Shipping internationally can be difficult, especially when you take customs into account. However, you can make the job easier by using these tips. While these tips can help you, they should not be used when exporting packaging and shipping overseas for business, especially large machinery.
1. Research country-specific regulations. Foreign countries can have very specific, seemingly strange regulations about what cannot be shipped inside such as matching shoes or calendars. Use online resources like UPS to check the regulations of specific countries before shipping.
2. Understand international shipping costs. Shipping costs can be high, which can present a problem when sending packages, especially if you are sending a lot. Take the time to compare the prices of different courier services, for which you can use comparison services to find the best deal and avoid spending more than you ought. Also, you should get some quotes for deliveries so you can get the best quality service.
3. Secure your packaging. Quality courier services will always make sure to secure your packages to minimize damage; and in case of damage, will compensate you. You need to take steps to secure your package yourself. Use hard cardboard boxes as these are less likely to be damaged. Also, check that the items inside are securely fastened and enclosed. Countries may also have regulations about how items should be packaged; do some research and make sure yours are packaged properly.
4. Include a return address. In case your package cannot be delivered and has to be returned, it will have to be sent back to you. Placing a return address on your package can allow it to be returned free of charge and save you the trouble of any hassles that could emerge.
5. Have your package insured. In the event that your items are damaged, it can help if you had them insured beforehand. This allows you to receive compensation for damages, which can be beneficial if the items were expensive. Insurance might have higher costs, but they provide you with a financial safety net and some peace of mind.
6. Check customs fees. Items sent overseas will have to go through customs, which means paying the customs fees. The fees will be based on the value of the item and its destination. This can vary so you have to do some research on the fees for each country. To clear customs, you will also have to fill out the appropriate forms. This will likely include one form for your own country, and another for the country where you are sending the goods.
7. Account for transit times. When sending your goods, having them arrive on schedule is essential. Read up on the average time it takes for items from your country to reach other countries so you can find the best time to send your packages. You also need to consider the fact that international shipments are more likely to be delayed. When your packages make it to the country you send them to, clearing through customs can add more time before your items make it.
8. Research prohibited goods. Some goods, like liquids and perishable items, are usually not allowed to be sent abroad. Remember not to send such items abroad. Some countries also have their own individual goods prohibited from entering, so do the necessary research before shipping anything to prevent wasting your money.