EU ORDERING SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY
Last Updated: 26/03/2021
*Please Note: We will be trying our best to dispatch all EU orders that are currently placed/processing. Due to the reasons below, some items may be removed and refunded, and if further issues arise then our customer services team will contact you to advise.
**Please Note: Shipping to Northern Ireland is not affected and is continuing as normal.
It is with immense frustration and sadness that we are forced at this point to suspend our services to all EU destinations for the foreseeable future.
Our team has worked incredibly hard to clear the backlog of orders over the past weeks and months, and have worked tirelessly to resolve the issues with customs/DPD, but we are now facing new and seemingly impassable challenges in the form of 'prohibited goods'.
For the last 2-4 weeks, we have had a good amount of success in dispatching and delivering EU orders, but have just this week had more than 50% of recently dispatched EU orders returned to us, the vast majority of which due to 'prohibited items'.
After further lengthy discussions with DPD, these parcels are being returned to us due to certain items being rejected by customs in Ireland (ROI), Spain, Germany, France and The Netherlands (and this is just in one week).
The change recently appears to be either that new items have now been added to the list of restrictions, or that the list of restrictions is now being actively policed where it wasn't before. The growing list that we are aware of includes Wax and Oils (including any items including reed diffusers, which contain oils), all Stone-based products, certain types of Jewellery, Light Bulbs, and any product containing Wood. Whilst this list does not describe all the products that we offer, it does describe a large proportion, and crucially, there appears to be more restrictions that we are not yet aware of, or that are being newly added.
The pressing issue is that at the moment, there is no feasible way for us to convert this growing list of items into a workable solution to prevent restricted items from being ordered by customers in EU destinations, and particularly whilst the list of restricted items appears to be growing, we cannot sustain operations as they currently are, with orders reaching destination countries only to be rejected by customs and to come back to us by the lorry-load for items to be removed/refunded and the order then re-attempted.
This decision is truly heartbreaking for us, and it represents a significant financial loss for us as a company, as a not-insignificant proportion of our sales are made up by EU customers. It is not a decision we take lightly and is one that we have been fighting hard to avoid.
We will be working in the background on a workable solution to this, and we hope that in due course we will be able to combine a full, final and exhaustive list of all prohibited items, and to hopefully be able to integrate this with our website to automatically prevent these particular items from being ordered by customers in particular countries. At this current moment in time though, we have no such capabilities and are now forced to suspend EU services indefinitely.
We are sincerely sorry for what we fully understand will be devastating for many of you, and we truly hope that we can find a solution to this in due course.
With sadness, The Team at Sparks x