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Dealing with changes to UK regions

In spring of 2021, Shopify introduced a change to the way that the UK is dealt with in Shopify shipping zones. This guide explains the changes and the potential impacts they might have on your shipping rates.

Note that this information is only relevant to merchants who ship to the Isle of Man or Channel Islands and have not already set up specific shipping zones in Shopify for these territories.

What has changed

When adding the UK to a shipping zone in Shopify you will now see various sub regions that are available for selection:

Note that this does not include Isle of Man or the Channel Islands - these areas are UK Crown dependencies. In the past, Shopify would include these as part of the UK, allowing customers to checkout using the UK as the country and an Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey postcode.

Shopify are now taking a harder stance on the status of these UK Crown dependencies and is now forcing merchants to add these areas explicitly in their shipping zones.

What are the implications?

Validation errors on checkout

If you have a shipping zone that only contains the UK (and not explicitly Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey), the first issue your customers will run into is a validation error on checkout:

The solution here is to add Isle of Man and Channel Islands to the same shipping zone in Shopify:

This will then show these UK Crown dependencies in the country dropdown on Shopify checkout:

Customers will have to select the correct country in order to pass the validation in the postcode field. It is quite possible that you may have customers from these territories contact you asking why they cannot select "United Kingdom" as their country. Unfortunately there is no way around this that we know of and you will have to explain that this is a change from Shopify.

Missing rates

You will also potentially need to make some changes within Postcode Shipping in order for rates to appear for customers in these UK Crown dependencies.

If you have set up a Shipping Zone in Postcode Shipping that includes the UK as a country (but not specifically also the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey), this will now no longer return rates. This will be the case even if you have specific Regions set up in that Shipping Zone for those areas:

How to solve it?

To solve this problem you will need to take two steps:

First, add the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey to your UK Shipping Zone (in Postcode Shipping):

Next, within this Shipping Zone you will need to create specific Regions for the Isle of Man and Jersey and Guernsey. If you do not do this the customers will see no rates, other than those that are in a catchall Region for this Shipping Zone.

When creating these new Regions you should ensure that you set the country for the Region correctly:

You can then add the specific rates they want for these areas under these Regions.

Remember - if you don’t want to have to set up the rates (again) for each of these new Regions you can duplicate an existing Region that has the correct rates and change the title, country and postcode rules as required.

In summary the solution for merchants who want to continue to ship to customer in IoM and the Channel Isles is:

Add Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey to your current UK shipping zone in Shopify and save.
In Postcode Shipping, add these UK Crown dependencies to your UK Shipping Zone.
Within this Shipping Zone, duplicate the Region/s that you currently use to target customers in these locations.
Within these duplicated Regions, select the correct country and remove any non-relevant postcode rules.

See this scenario for more guidance: George wants to setup rates for UK + Jersey, Guernsey, & Isle of Man

Shipping widgets

If your store uses a shipping widget, you may find that these are no longer working correctly or are working differently. We do not supply any widgets as part of the Postcode Shipping app so you would need to contact the developers of the widget or theme in order to find a fix.

We wanted to flag this issue though as it is a common source of confusion.

Updated on: 14/03/2023

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