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What is Customs?

Customs Authorities - What are they?

Customs is an official organism from the public administration, which is 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 resumed in:

  1. Making sure no illegal or prohibited goods comes into the country.
  2. Making sure that government receives taxes for goods that are subject to duties and taxes.

Every country has customs rules that are different in a 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 in shipping internationally please do not hesitate to contact us, we have a team specialist in international shipments.

Here we have prepared a guide about the most important things you need to keep in mind before shipping in another country: 

Make sure you can send the item 

Each country has a list of items that they do not allow into the country. Generally speaking the list is quite similar for every country, such as aerosols, flammable liquids and animals. 

However there are some goods that can be on the list and you don't have a clue about that. In fact depending on the destination or origin of the goods, some items might not be allowed depending on the destination or origin. 

Complete correctly the customs invoice 

When sending internationally 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 cost of the shipment and finally a return to the sender.

The customs document has the objective of allowing the customs authorities to understand:

  1. the content: what is included in the package 
  2. possible duties: if duties or taxes are owed by the recipient

Packlink has prepared a complete guide on how to fill in the customs document as well as a easy to sue template that will find in the confirmation email, for countries when you are required to complete a the form. Please check our complete guide here:

 Customs invoice document and how to complete it


Provide detailed description of all items in your parcel

When completing the customs form it is of a paramount importance to have 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 help at customs for further controls.  

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 can make contact with them when the package arrives, so they can pay any customs duty owed and so the package can be delivered.

Failure to provide correct contact information can see the package held or returned to sender. 

Inform the receiver of possible duties to pay

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 is to be paid by the recipient.



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