If you have a package that is shipping outside of the country, then you are required to fill out customs paperwork before it ships. Customs paperwork is required for all packages that ship or you cannot send them. There is no cost to get or fill out the paperwork, and it is provided by the Post Office, however you need to be prepared to complete all of the information before you ship. Although you already have the address and return address on the package itself, the paperwork that goes with the package is not for the recipient. Instead, it is for the customs department as the package crosses the border between the two countries.
Filling Out Customs Paperwork
Customs paperwork requires the following information.
- Your name and address including zip code
- Your recipient’s name and address
- Contents of package
- Value of contents
- Weight of contents
- Total package value
- Weight of package
With the above information, you can fill out the required forms and ship the package. There are restrictions as to what you can ship to different countries. Before you ship, you should check with the Post Office regarding international shipments to see what restrictions your recipient country has. Many countries do not allow shipments of fresh fruit and vegetables or plants to avoid contamination of foreign insects.
Shipping outside the country can be very costly especially if your package is oversized. You may find that your preferred shipping carrier is not the most affordable way to ship packages. You can find rates for overseas shipping online, but package dimensions, weight and value of the package may affect your cost. For packages over $50 in value, getting insurance is wise. Remember, that shipping outside the country can also mean that your package will get tossed around more than usual. Pack carefully and with extra cushioning.