When it comes to shipping your goods, whether internationally or locally, it’s important to make sure that you’ve got everything covered before you drop it into the hands of your trusted courier company.
If you’re shipping intentionally, it’s even more important to make sure that you’ve got everything in place so that your package doesn’t get rejected when you drop it off. And there are a lot more requirements for international shipping, such as customs forms, a commercial invoice, and more.
We’re going to share with you some important things you need to tick off before you ship. Think of this as your packing list for shipping anything locally or overseas:
Your Packing List For Shipping
Let’s start with the most important things you’re going to need to know before you mail international products and items overseas. Not all of these will apply, but you’ll need to check to see if your item requires any of the following:
1. Customs form requirements
The most important packing list item to start with is looking into what customs form you might need to fill out. There are certain regulations for sending products overseas and some fees that you may have to pay before you can ship.
Before a product can be shipped overseas, you need to complete the forms. All items have to clear customs, both from the country they are leaving and the country they are arriving into.
At a minimum, you’ll need to complete two customs forms. One from your country and then one for your destination.
Your courier service can give you access to these forms either prior to shipping your product or when you’re dropping it off.
If you’re sending an item overseas you will be required to pay a customs fee. How much you pay largely depends on the country you’re shipping it to and the value of the item you’re shipping. In most instances, the customs fee will be incorporated into the cost of shipping your package when you submit it to your courier company.
You can get an idea of shipping costs and customs fees by checking before you ship internationally.
2. Shipping costs
With international shipments, there will be shipping tariffs that your international courier will charge. This includes the cost to ship your package overseas plus any other additional taxes. It pays to shop around to find the best option and get an idea of your costs before you commit to sending your package overseas.
Shipping costs will vary and things that need to be taken into consideration include how the package is being shipped, how large the package is, whether there is a specific time requirement etc.
Check with your international courier before shipping to confirm your estimated costs.
3. Ideal delivery date
A good item to add to your packing list checklist is the date you want your package to arrive at its destination.
If you need it there as quickly as possible, then an express courier option would be your best bet. If you don’t have a specific timeframe, then you can opt for more standard shipping times.
In some cases, overnight delivery is possible, but there are some countries where that’s not available.
One other factor that can impact the delivery time of your package is customs. This will largely depend on the item you are sending. Your courier company will have information about this.
4. Type of transportation
When you’re considering the delivery date, the type of transportation will be a big deciding factor. There are several ways for your package to be shipped internationally and they include air or sea options. There are three things you’ll need to consider when deciding the type of transportation method you use:
- How soon your item needs to arrive at its overseas destination
- The cost of shipping it by sea or air
- The type of package you’re sending (there are certain restrictions that have to be considered)
5. Type of package you’re sending
Once you’ve got all of this information on your packing list, another thing to consider is that there are restrictions in place based on the type of package you’re sending and what the overseas country accepts.
It’s important to check whether your package is listed as dangerous goods and also what restrictions are in place for the country you’re sending your product to.
If you’re sending a laptop or portable electronic device, it’s likely that it will contain some type of lithium battery. These are classified as dangerous goods. Some lithium batteries can be shipped intentionally, others can’t. Make sure you check with your international courier for information about any restrictions that are in place for your product.
6. Commercial items
If you’re an online retailer and you are shipping internationally or importing products, you may need a commercial invoice as well. Your international courier will be able to provide you with any information you need to get this in place.
One of the biggest things people often forget to do when shipping overseas is investigating their insurance options. It’s important to think about where your product is going and how it’s getting here. What happens if it gets damaged in transit?
If you work with an experienced international courier, the likelihood of damages is minimized, but accidents do happen. Insurance is a great way to ensure that should anything unforeseen occur, you’re able to be compensated and get a new item shipped out immediately without being out-of-pocket.
8. Packaging requirements
The final packing list item that you need to think about is how your item will be packaged. Depending on your product, there may be specific requirements for packaging your parcel that you need to follow. It’s also about making sure that your item doesn’t get damaged in transit. Your courier service will have information about what’s needed.
Ship your international products safely
International shipping requires a little forethought and planning. We hope you found this packing list helpful. Priority Mail Express provides a range of international shipping solutions to suit your needs. Get started today with your international shipments.