7 Things to Remember When Shipping Internationally

Shipping goods internationally can be a great opportunity to expand your company’s reach. However, it can also seem like a daunting task. To help you out in your shipping endeavors, we have put together a list of 7 things you absolutely need to think about when shipping internationally.

Customs Regulations

When shipping products from one country to another, you will be dealing with customs departments. Absolutely all products will need to clear customs in order to determine the product is allowed in the country, as well as if all fees and charges have been correctly paid. Typically, you will need to properly fill out 2 customs forms – one from your country and one from the country to which you are shipping your product.

Fees & Tariffs

The Customs Department also charges a fee on product shipped internationally. The fee is dependent on the value of your products, as well as the country that they are being shipped to. Make sure you know these customs fee rates.

You should also consider the tariff rates for the shipping companies. There will be a cost, not only to ship the products, but also for any freight taxes that may be applicable. Browse the different shipping companies to find out what they will charge for this fee.

Restricted Items

Each country has a different list of restricted items. Check to make sure both the countries you are sending to and from do not have your product on their restricted products list. If you end up trying to ship an item that is restricted, the customs personnel may restrict it indefinitely.


Each country requires that products are packaged according to their rules and each country has different regulations on packaging. Know what these rules are and carefully pack and label your goods. If you aren’t sure how to do this, consider a shipping company that also takes care of packaging.

Transit Time

As you may already suspect, international shipping will take longer than domestic shipping. There are more chances for delayed shipping, so it’s important to plan your shipment carefully. Keep in mind all the possibilities for delays, as well as the fact that not all countries offer overnight shipping.


Though you may be temped to save a dollar or two, insurance is very important for international shipping. Damage risk is high. Consider, would you be able to replace items if they are damaged in the shipping process?

Mode of Transporation

If you are shipping overseas and aren’t sure whether your want to use air or sea transport, consider these three things: time, cost and product. Air transportation is much faster than sea, but it is also much more expensive. Conversely, sea transportation is a cheaper option, but takes much longer. Also, if you have a product that is fragile or will not endure long trips in containers, then shipping by sea is not an appropriate choice.

When it comes to international shipping, there are lots of rules, regulations and aspects that need to be addressed. Do your homework before sending a product overseas to ensure your product effectively arrives to its final destination.

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