Royal Mail IOSS Explained: Simplifying Cross-border eCommerce

A Guide for UK Online Sellers

UK-based online sellers venturing into the European market, navigating the complexities of VAT compliance, import duties, and seamless cross-border deliveries can be a daunting task. However, with the Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) scheme and the support of Royal Mail, UK sellers can now streamline their EU trade operations and deliver a superior shopping experience to their European recipients. In this article, EAS, the leading IOSS solution, will guide you through the process of utilising Royal Mail for IOSS deliveries, connecting Click & Drop with your online store, and adding your IOSS number to facilitate efficient cross-border trade.

1. Why should I use IOSS?

Using the Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) when delivering from the UK to the EU offers several compelling advantages for online sellers. IOSS is a game-changer for cross-border e-commerce transactions, streamlining the VAT collection and reporting process. By partnering with an IOSS automation provider like EAS, you can seamlessly register for IOSS, automate the reporting and filing process, and focus on growing your business in the thriving EU market, ultimately benefiting your recipients. Embrace IOSS and take advantage of the opportunities it presents for your EU trade endeavours.

Here are some key reasons why you should use IOSS:

  1. Simplified VAT Compliance: Prior to IOSS, businesses delivering goods to the EU were subject to VAT regulations in each individual EU member state. This created a complex and time-consuming process of registering for VAT in multiple countries. IOSS simplifies this by allowing businesses to declare and pay VAT in a single EU member state, regardless of the final destination of the goods.
  2. No Customs Duties or Customs handling fees: Customs duties or Customs Handling fees do not apply to IOSS deliveries.
  3. Enhanced Customer Experience: IOSS enhances the shopping experience for EU customers by ensuring no unexpected additional charges or customs duty. When using IOSS, the VAT is collected and paid at the point of sale, and the recipient do not face any, duties, additional charges or customs delays upon delivery. This transparency and simplicity result in higher customer satisfaction and increased trust in your brand.
  4. Faster deliveries: IOSS streamlines customs clearance processes. This means that IOSS-registered shipments clear customs faster, leading to quicker delivery times for your EU customers. Electronic customs data is automatically created simplifying the customs process.
  5. Competitive Advantage: Offering IOSS-compliant shipping options gives you a competitive edge in the EU market. By providing a hassle-free shopping experience with no surprise charges, you can attract more customers and boost sales.
  6. Compliance with EU Regulations: The EU introduced IOSS to create a level playing field for EU and non-EU businesses. Using IOSS ensures that you comply with EU tax regulations and avoids potential penalties for non-compliance.
  7. Access to the Entire EU Market: By using IOSS, you can easily access and sell to customers across all EU member states without the need to register for VAT in each country. This opens up new opportunities for your business to expand its reach within the EU without excessive upfront costs and efforts.

2. What are the advantages of using Royal Mail for deliveries to the EU?

Royal Mail, a known and trusted name all around the world, offers several advantages for online sellers looking to ship goods to EU customers:

  1. Reliability: Royal Mail has a well-established partner network, ensuring reliable and timely deliveries to all EU destinations.
  2. Competitive Rates: Royal Mail provides cost-effective shipping options, allowing you to maintain competitive pricing for your EU customers.
  3. Seamless Integration: Royal Mail integrates seamlessly with various e-commerce platforms, simplifying the shipping process and reducing administrative burden.

3. Royal Mail & IOSS: How to Send IOSS Parcels with Royal Mail

Sending IOSS parcels with Royal Mail is a straightforward process, ensuring a hassle-free experience for the recipient. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Ensure you are IOSS registered. If you haven’t registered yet, EAS registers you for IOSS without any upfront fees or fixed monthly charges. Read more about EAS.

Step 2: Log in to your Royal Mail Click & Drop account. If you don’t have one, sign up for a Click & Drop account here, as it serves as the central hub for managing your IOSS shipments.

Step 3: Connect your online store to Click & Drop with these simple steps. Click & Drop integrates seamlessly with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and others, enabling automatic order imports into Click & Drop.

Step 4: Import your orders from your online store into Click & Drop, and select the IOSS-eligible shipments for processing. Read more about IOSS-compatible Royal Mail shipping methods here.

Step 5: Print the necessary shipping labels and customs documentation directly from Click & Drop. Royal Mail’s system automatically adds IOSS symbol to label and IOSS data to your delivery, ensuring VAT compliance.

Step 6: Once the parcels are ready for dispatch, drop the package off at a nearby Royal Mail post office or schedule a collection.

4. Royal Mail & IOSS: How to Add an IOSS Number to Click & Drop

Adding your IOSS number to Click & Drop is a crucial step to ensure VAT compliance for your EU shipments. Fortunately, Royal Mail makes this process seamless:

Step 1: As an EAS customer, access your EAS dashboard and locate your IOSS number. If you haven’t registered with EAS, their pay-as-you-go IOSS service allows you to register and obtain your unique IOSS number with ease.

Step 2: Log in to your Click & Drop account and navigate to the “Settings” section.

Step 3: Locate the “IOSS Number” field and enter your unique IOSS number provided by EAS.

Step 4: Save your changes, and your IOSS number will automatically be included in your shipping data for IOSS-eligible shipments.

Detailed instructions here


Navigating the world of EU trade and IOSS compliance is made more accessible with the support of Royal Mail and the expertise of EAS. By leveraging Royal Mail’s reliable shipping services and integrating your online store with Click & Drop, you can provide a seamless shopping experience to your European customers. With EAS as your IOSS solution, you get your own IOSS number effortlessly, automate the reporting and filing process, and eliminate any registration and starting fees. Step into the EU market confidently, knowing that your cross-border operations are streamlined and VAT-compliant, thanks to the winning combination of Royal Mail, IOSS and EAS

Start your EU sales with IOSS today

Robert Ruutsalo
Chief Revenue Officer @ EAS
Expert in International trade

Book a meeting with Robert