Using Paperless Trade Documents for Shipments in Shippo

For all International Shipments, a customs declaration is required. There is no exception to this rule. For certain shipments, the required documents can be sent electronically. We call that Paperless Trade (PLT)

Note: For general background on Paperless Trade, we recommend reading this Wikipedia article

Shippo supports Paperless Trade for FedEx, UPS, and DHL Express.

When you create a shipment that is eligible for PLT, Shippo will automatically submit the necessary signed Commercial Invoice for you electronically and you will no longer need to print out Commercial Invoices to include in your packages. PLT helps your package arrive at its destination more quickly thanks to reduced inspection time at Customs.

Here is some additional information on how PLT works within Shippo.

First we collect all required information for the customs declaration including the Signee for the document submission. Please see Customs Declarations for details.

If the submission was unsuccessful, you will see this message and you will need to attach your commercial invoice as normal:




A few things to note:

  • This message will always return for UPS shipments created under Shippo's Master UPS Account.
  • Shippo's Master UPS account does not currently support PLT.
  • If you are using a personal UPS account that is set up for PLT, as long as "EDI" prints on the label, you can be rest assured that the information has been sent electronically. EDI stands for "Electronic Data Interface". 

If a shipment is NOT eligible for PLT, it is crucial that the commercial invoice is printed and attached to your package.  Failure to do so can result in returned or discarded packages. 


For a list of countries eligible for PLT, please refer to the list appropriate to your selected carrier:

FedEx: Link

UPS: Link

DHL Express: Link

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