One of the biggest challenges of international shipping for merchants is understanding taxes and duties and the required customs paperwork. Every country has its own regulations and tax structures for international trade that it can become difficult to navigate. As a merchant, you want to provide transparency to your customers as much as possible so they feel comfortable and confident ordering from you.

At Easyship, we understand these pain points and work closely with our platform partners to update our tools in order to provide a streamlined solution. Industry leaders are making adjustments to better serve their customers and support taxes for cross-border shipping to limit delivery issues.

In the past, if a tax ID was required, buyers would often include it in various fields on the shipping label, making it difficult to find, and in some cases, they would forget to include it, causing their shipments to be delayed or rejected.

To solve this problem, Easyship has now included a mandatory Tax ID (TIN) field in the shipping label form for countries that require it for import. This will provide merchants and customers with a streamlined way of including this important information and will help avoid shipping issues as we move into the busy holiday season.

In this article, we’ll cover the details you need to know about mandatory Tax ID fields as well as some of the countries that will require a tax ID for imports.

What is a Tax ID?

A Tax ID number (TIN) refers to a series of various identification numbers that governments use to identify individuals and organizations for tracking tax obligations.

  • In the United States, a TIN is issued to individuals as a social security number and for businesses and non-profits as an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  • In Brazil, the Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas or Natural Persons Register (CPF) is used for individuals while the CNPJ (Cadastro Nacional da Pessoa Jurídica) used for businesses. A business entity may have several CNPJ depending on the jurisdictions they are operating in.
  • In South Korea, there are two types of IDs that can be issued: a Resident Registration Number and a Business Registration Number.

A New Tax ID Field for Shopify Merchants

In order to help customers comply with various country regulations around Tax IDs, Shopify has introduced a new mandatory Tax ID field. This will help merchants assure they collect this information from customers from specific countries. It also provides clarity about where to include this information as previously customers would add it to different fields.

Several countries now require that the Tax ID be required on all shipping labels for imported goods. For example, in early 2020, Brazil implemented a new regulation that required all shipments into Brazil include the buyer’s Tax ID on the shipping label and customs declarations. If these are not included, buyers risk having their shipments returned or confiscated.  

There are several countries that will require a Tax ID for incoming shipments, including:

  • Russia
  • India
  • Taiwan
  • South Korean

Easyship Streamlines Compliance

Syncing Tax ID Requirement for Shopify Merchants

In our recent update, Easyship has streamlined the process of syncing the Tax ID requirement for Shopify merchants. When you or a customer is filling out the shipping label form, there will be a Tax ID (Required Field) for countries where it is required for incoming shipments. This will automatically sync from your Shopify account to assure that all the necessary information is included for the shipment. Customers will no longer need to worry about where to include the Tax ID number on the shipping label.

Make Sure to Include Tax ID Information for the Peak Season

This peak season is like no other in history. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the eCommerce and logistics industries in unprecedented ways. Forecasts expect it’ll be a record-breaking season for eCommerce with couriers pushed to their capacity. This is why it’s critical that merchants and retailers are prepared and understand the rules and regulations for their international customers.

Here are a few quick tips to make sure you are prepared:

  • It’s always good to review the tax and duties country regulations. Our handy country guide can help you look up the regulations for specific countries.
  • Clearly communicate with your customers about the information they need for international shipping.
  • Review how to properly fill out a customs form for international shipping.

International shipping requires diligence and attention to detail to assure a smooth delivery of goods. At Easyship, we work closely with our partners like Shopify to make sure we’re streamlining all aspects of shipping for our customers. With the updated mandatory Tax ID field, customers now have clarity on when this information is required and don’t need to worry about where to place it on a shipping label.