When you ship internationally, you will need to provide a detailed description of the contents and its packaging. Are your products perishable? Are they considered dangerous during transport or banned in certain regions? Inaccurate or vague shipment descriptions are some of the most common reasons for customs delays and holds.
As you enter your details on ups.com, our shipping tool will create your shipping label, commercial invoice and other customs documents, making the shipping process as easy as possible. However, locking down the following details about your shipment ahead of time will help you clear customs faster.
- What is it? A thorough written description of your shipment will help you correctly fill in the information needed for customs clearance, i.e. ‘50 5mm stainless steel washers’, rather than ‘hardware’.
- What is the product's intended use? You'll need to describe whether your shipment is intended for sale, resale or manufacture. If your shipment is a document, it does not require a commercial invoice form.
- What is the product made from, and where was it made? This is the country of origin of the product. It may not be the country it is being shipped from – but the country where the product was initially manufactured.
- What is the value of the shipment? Think about the purchase price of the merchandise you're shipping, on a per-unit basis. The price should be listed in the currency of the country it was purchased in.