5 items to check for when shipping overseas

5 items to check for when shipping overseas

A common misconception when shipping overseas is not having to handle documentation. Going through a freight forwarding company like iContainers does not mean all of the work is done for you. It is important to do your research on any permits, licensing, or special documentation that is required.

Ensure you have the required licenses when shipping overseas

When shipping overseas, you need to double and triple check that you have all of the documentation you need to ship the items you’re sending without a permit, license, or special document. Every country has its own rules and regulations that must be followed. Another factor to consider is the origin as well. What could be required when shipping from the US, for example, to Spain could be different when shipping from France to Spain. Without doing the proper research when shipping overseas, you could be subjected to customs holds, exams, delay related charges, and possible rejection of your shipment.

The easiest way to find the right information is to do an Internet search. But when doing so you risk the information being out-of-date or no longer accurate. So although the Internet might say one thing, it’s best to call the actual port of destination to get the most recent, correct regulations to avoid any mishaps. 

When searching for rules and regulations you should be sure you enter the specific items being shipped. Here are 5 examples on what you should verify when conducting your search. 

1. Packaging

Different household goods require different ways of being handled to make sure they are secured, correctly packed and can be moved easily. Because there are different household goods varying in shapes, sizes and weights, it is important to verify this information. Read our article on 8 common mistakes when moving internationally to find out what not to do!

2. Certifications

Depending on what you are sending, it can be necessary to provide certification of goods. It is wise to make sure you have everything you need before your shipment leaves its origin port to avoid delays at the destination and the various shipping delay charges.

3. Licensing

Export regulations may require an export permit/license or license exception based on the household goods, shipping destination, value, or receiver. Automated Export System (AES) filing for shipments valued over $2500 or those that require an export license are required under the Foreign Trade Regulations.

4. Documentation

The type of documents needed for importing or exporting transactions depends on the type of goods you are exporting. The documentation may vary depending on the country of origin or destination. The shipper should verify they have all of the documentation needed on their own. For more, read our article on 5 costly errors when exporting and importing.

5. Insurance

It is important to have insurance for your goods based on their proper value. There are multiple countries under embargo where it is not possible to issue insurance for. Those countries are Iran, Sudan, Eritrea, North Korea, Somalia and Cuba.

When shipping overseas, there are many things to consider in addition to the 5 primary items mentioned. Making sure everything is in order is the shipper’s liability. There are a lot of additional custom regulations that should be followed. As well as documents that need to be sorted out. Moreover, you also need to consider the shipment costs and time it will take for the shipment to be released. Just in case there is anything inaccurate or overlooked.

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Klaus Lydsal

"Customs duties play an important role in your international shipment. How they're determined and calculated varies from country to country"

Klaus Lydsal, vice president of operations at iContainers