Selling Abroad on Etsy? Here’s What British Creators Need to Know

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Etsy office

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal/export advice. This article contains affiliate links.

Etsy has a presence in over 80 countries. If you sell abroad on Etsy, that’s at least 80 potential markets for your amazing product.

However, after the changes resulting from Brexit, many UK Etsy users have suspended their sales abroad or even stopped them altogether due to the confusion about the new customs rules and tariffs. Not to mention HMRC’s pending move to the new export software after 30 years, which is something else entirely!

I’ve put together a short overview of the answers to Etsy sellers’ most pressing questions about selling abroad. Keep reading to find them out and sign up for our mailing list!

Can I Sell on Etsy From the UK After Brexit?

Online seller with packages
Online seller. Image by Kate Sukhanova

Yes, you absolutely can!

However, there are a few more things you should keep in mind.

Firstly, selling on Etsy from the UK to buyers abroad is considered exporting.

Secondly, there are some items that have restrictions on shipping abroad attached to them.

Thirdly, you shouldn’t let any of that intimidate you. At Expordite, we’ll be offering discounted export support packages to small businesses like Etsy creators and offer services tailored to them specifically. Click here to be the first to learn more and unlock our exclusive SME discounts!

I Want to Sell Abroad on Etsy — What Do I Need?

Seller with packages and laptop
Seller with packages and laptop. Image by Kate Sukhanova

Do I Need to Create a Company?

No, you don’t need to create a company or any other type of legal entity to sell on Etsy. But you can if you want to.

Do I Need an EORI Number?

Yes, UK exporters, in most cases, will need to apply for an EORI number if they’re selling commercially — whether they’re a sole trader (like most Etsy sellers are) or a company. This number goes on your customs forms.

Do I Need to Complete Customs Declaration Forms?

Graphic of customs forms.
Graphic of customs forms. Image by Kate Sukhanova

Yes, if you’re shipping internationally from the mainland UK, you need to complete customs declaration forms. There are different types of customs declaration forms that could be suitable for Etsy sellers:

  • CN22 (A and B) — for shipping goods with Royal Mail at a value below £270
  • CN23 — for shipping goods with Royal Mail that cost £270 or above
  • CP72 — for shipping goods with Parcelforce (only available at the post office)

You fill out the relevant form, print it out and attach it to your parcel. To complete these declarations, you need to know the weight and dimensions of your items to calculate shipping costs.

You also need to know the item’s HS Code. We’ll help you find the right one for your product and the relevant applicable measures at Expordite hassle-free.

You must also attach a commercial invoice — a document setting out the buyer’s and seller’s details, delivery info, the details of items sold, and some additional data.

Invoice graphic
Invoice graphic. Image by Kate Sukhanova

If you’re selling on Etsy, you’re probably shipping similar types of goods on a regular basis and most likely don’t want to spend time filling out forms with the same data all over again.

That’s why we at Expordite offer templates of the customs forms completed with the shipments you most commonly have. You can save valuable crafting time by signing up for Expordite and avoiding having to spend time filling out the same forms time and time again!

What About Taxes?

Alarm with a "Tax" post-it
Alarm with a “Tax” post-it. Image by Kate Sukhanova

If you’re a sole trader and your business makes more than £1,000 in the tax year, you must register for filing self-assessment tax returns with the HMRC. That applies to you if your Etsy business is just a side hustle.

If you want to make Etsy your full-time venture, consider setting up a limited company and becoming its director. In this case, self-assessment registration will also be required, and you’d want to get an accountant to advise you on splitting your income between salary and dividends.

There are other legal and tax implications to consider when selling abroad, and marketplace sales like Etsy are no exception. Sign up for our updates to stay on top of the latest changes and unlock exclusive Expordite discounts!

Photo credit: the feature image has been provided by Etsy for press use.

This article is also published on Medium.

Founder, Expordite


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