Shippo Supports international shipping globally!
Shipping your packages across borders can be a bit complicated. That's why Shippo has been working hard to make this process easy. In this article, we will go over how to manage international orders, declare customs, and set you up to ship your packages across borders successfully.
Managing International Orders
Due to the nature of cross-border shipping, managing your International labels requires a few extra steps. But, not to worry! Shippo has made this process easy.
To get started:
- Select an International Order from the Orders page, or create a new one.
Declaring Customs Items
A Customs Declaration is the process of declaring the items you ship across international borders. Items shipped across international borders are generally subject to import/export taxes, customs duties, and fees.
Without entering the required information, your package may not be accepted through customs.
- Select an International Order from the Orders page.
- Orders generated from one of your stores will be pre-filled in with items from the E-Commerce or CSV orders (as long as the order has line items) by default.
If creating an International label manually, you must add customs items.
To do so:
- Open the Customs Items dropdown and click Add customs item.
- Enter the following fields:
- Description of the Item
- SKU (if your item has one)
- Weight per item
- Value per item
- Country of Origin
If the shipment qualifies for Paperless Trade, you'll see this banner at the top and will not need to print a physical Commercial Invoice
Learn more in our in-depth article: Item-level Customs Information
Required describes the items in the shipment. Shippo defaults to Merchandise.
- Return Merchandise
- Humanitarian Donation
Required refers to who is responsible for any Duty/Tax/VAT to be collected. Shippo defaults to DDU (bill recipient). USPS does not enable DDP for their shipments. All USPS international shipments will be sent DDU.
- DDU (bill recipient)
- DDP (bill sender)
- FCA (Free Carrier) - Free Carrier means that the seller fulfills its obligation to deliver when it has handed over the goods, cleared for export, into the charge of a carrier that has been named by the buyer at the named place or point. The seller is usually not responsible for paying shipping costs. The buyer must clearly specify the precise point of delivery in the contract of sale or carriage.
Name of the authorized person
Required is the responsible person providing customs details and is generally the person filling out the declaration. For USPS, this defaults to the Sender Address name and cannot be changed.
Tax ID/VAT codes determine how a merchant will be assessed for tax purposes. Check out our article to learn if your shipment requires a Tax ID. Learn more
Now that you have purchased your international label, you can download and print your label and commercial invoice. A commercial invoice is a physical document that's created from the Customs Declaration and used to declare the items shipping in the shipment.
Generating your Commercial Invoice
Once you have purchased your international label with declared customs, you can generate the Commercial Invoice by:
- Locating the purchased international order from inside the Orders Page.
- Click the More Options ellipsis on the right of the order.
- Select Download Commercial Invoice.
Ways Shippo provides the commercial invoice to users:
- Included as part of the actual shipping label.
- Included on a separate page(s) as part of the shipping label download.
- Sent electronically through a process called Paperless Trade, where a physical copy is not required. Shippo sends the customs declaration information to the carrier electronically.
What to do with the Commercial Invoice?
For USPS international shipments, users do not need to include a Commercial Invoice with their shipment, so they will not see a button to download one.
All necessary customs information is included with the USPS label automatically:
- USPS First Class Package International labels will be a single page with the details of the customs included right on the label.
USPS Priority Mail International labels are varied depending on the shipment's specifications:
- The label file may be a single page with the details of the customs included right on the label.
- The label file maybe two pages; the first is the label, which users should apply to the box as normal, and the second is a copy for their records.
- The label file may be three or four pages — the first is the label and should be put on the box, the second (and third) should be included in a pouch on the outside of the package, and the final page is for their records.
Please print the entirety of the created file—the label and commercial invoice should be included in that file.
The first page will be the label. The next three identical pages will be the commercial invoice—these need to be attached to the outside of the package inside a clear pouch. The fourth page can be kept for your records.
UPS labels that print "EDI" on the label are eligible for Paperless Trade.
For FedEx, Canada Post, and DHL Express, the Commercial Invoice is not included with the labels. To include the commercial invoice to your label, you must click Download Invoice to print the Commercial Invoice after downloading your label.
It is best practice to print three copies of the commercial invoice, sign them, and include them in a pouch on the package. DHL Express labels will also include an "Archive Doc," which is sometimes requested by DHL employees but is not required, but we suggest keeping it on hand during drop-off/pick-up in case it's needed.
Learn more in our in-depth article: Customs Declarations and Commercial Invoices for International Packages with Shippo
For details on the ins and outs of international shipping, please reference our guides on:
- Carriers Supported by Shippo
- Generate a Commercial Invoice
- Using Tariff Numbers and Harmonized Codes
- Paperless Trade Documents
- Troubleshooting International and Military Addresses