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Shipments to and from other countries can be a confusing process. You may not know what documentation is necessary for the shipment, how to calculate the customs charges, or what steps you need to take at your end. The following tips will help you navigate international shipping and avoid mistakes.

Here are some basic rules about international shipments.


Check product shipping suitability.

Different types of products have other shipping requirements. For instance, food and medicine require a specific temperature range to stay safe during the trip. Make sure you know what your product needs before you ship it internationally.


If you use freight shipping and warehouse management services, this will be checked before offering the goods for sale.


Find a customs broker.

It’s always a good idea to find a customs broker to help you navigate the process. Customs brokers will know what documentation is necessary and can give you an estimate of the total cost. They also have access to special rates for shipments with no taxes, duties, or tariffs.


By building a good relationship you can take advantage of their connections and expertise to ensure your shipments are hassle-free at all times and delays are avoided as much as possible.

Determine the correct paperwork

Before you ship anything to another country, it’s essential to know what kind of paperwork you’re required to have. In the United States, there are two types of international shipments: restricted and not restricted. If your load is not restricted, you won’t need additional paperwork from the carrier or freight forwarder. 


However, suppose your shipment is “restricted,” meaning it includes items on a U.S. Department of Commerce Control List. In that case, you will need a commercial invoice and possibly a Form B4 import permit. Your carrier or the freight forwarder will determine this.


Use technology to determine shipping rates. 

The shipping process is a difficult and complex one to navigate for many, but international shipping carriers and parcel consolidators serve different countries and customers better depending on their needs. According to an IPC survey, 93 percent of shoppers won’t buy anything without knowing the total cost – including delivery fees or duties! Using software with a side-by-side rate shipping feature allows shippers to search all available options to find accurate estimates.


Use DDP – Delivery Duty Paid

DDP is a perfect option when you’re shipping to other countries. It includes the cost in the shipping price, and the customer pays nothing when they receive it. This could be helpful if you’re a company that sells to other countries or if you want to avoid the paperwork and customs charges associated with international shipments.


Don’t Try to Game The System.

Shipping internationally is a serious matter. Trying to get away with something will only lead to your shipment being confiscated or delayed by customs officials, who have been trained on what items are banned from importing into their country. Playing by the rules and incorporating tariffs and other product bans into the equation for international ecommerce can help you avoid these consequences!