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Shipping Internationally

When shipping internationally, you go through the same steps as shipping domestically, except that you need to add customs information to your shipment. We use this information to automatically generate the necessary customs forms for your shipment. Declaring customs information is actually a lot easier than most people realize – only two steps are required – you only need to declare the type of contents and provide a list of items inside the package. Continue reading below to find out more about each part.

International

Type of Contents

The first step is to classify your package. Every package has a category that it belongs to. There are 6 categories you can choose from for your package:

  • Merchandise (Tariff number required)
  • Returned Goods
  • Documents (Package must be an envelope less than 1/4in thick)
  • Gift (Not taxed)
  • Sample
  • Other (Description required)
  • It’s important to choose the correct type of package – any package labeled as ‘Merchandise’ can be subjected to import/export taxes, which are called a Tariff. Such packages require that an invoice be included. In addition, any item inside of that package has to have a tariff number attached to it (You can use this tool to find a tariff number for any item you’re shipping by typing in its name into the search box). In other words, if you send merchandise internationally labeled as “Merchandise”, the receiver of the package will have to pay any customs fees, tariffs, etc in order to receive their package.

    Shipments marked as “Gift”, on the other hand, do not require a tariff number and are not subject to import/export taxes, although you still may have to declare their value.

    List of Items

    Okay! You’re halfway there! Once you’ve decided what type of package you’re shipping, you need to add at least one item to it, unless you’re shipping an empty box! Customs officials are very good at determining if a box is empty, and not declaring items is a good way to get your package intercepted and stopped. For this reason, our system will not allow you to ship internationally without declaring at least one item.
    When creating your package on this website, we need the following information from you:

  • Quantity, or Qty, or how many items of this type are in the box
  • Description, such as ‘pen’, ‘book’, ‘sunglasses’, ‘watch’, ‘shoes’, ‘laptop computer’, etc
  • Total Value, (in US Dollars)
  • Total Weight,(in US Ounces [oz]), including packaging – the weight of all your items should add up with the weight of the package
  • Tariff Number (if applicable)
  • Once you’ve added your items to your package and declared their value, you are ready to mail!

    Clearing Customs

    Common Issues

  • The weight of the package (used to determine postage price) is different from the total declared weight of all the items
  • Keeping the item nature back and declaring items as something else
  • Failure to declare items in accordance with requirements, or making no declaration of items, including item name, quantity, and value
  • Undervaluing items, such as “ZERO VALUE”, “NO COMMERCIAL VALUE”.
  • Simply declaring items as “GIFT”, “PERSONAL USE”, “GOODS”, “SAMPLE” in Declaration Form, without naming what the items are
  • Declaring in a non-English language
  • Declaration Requirements

  • Declare clearly and specifically the item name in English, for example, “A Pair of Leather Shoes”, “Two Cotton Shirts”, “Five Cashmere Sweaters”.
  • Declare item values accurately and reasonably, fill out the values clearly, and make sure the declared values are consistent.
  • Goods, samples, advertisements, and gifts sent by non-individuals should include a Performa Invoice, listing consignor and consignee name and telephone number, company name and address, item name, quantity, value and place of origin.
  • customs-formality

    Additional Reading

    Wikipedia article on Tariffs
    eBay Article on international shipping rules