Customs Data Required for all Goods Bound for International Destinations & Change to VAT Status from 1st January

Isle of Man Post Office (IOMPO) wishes to remind customers that from 1st January 2021, there will be changes to the way they can send goods to international destinations, due to a Universal Postal Union and World Customs Organisation-led initiative to improve security and safety.

All customers sending items containing goods to destinations beyond the UK (including Europe) will be required to provide accurate customs documentation, either electronically or on paper. This is essentially information about the sender, the recipient and the contents of the item being sent, data which will be captured and forwarded electronically to the destination postal administration and their customs officials. In addition to enhancing mail conveyance security and safety, it will also help automate and speed up manual processes, which can enable a more efficient customs clearance process, as well as supporting an effective risk-based customs control.

The digital transmission of this information is a statutory and international requirement applicable to all postal administrations across the globe. It is the sender’s responsibility to ensure the customs declarations are completed correctly. From 1st January 2021, any items received by Isle of Man Post Office (IOMPO) without accurate customs information may be delayed or returned and subject to further charges.

It has always been a requirement for customers to complete declaration forms (CN22 and CN23 for mail and CP72 for parcels) for items containing goods destined for countries beyond the EU, but from 1st January 2021 when the transition period ends, declarations will be required for all destinations beyond the UK. Whilst the reason for this is beyond IOMPO’s control, help will be on hand at any post office where guidance on how to complete the documentation correctly will be available.  This advice and the relevant forms are also available on our website (

IOMPO also wishes to advise customers that there will be a change to the VAT status of certain services to the EU owing to Brexit with effect from 1st January 2021.

Since the United Kingdom left the EU on 31st January 2020, the transition arrangement has maintained the VAT status of postal services within the EU. With the transitional arrangement scheduled to end on 31st December 2020, should no agreement impacting VAT arrangements be reached, from 1st January 2021 postal services to the EU, which previously attracted VAT at the standard rate, will become zero-rated.

To view the revised price guide please visit



To complete the customs forms accurately the following information is required for each item containing goods:

  • Sender’s full name
  • Sender’s address
  • Recipient’s full name
  • Recipient’s address
  • Gross item weight
  • The nature of the content including the value of the item with the currency used
  • A brief description of each individual item within the package (including the quantity,  net weight and unit of measurement (e.g. Kilogram or litres), value of the items with the currency used

For commercial items only:

  • The HS tariff number
  • The country of origin of the goods

CN22, CN23 and CP72 forms are available from all Post Offices, or for commercial customers by contacting to order a supply.

To help inform which form customers need, please refer to the table below:

Service / value of contents Customs form
Standard mail / less than £270 CN22
Standard mail / £270 or more CN23
Parcel / all values CP72






Share this post


Your Interests: