- Find out which items may have restrictions, in addition to duty & tax information on Easyship's Countries page
- For many express couriers, insurance is already included in the shipment if the value of your item is under $100 USD
- Once you've got your paperwork, services, and shipping label sorted, all you need to do is attach it to your package, give it to the courier, and you're set
Nervous about shipping something internationally? We can help!
All it takes is a little preparation and making sure you have the right documents for first-timers.
Table of Contents
Step-by-Step Guide on Shipping Internationally
Here's a step-by-step guide to making it happen when shipping internationally, so you know exactly what to expect.
1. Check to make sure what you're sending has no restrictions, and if duty and tax apply.
We highly recommend doing a quick check to make sure that you can actually send your item to your destination country. By skipping this step, you might send something that's restricted (or outright banned), which will cause delays in deliveries or at worse, get your shipment destroyed in customs.
Also, knowing if any duty or tax applies to your shipment will give you a heads-up on any additional costs that you or your recipient may have to pay.
Find out which items may have restrictions, in addition to duty & tax information on our Countries page.
2. Find a courier.
Did you know there are over 7,500 courier companies in the US alone? While it's tempting to stick to the ones you know, it may be more affordable for you to find a regional courier that specializes in delivery to your destination country.
For example, Aramex is a dependable courier that focuses on the Middle East and Southeast Asia, while SkyPostal has the largest private courier network in Latin America.
To quickly find a courier to your destination country (without having to open multiple tabs on your desktop) get a quote from Easyship and compare rates instantly.
3. Ensure you have the correct contact information for your recipient.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but having accurate contact information such as the mailing address, phone number, and email address will help reduce the chances of a delayed or failed delivery.
While providing a local phone number and email address to the courier may be optional, doing so can make it easier for the courier at the destination to contact the recipient should there be any issues with processing or missed deliveries.
4. Fill out the required paperwork.
No matter which courier you end up choosing, they will provide you with a commercial invoice to fill out.
While the form might look a bit scary and overwhelming, the most important information you'll need to provide is a description of the item and how much it costs.
The customs officer at your destination country will use this document to:
a) Find out what's inside the package
b) Determine if any duty and tax apply to your shipment.
PSA: Easyship automatically generates all required documents (yes, including commercial invoices!) while you're creating shipping labels so you don't have to ever have to do it manually!
5. Sort out the duty and tax on your shipment (if applicable).
If you're aware that duty and/or tax is applicable to your shipment, your courier of choice may offer a service (DDP - Delivery Duties Paid) that allows you to pre-pay this amount when you pay for your shipping label.
Speaking from experience, we highly recommend that you take this option because it will reduce the time your package spends in customs and any additional fees associated.
6. Consider extras such as tracking and insurance.
Depending on the courier you choose, it may cost extra to add a tracking option to your shipment.
However, we do believe it's a service worth adding, especially if you're worried about an international shipment getting lost. Opting for good tracking will let you know if there is a hold-up in customs, or at the very least, give you a good idea where your package could be if it ends up lost.
For many express couriers, insurance is already included in the shipment if the value of your item is under $100USD. If you're sending something pricier than that, it may be wise to include insurance for a nominal fee (on average, about 3% of the value of the item).
Learn more about shipping insurance.
7. Attach your shipping label, and hand over your package to the courier.
Once you've got your paperwork, services, and shipping label sorted, all you need to do is attach it to your package, give it to the courier, and you're set!
See, it's not as hard as you think! The best part is that many of these steps can be automated using Easyship.
Sign up for your free account to start shipping like a boss.