Understand Documentation

Why is Documentation Necessary?

Export Documentation

UPS uses your import and export documents to properly declare your shipment to customs in both the country of export and the country of import. You can use the information here to help you with the documentation process.

Note: For shipments between member nations of the European Union, no export documentation is required to clear customs when the goods shipped are in free circulation. For goods that are not in free circulation, you will need to complete and include a commercial invoice.

For Document Shipments

A document is generally defined as a written, typed, or printed communication of no commercial value.

When you ship international documents in a UPS Express Envelope, or in any other packaging, you only need to complete a UPS shipping label. Generally, an invoice is not required.

Please consider each envelope or other package as one shipment.

For Non-document Shipments

When your international shipments include items other than documents, typically one original and two copies of a commercial invoice are required, along with the UPS shipping document.

When you are sending multiple packages to the same recipient, only the lead package(1) requires a shipping document(2) and three copies of the commercial invoice(3). Each additional package must have an address label and a UPS Worldwide Services Tracking Label.

Additional Documentation

Other documents may be necessary 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.

For expert assistance, contact UPS

Related Links

Get Help with International Forms

UPS can recommend which forms you need based on a few simple criteria. Forms can be completed online or printed.

International Forms for Export

Use International Tools

Manage the movement of international goods in a timely, efficient, and compliant manner using UPS TradeAbility Services.

View All TradeAbility Services