As an online retailer, being able to manage your international shipping process fast, and to regulation, is very important. If you are looking to expand your online business to an international market, understanding the shipping process is a critical piece of your strategy.
Because regulations vary by country, shipping internationally can be a complex and involved undertaking. It is the responsibility of the seller to ensure all rules are met, which translates to time and effort if you have never done it before. Regardless of the carrier and mode you choose for your shipment, they all require a detailed process for shipping overseas:
- Check Country Regulations
Once you have decided the countries you want to ship your merchandise to, you need to make sure they are not embargoed. In addition, certain countries have specific regulations about the goods that are allowed in, or have restrictions on the amount of goods that can be sent. It is the seller’s obligation to research and understand each country’s requirements.
- Prepare a Commercial Invoice
A commercial invoice is needed by the foreign customs authorities to prove ownership and arrange for payment. It is important to describe the goods being exported as best as possible, because incorrect or incomplete information is the most common reason for customs delays.
- Fill Out International Documentation (which is something SkyPostal handles for free)
Proper documentation is needed to clear customs. The customs documentation will vary depending on what you are shipping, and where you are sending it. Major carrier services have the customs forms needed on their websites so they can be filled out online.
The most commonly required documents are the Commercial Invoice, Export Declaration, Certificate of Origin, Toxic Substances Control Act form, and the U.S. FCC Form 740.
- Estimate the Duties and Taxes
Most international shipments are subject to duties and taxes imposed by the importing country. The items being shipped must have the proper declared value, to avoid a duties and taxes dispute. The amount of duties and taxes are based on the product value, trade agreements, and the product’s Harmonized System (HS) code.
The Harmonized Code ensures the correct duties and taxes have been applied by categorizing the goods in a worldwide system used for customs and tariffs. It also determines whether the item qualifies for preferential tariff treatment under trade agreements.
- Pick the Shipping Method
How quickly you want your package to arrive will determine the cost of shipping. Companies like UPS and FedEx have air, ocean, and ground services to help shipments get delivered faster depending on how much you are willing to pay. The USPS is usually slower with international deliveries, but the shipping cost will be lower. The perfect middle ground for many companies is SkyPostal, which offers the largest private delivery network in Latin America.
SkyPostal provides reliable 5 to 8 day service to Latin America at rates competitive with the USPS. With over 40 years in the logistics business, SkyPostal is the international logistics expert. Working with us can help eliminate lost merchandise in customs, incorrect documentation, and high transport costs.
If you are looking to grow your company in Latin America, contact us today or visit our website at www.skypostal.com to find out how we can help you expand your business and deliver your merchandise correctly and on time.