I am having a hard time understanding how can I manage the following issue.

So I have stayed in the UK for some months and now I am moving back to Italy, which is my home country. During the months some personal stuff that I've bought here (clothes, kitchen tools, books etc.) have piled up and now I need to ship them to my address, as I wont be able to pack them in the luggages.

I thought this was an easy task, but I've found out that's not the case here.

So here is the question: what's the procedure to ship some parcels with personal stuff (again: mainly clothes, some kitchen stuff which I would like to keep, books, etc.) from the UK to Italy/EU? What do I need to provide for customs clearance? are there any restriction in terms of how much I can ship to Italy? This is all used stuff - nothing new. I have found some contradictory information (i.e., that i may need an EORI number - but this is not a commercial shipping and sender and receipient will have the same name; that I need to fill a "pro-forma invoice" - but what is that? etc.) So I am asking to anyone having previous recent experience or who knows the procedure.

  • From what I've seen there is a customs exemption for moving your residence, officially applying only to goods you've owned for 6 months or longer, and only available if you've lived outside the EU for 12 months or longer, and only available if you have a moving company import your goods. If "some months" is more than 12, it might be worthwhile to have a proper moving company handle it.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 30, 2023 at 17:21
  • @phoog say overall it's less than 12 months, so one may not qualify. What's the procedure?
    – user092438
    Commented Sep 30, 2023 at 21:18
  • @user092438 What sources have you looked at so far? Shipping companies often (usually?) handle custom clearance eg pssremovals.com/shipping-boxes-to-italy
    – Traveller
    Commented Sep 30, 2023 at 22:25
  • @Traveller - I've searched on the websites of most "big shipment companies" (not precisely removal - I am not intending to move "a lot" of stuff, it's gonna be only 2 or 3 medium boxes: more than I can carry with a check-in baggage, but definitely less than would prompt a removal, I think. But the point is that it is unclear 1) if I should compile any form, and what kind of form 2) what do I actually need to provide in terms of info, and 3) ultimately an approximate estimate of if and how much I am gonna pay for customs clearance.
    – user092438
    Commented Sep 30, 2023 at 23:17
  • 2
    When I moved to the EU from the UK last year most international removals companies were doing partloads (i.e. shared shipments) as standard, where each person has a different amount of stuff. One explicitly said they often moved stuff for students who only had a small amount, alongside people with a whole houseload. It works for them to have a few boxes to make up a full container. Definitely worth contacting them. Commented Oct 1, 2023 at 8:03

1 Answer 1


There's three ways of doing this.

If it's a small amount of stuff, then look at parcel companies. They often give you decent rates on slow services. This really only works out if you've got a couple of parcels of stuff. Alternatively pay the excess baggage charge and take it with you. As long as you pay, airlines don't mind you taking three or four extra bags.

If it's too much stuff for that look for international removals companies. They work best for whole houseloads of stuff, but they will also do removals of "half containers". That's going to be enough for everything you need as long as you aren't taking furniture.

What a lot of people do is to sell off as much as they can, and then buy new when you get home. This is often cheaper for kitchenware and for books that you are not particularly attached to.

  • Thanks for your reply - my question was more on how to deal with customs and which forms are required to clear my shipment - have you got any insight on that?
    – user092438
    Commented Oct 2, 2023 at 10:47

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