Regardless of destination or origin country, you must get permission to export certain drugs, medicines, and medical equipment in and out of the UK. The transportation of pharmaceutical products requires specialised procedures, including a cold chain service and expert shipping partners to ensure a straightforward shipment experience. The last few years have seen a rise in the export of medicines from the UK of pharmaceutical freight & healthcare. Our pharmaceutical courier services offer shipping by air cargo, sea freight, and road transport.

Export regulations from the UK have changed post-Brexit and incur additional customs paperwork, tariffs, and duties, but there will always be more for pharmaceuticals. Below is a list of considerations to get you started on ensuring you know what to expect when exporting goods to and from the UK. To make this process easy and stress-free, we recommend using a freight company such as Barrington Freight to handle the entire shipment for you. With our years of experience transporting pharmaceuticals, you can avoid issues that get goods stuck at borders, costing time, money, and business.

Customs Clearance 

You need an EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number) for the UK side, and you will need an EU EORI for importing into a European country. Other rules apply for various international locations. If you don’t have these organised, you will face delays and increased costs when exporting goods, and they will not be able to clear customs. For more information, visit the government advisory page. Depending on the trade deal the UK obtains, other documents may eventually be needed.


You will almost definitely need a licence to ship most sorts of pharmaceutical products and adhere to specific compliance requirements depending on your shipment type and quantities. If your drug or product is controlled, you need a Home Office licence to export and import it. This is in addition to any domestic licence you will need to possess the drug in the UK.

Temperature Controlled 

Barrington Freight can provide temperature-controlled haulage services, including chilled vehicles and other optimum transport solutions. We can offer designated areas for quarantined/high-level security storage operated according to the strict government security guidelines to provide you with peace of mind.

Pharmaceutical Shipping Options:

Air Freight

Air freight shipping offers safe, secure, and quick options for pharmaceutical products, including temperature controls. 

We have the capacity to move large amounts of air freight with our fleet of vehicles and trailers and can collect and deliver to airports all over the UK and Europe.

Road Transport

Urgent dedicated road transport is an excellent way for clients to send and receive pharmaceutical products safely and swiftly. We can offer a two-person courier service for critical items for delivery.

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Freight Medical Equipment

Medical equipment freight can also be forward to and from the UK. We ship all types of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals worldwide, ensuring safe and efficient delivery that adheres to guidelines and requirements.

For more information about our pharmaceutical freight services, reach out to our sales team on 01268 978660 or email [email protected].