5 Things to Know If You Ship Internationally

5 Things to Know If You Ship Internationally

It is essential to know how to ship internationally, whether you are sending a gift or doing business internationally. When a shipment has to cross borders, there are several things to figure out, including customs fees and international laws. The process of preparing your international shipment may not be similar to preparing a domestic shipment, depending on where you are shipping to.

For further enlightenment, here are the things you need to know if you’re shipping internationally.

Know The International Demand for Your Product

Running your own business has its rewards and pains. One big pain is managing international shipments. Despite what you think people living in other countries want, they don’t always want the same things as you. Knowing this is an important aspect of doing business internationally.

Consider yourself warned – ignorance is not bliss when it comes to international shipping, especially if you’re not the one handling it day-to-day. It is therefore very important that you are certain your potential international customers actually need what you are selling before you commit to selling and shipping internationally.

Charges for custom services

International shipments require the customs department to charge a fee. This fee is subject to dramatic fluctuation based on the product’s value and the destination country. A valuable product will charge you more fees. To avoid unexpected charges when shipping goods internationally, make sure to check customs fees for each country first.

This is especially important for UK businesses importing and exporting after Brexit. The rules may be a little different from what you know, so it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the new situation before investing your capital.

Additionally, you will need to complete the necessary paperwork, namely the country-specific customs forms and the country-specific shipping forms.

How Long It Will Take to Arrive

One of the most important things to know if you’re shipping internationally is how long it will take to arrive. To properly plan for transit times, don’t forget that the estimated delivery date is calculated once your package leaves the facility. Usually, the delivery company provides a way for businesses to track their packages online. All you have to do is enter your tracking number, and you can see exactly where your international order is.

Restricted Items, Perishable Goods, Plants and Animals.

Some countries restrict the shipment of certain items, so it is wise to consider this before shipping your order. Please check the restricted items lists of both countries, the one where you live and the one where your shipment is going. If the item you are sending is on one of these lists, customs personnel may restrict it indefinitely.

Also, there are some specific rules that need to be followed in the case of shipping perishable goods. It varies by country of shipment and country of origin what type and how much of a product can be shipped.

In order to ship animals or plants, you must fill out several additional forms in advance. Additionally, you will need a shipping company that is more reliable and experienced in handling living creatures and will take good care of them throughout the journey.


When shipping internationally, the risk of damage is quite high – because of this, getting your shipment insured against damage and accidents is a far better idea, especially if it is extremely valuable. It can save you from a lot of potential financial problems, even if you think it is unnecessary.

Never under-declare the value of your items.

Whether you are shipping internationally via ocean freight, air freight or courier services, the one thing you must always do is include an itemised packing list. This list serves as both a declaration of what you are shipping and as a bill of lading.

Declaring the correct value on your shipping label is an important step towards insurance claims and also guarantees that you won’t accidentally price yourself out of international shipping rates or into trouble with customs somewhere along the way.

Wrapping Up

The whole process of importing and exporting can feel overwhelming for a first-timer. Any mistake will cost you unnecessary time and money.

You need to gather a lot of information. You should familiarise yourself with the documents, packaging, terms, and fees that pertain to international shipping. Once you have this knowledge and a little bit of patience, you’ll be ready to export goods to other countries.