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International Delivery Options

colourful shipping containers being loaded

The Contract Chair Co has successfully supplied furniture for projects around the globe and we are delighted to be continuing to do so. Deliveries within the EU are fairly run-of-the-mill; those further afield usually take longer and are more complicated, and so tend to be more expensive (see below).

We deliver to customers within the EU in much the same way as we deliver to our UK customers, by lorry.

Some customers outside the EU, choose collection, arranging their own transport from the UK and collecting their furniture from our warehouse in West London, often consolidating it with other items going to the same place. In this instance we are able to appropriately package the furniture.

For the majority of our overseas projects though, we arrange for furniture to be shipped, either to a convenient ‘terminal’, usually a port but sometimes an airport or an inland freight exchange, or do this and also transport the furniture onwards from there to a specific delivery address.

Delivery to a convenient terminal is known as Delivery at Terminal (DAT). When we do this, we will cover all the costs of transport, and risk, up to and including unloading from the carrier. We do not take responsibility for customs clearance, or any customs duties, taxes or other levies due in the destination country.

If we also arrange the onward transport from the terminal to the delivery address it is known as Delivery at Place (DAP). Again, we do not take responsibility for customs clearance, or any customs duties, taxes or other levies due in the destination country, although we remain responsible for the goods until they are unloaded.

For deliveries to many overseas countries, we are able to also take this responsibility for customs duties, taxes or other levies due in the destination country; this is known as Delivery Duty Paid (DDP). We have regularly done this, particularly to the USA and the Middle East. It is important to note that these duties can be large – over 5% into Dubai and over 8% into Switzerland, for instance. Please ask us for more information. 

How products will arrive

Products are usually delivered on pallets, with appropriate packaging, usually in a container, depending on volume. Because it can be inappropriate to transport fully assembled products, they will typically arrive unassembled – this is most relevant for tables, where normally the table base will need assembly and then connecting to the table top.

Minimum order value

We generally require a minimum order value of £10,000 for all customers outside the European Union, as the administrative cost of smaller orders can be disproportionately high.

Lead times

Shipping to a destination outside the EU will add an extra 3 to 4 weeks to normal furniture lead times (which are themselves typically 4 to 6 weeks). Sending by air is much quicker, adding only 7 to 10 or so days to the normal furniture lead times (see our comment on costs though).

Delivery cost 

International deliveries sent by sea and/or overland, ie the normal way, typically cost between 5% and 10% of the ex-VAT order value – sending by air is considerably more expensive.


If we deliver to customers outside the UK, we can provide an invoice without VAT – please do let us know in advance about this. However this does not apply if the furniture is collected from our warehouse in the UK, in which circumstances we are legally required to charge VAT at the point of sale. We can refund this VAT when we receive legitimate proof of shipping (ie a Bill of Lading) within the following three months. The UK Government provides this advice on ‘collection by customer’.

Topics: Contract furniture

By Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth on 05/12/19 09:58
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