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Sending Gifts to the UK

Get gifts delivered to loved ones when you live abroad

When you have lived in the UK, whether it was for a long period of time or just for a small time, you will probably have made some good friends that you stay in touch with. If you were born in the UK and made the decision to move to a completely different country you will most likely have both friends and family still living in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

Whichever box you fit into, it’s never easy leaving people you care for behind. One of the worst things is probably that you will miss out on lots of special occasions, and that will be hard. Of course, you want to be there for them, but it’s not always practical or depending on how far away you live, it probably isn’t financially viable to make the trip back, no matter how much you want to.

So, what do you do when you can’t be there on a special occasion? Sending someone a gift is a great way to show them that you care. Yes, it’s not the same as you physically being there, but it will still show them that you have thought about them for their special occasion, and it’s another way to put a smile on their face.

The issue is, if you are sending a gift from the country you are living in, there can be some hurdles that can make it extremely tricky. Here are some things to keep in mind if you're considering sending a gift to the UK:

  • Customs and import duties: When sending gifts to the UK from outside the European Union (EU), you may be required to pay customs duty and VAT (Value Added Tax) on the value of the gift. Make sure you check with the UK customs authorities to find out what the rules and regulations are, and whether you need to fill out any paperwork.
  • Shipping costs: Depending on where you're sending the gift from and how large or heavy it is, shipping costs can vary widely. Make sure you compare shipping rates from different carriers and factor in any additional fees or taxes.
  • Delivery times: Shipping times can also vary, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to send the gift if it's time-sensitive. Some carriers may also offer expedited shipping options for an additional fee. But, it is important to bear in mind how the item will be shipped as well, as airmail will be faster than freight transport from most countries.
  • Prohibited items: There are certain items that are prohibited or restricted from being sent to the UK, such as certain types of food, plants, and animal products. Make sure you check with the UK customs authorities to find out what is allowed and what isn't.
  • Packaging: Make sure you package the gift securely to prevent any damage during transit. If you're sending fragile items, consider using additional padding or cushioning.
  • Gift wrapping: If you want to send the gift already wrapped, make sure you check with the carrier to see if they allow wrapped gifts and what their requirements are. Some carriers may require that the gift be wrapped in transparent packaging to allow for inspection. Or, you may have to be prepared for the fact that customs may have to unwrap a gift to inspect it.
  • Communication: Make sure you communicate with the recipient of the gift to let them know when to expect it, what's inside, and any other relevant information they may need to know.

Overall, sending gifts to the UK from abroad can be a great way to show someone you care, but it's important to do your research and follow the rules and regulations to ensure a smooth and hassle-free delivery.

There is an easier way to get gifts to a loved one, even when you are living abroad, and you don’t need to think about customs or the great cost of postage. Why not order a gift from a company in the UK and get it delivered to your friends or family? There are lots of companies that allow you to pay with various payment methods that are used across the world, you just might have to consider any fees for paying in GBP instead of your country’s currency.

Sponge is one such company that has various accepted payment methods, and we offer delivery across the UK, so no matter where your loved one is, you can have a gift delivered straight to their door. Our gifts are perfect for any occasion, but when you don’t know what to send to someone, then a cake is usually a fairly safe bet. Obviously, you will need to take into consideration dietary requirements, but otherwise, most people like cake.

There are lots of different options to choose from, which can help you suit your budget too. For instance, if it’s a special birthday, you might want to send them a big celebration cake, such as one of our whole cakes, or a sharing cake. For an anniversary, our recommendation is our celebration box. And, if you just want to send them something small, or you have a limited budget to work with then our Cake Card letterbox gifts are ideal.

Whatever the occasion is, we’re sure that one of our gift options will be ideal to send to your loved one when you live far away from the UK.