Best Practices for Customs Clearance

That Make Your International Shipment Customs Hassle Free

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Write a Shipment Description Customs Loves

When filling out any information for international shipments make sure that everything is clearly printed or written. Delays or failure to deliver packages are often due to poor writing making address unclear or the description of contents unable to be deciphered.

The most common reason for customs delays is an inaccurate or vague shipment description. When the description of the contents in your international shipment is precise and well-written, the risks of your package being delayed, held or even rejected at customs dramatically decrease. That's why we InstantShip created a best practice guide that shows you how to provide a shipment description customs loves.

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Shipment Description Customs Loves

Determine the Type of Your International Shipment

Is it a document or a commodity? Although different countries classify documents differently, in general, a document has no commercial value and is typically characterized by typed, written or printed matter on paper or other material. While a commodity has commercial value or is part of a commercial business transaction.

If it is a document, claim it as "a document with no commercial value". That's it! However, your documents should be sent in an envelop rather than a box so that customs officials can see that you are not sending any objects in question through the mail. There are shipping envelops capable of accommodating thicker documents available so there is no need to 'box' any document you are sending internationally.

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Claim Shipment as a Document

Understand Commodity Classifications

Life is too short for complicated regulations like Harmonized System (HS). That's why we have made it super easy when your shipment is a commodity (non-document), and all you need is to provide us the following details:

What is it? e.g. Nintendo Labo Robot Kit

How many are there? e.g. 10 of them

What's the commercial value of each? e.g. $34.88

What's the weight of each? e.g. 5.5 lbs or 2.5 kg

What is it made from? e.g. China

What is the intended use? The customs wants to understand the relation between you and the recipient. Are you sending it as a gift to a friend or a family member? Are you send it to a customer who bought it from you? Are you returning it to a merchant who sold it to you? Are you donating it to a nonprofit organization? What you claim here must be truthful and make common sense. If you are sending 10 Nintendo Labo Robot Kits but claiming they're gifts, most likely your package will face a hard time going through customs clearance.

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Claim Shipment as a Commodity

Compare and Get the Best International Shipping Rates

Whether shipping packages to your friends, family or customers overseas, international shipping rates quickly add up. Here at InstantShip we make it easy for you to compare international shipping rates for various sized packages and various methods of shipping. Our UPS shipping calculator and USPS shipping calculator allow you to calculate, compare and choose the most budget friendly shipping option before you actually ship your package.

We do all of the work for you so that you know all of the international shipping options right up front. The best part is that you can print out prepaid shipping labels at home or in your office. We have new international shipper signing up with us every day so why don't you give us a try and see how much money you can save when shipping internationally.

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Compare and Get the Best International Shipping Rates

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