5 Things you Need to Know about Shipping Internationally

Vanessa Tran , May 26 2021

Cross-border shipping has changed how we transport goods. The increase in express shipping and tracking needs will only rise. But there are some rules when you ship internationally. Things like DDP customs clearance and aggressive shipping rates can overwhelm even experienced shippers


As international parcel shipping grows, more packages are transferring over borders. Having a team of shipping experts on your side is an excellent advantage for your business. So here are five things you need to know about shipping internationally.


1. Know who you’re shipping to


While you might not know the exact person who will be on the receiving end, make sure that you know who you are shipping goods to in the other county. Fraud is easier than ever, and scams happen all too often. Sometimes even creating email addresses, fake companies and have no intention of reimbursing you. 


While common frauds request money, sometimes they will target tangible items because it seems out of the ordinary.


So take a few moments to ensure that where you are shipping your product to is who they say they are. 


2. Know where you’re shipping to


Different countries allow different products and materials across international borders. Things like manufacturing processes used or new status and prohibited products can prevent shipped goods from reaching their destination. And that can back up the entire shipping process! 


Related: Shipping CBD Oil Where you can legally ship CBD


Knowing the where factor can also help in cases like the summer of 2014 when the DHL refused to deliver packages to specific areas. So staying up to date with international news might be in your favor. 


3. Know what you’re shipping


Item being shipped


Knowing the contents of your shipping goes hand in hand with knowing differences in what countries will accept and not. Some products may be safe during domestic shipping, but some carriers might not transport them to specific countries. 


Related: How to Ship Perfume and Makeup the safe way


Things like electronics with lithium batteries have shipping restrictions. At the same time, shipping within the US small things are sometimes overlooked. Yet when you are shipping cargo internationally to places like Europe, they will not allow these things. Plants are another item that doesn’t ship well internationally to every country. 


Is your company looking for a delivery service that makes cross-border DDP shipping more manageable than ever? Let Parcll optimize your eCommerce direct-to-consumer delivery solution. Reliable transit within the US and into Europe and other countries. Always fully visible and tracked.


4. Know what you’re paying for when you ship your package


There are many options when it comes to shipping internationally. Yet not all shipping services offer worldwide tracking. For instance, when a package leaves the US, there is no way to track it outside of the country.


Major carriers come with a price, but it allows for door-to-door tracking. Parcll offers quality shipping with international tracking and is a perfect option for sipping.


Most eCommerce internationally shipped packages weigh around twenty pounds or less. International shipping has created a new need for shipping services. Consolidating these international trips is an excellent way for companies to be affordable and economical way to ship. Customs taxes are also something that can change depending on the mode of shipping. 


5. Know what documentation your shipment needs


Man signing documents


Documentation is where shipping internationally can become highly complicated. There can be other types of paperwork that specific requirements need from different places and different customs regulations. 


Related: Understanding Shipping Sales Tax


Most commonly, items at the very least need a commercial invoice. This specific type of paperwork is a detailed list that outlines the sender, the receiver, and a comprehensive list of the items being shipped and their value.


If you are shipping paperwork or documents only, you don’t usually need to fill out a commercial invoice to ship internationally. 


Depending on what goods you are shipping, there may be other forms that you need to fill out for international shipping. Things like textiles usually need different forms included. 


Here are some other common forms that you may come across while shipping goods across country borders.


  • Certificate of Origin. These certificates are documents that certifies the cargo is being shipped from the same country they are manufactured in. Some of the information you will see on these documents is the shipper’s address, the contents, the receiver’s address, date shipped, and a signature. The Chamber of Commerce will also notarize these documents. 
  • Shipper’s Export Declaration. SED is a document that is required when the value of the shipment is more than $2,500. You might also need some if you are required to have an export license as well. This document is often seen if a package is subject to any International Traffic and Arms Regulations but can be exempt from requirements for specific items. Some items like rough diamonds going to specific countries may be exempt, but others may require this form. The US Census Bureau controls shipper’s Export Declarations. They ensure that these regulations are updated often. 
  • NAFTA Certificate of Origin. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) certificate of origin is similar to the commonly used certificate of origin, where it states the transferring goods are manufactured there. This specific document is used when shipments are moving between the US, Canada, and Mexico. You will also need a NAFTA Certificate of Origin if the international packaged exceeds $1,000 in value.
  • Electronic Export Information. The EEI document is used most often when shipping quantities of electronics internationally. You will also need an Electronic Export Information document if the value of goods is $2,500. Exporters are responsible for providing EEI documents.



There are a lot of small details that matter when it comes to international shipping. And these five things cover some of the basics but are the perfect place to start. Many local pack and ship style stores might seem convenient, but for large amounts of packages can become tedious. 


Is your company looking for a trustworthy shipping company for your eCommerce business? International shipping, tracking included, Parcll is your eCommerce solution for international shipping.

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