How do I fill out a customs form for international shipping?
If you're new to shipping packages internationally, then completing a customs declaration form may seem daunting, but never fear, Parcel Monkey is here! We'll collect all the relevant customs information from you during the booking process and provide you with the correct customs documents to print and attach to your package.
The following guide will walk you through the information you need to provide on your customs declaration form and the level of detail required.
Completing your customs declaration form
You must complete a customs declaration form when shipping abroad. This will include:
The purpose of the shipment e.g. gift, personal belongings, an item you’ve sold etc.
The customs declaration form helps customs officers:
Find out what's inside your package
Check if any customs duty or tax needs to be applied
Decide whether your goods are allowed to enter the country you’ve sent them to
Providing a clear goods description
During the booking process, we'll provide you with a simple form which covers all the customs information required, including a description of the goods you’re sending. The goods description is super important and needs to accurately describe the item you’re sending, including what it's made from and what it's used for.
Here is an example of a clear and accurate goods description:
Men's shirt casual button-down slim-fit cotton wrinkle-free single-needle construction
Here is an example of a bad goods description:
What happens if you provide a bad goods description?
If you provide a goods description which is vague and lacking in relevant details, then it's likely your parcel will be delayed in customs as they don't have the information they need to process your shipment efficiently. Giving a clear and accurate description of the items you're sending is the best way to ensure your package travels through customs smoothly.
Customs form tips:
Be descriptive of all items inside the package. Provide an overview of each individual item, including the use and what it’s made of.
Provide an accurate value for each item. Customs will check if you have undervalued an item to avoid fees. They will charge the correct amount and potentially extra handling fees for miss-declared items.
Print and attach the customs documents to the outside of the package in a clear plastic wallet or envelope marked 'Customs'.
Even if you list the item as a gift, this does not necessarily mean you will avoid any customs duty. The customs officers in the recipient destination will still look at the value of the goods, what the actual contents of the parcel is and check all the other factors that can initiate customs charges.
Ensure all contact information is accurate so customs can contact the recipient to collect any duties owed. All Parcel Monkey shipments are shipped DDU, so it is the responsibility of the recipient to pay any duty.
For some locations, such as India, you may need to complete a 'Know Your Customer' form. This will be provided by customs for the recipient to complete. It checks the recipient is who they say they are and helps prevent fraud.