipient will be charged the appropriate amount in addition to a handling fee.

How does Border Force define a gift? 

The Border Force in the UK states; 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.

Do I need to complete a customs declaration form if I am sending a gift? 

Yes, if you are using our standard service and sending a gift under £270 please complete a CN22 customs declaration form, you will need to ensure all of the relevant sections are completed.

For gifts over £270 a CN23 form is required, this form asks for additional information. If you are using our parcel service a CN23 is always required.  

Apart from the customs declaration form, what else should I include if I am sending a gift? 

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 sevice. 

Do I have to pre-pay the VAT? 

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.

Do I have to pay VAT on packages containing more than one gift? 

When a package contains gifts that are clearly intended for several people, for example members of the same family, the £36 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

Which delivery service should I use to send my gift?

You can post your gift using our standard service. However we recommend that customers use the Special Delivery (please note that VAT is payable on both gifts over £36 and special delivery postage) service when sending items of value. This is the only service available that has full tracking and offers insurance up to the value of £2,500.

An agreement between Guernsey Post, HM Revenue & Customs and the Guernsey Border Agency means that it is possible to use the Special Delivery service on gifts to guarantee next day delivery (applies to gifts under £34 or gifts where the VAT has been pre-paid. This is subject to a maximum value of £2000) - ideal for sending that last minute present!

Do I have to pay VAT on the postage?

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.



CN22 for items under £270 (click form to download editable form for printing)




CN23 for Items over £270 (click form to download editable form for printing)