This FAQ list is a quick and simple way to find answers to some of your most frequently asked questions about shipping.
If you don't find an answer to your question here, feel free to contact us.
Weight and size are your first key considerations for proper packaging. Make sure you choose packing materials right for your shipment. Those can differ by product type and its special characteristics, e.g. fragile or non-fragile item. Also, assess the form of your parcel contents: for example, liquids or powders will require special packaging materials.
Below are detailed considerations for your packaging. You can also refer to our packaging guidelines for more helpful advice.
Use a Corrugated Box
If reusing a box, make sure it’s in good condition (no punctures, tears or corner damage). Opt for a box that’s suitable for the contents you’re shipping.
Provide Internal Protection
Cushion the contents of your parcel properly. Fragile articles need separation from each other, and from the box. Make sure you use enough cushioning material to ensure that the contents do not move when you shake the container.
The following items provide the best cushion and protection:
Seal Your Box Securely
Proper closure of your box is just as important as proper cushioning for the safety and security of your shipment. Use strong tape five centimeters or more in width to seal the box.
For fast and efficient delivery, keep these points in mind when labelling your parcel:
Note: If you are using a mailing tube, place the label horizontally, with each end of the label pointing toward the ends of the tube, so the bar code can be scanned.
UPS has established specific weight and size limits for parcels that you send with all UPS services. The restrictions below only pertain to individual packages. There are no limits to the total weight of your shipment or the total number of packages in your shipment.
You have an option to print a shipping label on the shipping confirmation page, once you complete your shipping information and have completed the payment. Also, you will receive a shipping label to your email, so you can print it later.
Dangerous goods are materials or items that can pose risk to health, safety, property or the environment. Hazardous materials are radioactive, flammable, explosive, toxic or corrosive, hence, defined as hazardous and harmful to humans or environment. This is why the transportation of both dangerous goods and hazardous materials is strictly controlled and governed by regulations that define how these have to be handled, parceld, labelled and transported.
Prohibited items are those you are not allowed to ship due to additional restrictions such as certain customs clearance procedures, compliance requirements imposed by government agencies, claims risk, or other regulatory restrictions.
The following items are normally prohibited from shipment to all countries served by UPS:
Certain goods may be accepted to be transported under special conditions and will require a contract with UPS:
The moment you send your goods outside of your domestic market, you are making an international shipment. Among the most important documents, you should complete a commercial invoice for an international shipment. It is one document needed no matter what product you ship. You can download a commercial invoice on the shipping confirmation page and it will already be prepopulated based on your shipping details. Also, you will receive it to your email address, along with your shipping label. Note that you need three printed copies of the commercial invoice: one attached to your parcel (for customs), one inside (for your customer) and one for your own records.
Note – For shipments to or within EU countries, a commercial invoice is not necessary – See question - Is shipping within the EU considered an international shipment?
Other documents may be necessary when shipping internationally based on the nature and the value of the shipment and on the particular rules of the destination country. For example, a certificate of origin is required to clear customs in some countries. You can refer to our export checklist for more information and your local chamber of commerce might help you identify other required documents.
Commercial invoice is a must-have customs document, used as a customs declaration provided by the person or company that is exporting an item across international borders. It is used for all non-document shipments and clearly describes the goods being sold. Note that you need three printed copies of the commercial invoice: one attached to your parcel (for customs), one inside (for your customer) and one for your own records. As you go through the shipping process and enter shipment details, you will be able to download a prepopulated commercial invoice on the shipping confirmation page. Our guide to completing a commercial invoice on your own is always available for download as well.
A shipper is usually the one who pays shipping costs while a receiver pays duties and taxes. All parcels sent through this website will not have the duties and taxes prepaid. This means that the receiver of the parcel is liable to pay any applicable Duty or Taxes associated with it.
However, if the value of your goods stays below the thresholds of the destination country De minimis, your customer won’t have to pay customs charges. This is important to check and also to inform your customer that there won’t be any customs fees.
De minimis refers to a value below which goods can be shipped into a country before duties and taxes apply. For example, currently de minimis to ship duty-free parcels into US is $800.
Customs clearance involves the preparation and submission of documentations required for export or import into the country, customs examination, assessment and payment of any duties and taxes to deliver your shipment. What is good to know is that you might entirely avoid the usual customs clearance and paperwork if the value of your goods falls below the de minimis value. Otherwise, you should make sure you have all required documentation in place and along with your parcel.
The moment you send your goods outside of your domestic market, you are considered an exporter, making an international shipment. Since the European Union countries do not share any customs borders, there is no customs clearance and your shipment within the EU does not require a commercial invoice. (Although many export rules don’t apply when shipping within the EU, it is still considered an international shipment.)
The moment you send your goods outside of your home market, you are making an international shipment. Among the most important documents, you should complete a commercial invoice for an international shipment. It is one document needed no matter what product you ship. You can download a commercial invoice on the shipping confirmation page and it will already be prepopulated based on your shipping details. It will also be sent to you email address along with your shipping label. Note that you need three printed copies of the commercial invoice: one attached to your parcel (for customs), one inside (for your customer) and one for your own records.
Countries part of the EU are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. Since the beginning of 2021, shipments to a EU member state are treated the same way as any other worldwide shipment, meaning they have to clear customs, require additional documentation (such as a commercial invoice), and may be subject to additional fees and duties.
Depending on the delivery destination, an international express shipment to major destinations can take anywhere between one to three business days, and four to six business days with the more economical services. Browse out international shipping content centre for more information.
Your shipment automatically comes with basic coverage for loss or damage up to 85 € at no additional cost and no value declaration required. If you ship something that is above 85 € and you wish to get extra damage or loss coverage, you can opt for a declared value coverage for an additional fee.
Declared value covers the so called replacement value which is equal to the price it takes to replace or repair damaged item with new or restored item of similar quality. The limits of declared value may vary according to the service chosen, and the origin and destination of your shipment.
In this case, it is important to bear in mind that:
There are several payment options available with UPS. You can use credit and debit cards or Paypal to pay for your shipment. We accept American Express, Visa, Discover, Mastercard and Maestro.
You will receive your invoice to your address by post. We are working on making it available to you immediately upon completing a shipment. In the meantime, you can download a receipt immediately after creating a shipment.
Normally, when your customer is not at home to receive a parcel, it will be left at the nearest UPS Access Point location or with their neighbour. The UPS driver notes these details about delivery in the info notice you find in your mailbox.
You can also use UPS Access Point locations as an alternative drop off and delivery option upfront. When you select the UPS Access Point to UPS Access Point delivery, you leave your parcel at the nearest UPS Access Point location when convenient for you and your customer collects it when convenient for them. This also means you ensure the delivery right first time.
Offer flexibility and convenience to your customers by sending your parcels to a local collection point in select destinations. Our UPS Access Point network includes local businesses in the neighbourhood where you and your customers can drop off and collect parcels whenever it is convenient.
To schedule a collection, use our shipping application. Simply select the parcel size and select ‘collect the parcel from me’ – you then have the option to select a time window on the same day or following days.
The shipping time depends on the type of service you choose (e.g. next day or standard). Once the shipment is out on the road, you can use your tracking number with the Tracking tool to see when your parcel is due to arrive. When shipping a product overseas, keep in mind that the shipping time increases compared to shipping domestically.
Whether you send your parcel domestically or internationally, you can rely on the same UPS integrated systems to stay in the know about your parcel. You can track your shipment using the tracking number. A tracking number is up to 25 characters and can be used to track your shipment on our Tracking page.
You can set-up tracking alerts to keep a close eye on the progress of your delivery. All UPS shipments get a tracking number so that you can trace the shipment’s movement until it reaches its final destination. If you’re on the move, you can opt in to get SMS notifications.
A parcel is considered lost if it has not been delivered 24 hours after the expected delivery date and time. Before reporting a lost parcel, ask the recipient of the parcel whether they have checked all exterior doors and other safe locations around their house. The UPS driver usually indicates where the parcel was left.
In case of any parcel loss or damage, please contact us via one of the contact options listed above.
If you select a time and day-definite delivery service, a money-back guarantee is included in the price. With this, you receive an extra commitment on the delivery time and an added assurance that, if your parcel arrives late (unless due to events beyond our control), the shipping costs will be refunded or credited.
For situations where you wish to ensure that your parcel is being delivered on time (something that UPS is proud to be doing anyhow), you can select the option that includes a money-back guarantee.
A few considerations to take into account with the money-back guarantee:
Customers with a Payment Account can initiate a return shipment from their dashboard. Simply log in to your UPS Account and head to “My Shipments”. Select the shipment for which you want to create a return and click “Create return”. All information will be pre-populated for you based on the information in the initial forward shipment. Your customers can drop off the return shipment at a conveniently located UPS Access Point location near them (available in select countries). Alternatively, they can schedule a collection at a date and time that suits them best by going to ups.com or calling UPS and we will collect the parcel straight from their doorstep.
Once you have reviewed your return shipment, you can pay via your Payment account. Should you have more than one payment account associated with your UPS account, you have the option to select the correct account to be billed.
You can choose to have all shipping documents sent to you or directly forwarded to your customer free of charge. By forwarding it to your customer, the shipping label and customs invoice (if it’s an international shipment) will be sent to your customer via email and you can download a receipt for the shipment. Note that you will not receive a copy of the shipping label or customs invoice.
If your return is an international shipment, the original information of the export shipment is maintained. In case your customers is returning only part of the shipment, changes need to be made to the custom declaration in order to reflect the content of the parcel. While you don’t need to pay duties and taxes for this return shipment, two commercial invoices need to be placed inside the box by your customer: that of the initial shipment, and that of the return shipment (modified to match the content of the parcel that is being returned).
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