Customs is a public administration authority, which is in charge of controlling of what comes into and goes out of a country. They conduct fiscal, security, and health controls as well as international trading statistics.
The responsibilities of customs authorities can be summarised in:
- Making sure no illegal or prohibited goods enters the country.
- Making sure that governments receive taxes for goods that are subject to duties and taxes.
Every country has customs rules that are different in one way or another. They are usually located on the border, coasts and airports for the most part.
Every import or export of a product is verified by a customs control which might incur the payment of fees and/or tariffs.
Shipping internationally - the complete guide
If you need assistance with international shipping, please do not hesitate to contact us, we have a specialist team for international shipments.
Here we have prepared a guide about the most important things you need to keep in mind before shipping to another country:
Make sure you can send the item
Each country has a list of items that they do not allow to enter their country. Generally speaking, the list is quite similar in each case, such as aerosols, flammable liquids and animals.
However, there are some goods on the list of which you may not be aware. In fact, depending on the destination or origin of the goods, some items might not be allowed.
Complete correctly the customs invoice
When internationally sending an item, you might be required to complete a customs form declaration. This document is mandatory, failing to provide such document will result in delays, increase in shipping costs and, ultimately, the return of the shipment to the sender.
The customs document has the objective of allowing the customs authorities to understand:
- the content: what is contained within the package
- possible duties: if duties or taxes are owed by the recipient
Packlink has prepared a complete guide on how to fill out the customs document as well as a easy-to-use template that will sent in the confirmation email, for countries when you are required to complete the customs form. Please check our complete guide here:
Provide detailed description of all items in your parcel
When completing the customs form, it is essential to provide a clear and honest description of the items that are in your parcel.
Personal belongings are not good enough, for example, and can cause your parcel to be retained and a request for further assistance from customs may be initiated.
Make sure you indicate the correct value
You have to be extremely accurate when declaring the value of the items of your parcel.
Indicate always the real value even if you are sending something as a gift. Customs authorities will check what type of goods you are sending and apply the corresponding duty.
Print 3 copies of the customs invoices and attach them to the parcel
Print out 3 copies of the customs documents and attach them in a clear plastic envelope, wallet or envelope marked ‘Customs’ to the outside of the package.
Provide accurate receiver contact details
This is so customs authorities can make contact with the recipient when the package arrives, so they can arrange for any customs duty to be paid and the package can be delivered.
Failure to provide correct contact information can result in the package being held and/or returned to sender.
Inform the receiver of possible duties to be paid
Providing the correct contact information is vital. Packages shipped using Packlink couriers are shipped with the delivery duty unpaid (DDU). This means any customs duty will need to be paid by the recipient.