If you close family member or friend is living abroad than international shipping of gifts must be an important agenda for you. Gifts involve a lot of emotions and tradition and you will like your gift to reach the destination safely without any problem.
There are a few basic things you must know before you plan to send a gift by international shipment. When sending gifts by international shipping you should familiarize with various tips and tricks to ensure that your gift reaches the destination safely.
1. Destination Country
There are different countries who treat gifts differently, many countries allow duty-free/tax-free for shipment of gifts if their value is less than a specified value. This special entry status is just for gift hampers and there is typically a maximum dollar amount. If any item exceeds the gift allowance than that gift becomes dutiable.
You can check the destination country requirement prior to shipping, like the USA allows gift exemption of value USD $100 or less, while Canada gives a gift exemption if the value of the gift is CAD$60 or less. In South Africa, you can receive only 2 gift consignments a year. India has a limit of Rs. 50,000 for the value of the gift which is tax-free.
2. Prohibited Items
Every country has its own list of item that is allowed and which is not allowed as gifts. So before buying a gift read these guidelines for the country where you wish to ship your gift.
It should also be kept in mind that even some courier services don’t allow certain items. Items like alcohol, flowers, glass, tobacco items, perishable food items requiring temperature control are prohibited by some courier services whereas some items courier service may choose to ship but will not guarantee safe shipment.
Some of the items which are restricted for shipping are Alcohol, Perfumes, Lighters, Lithium batteries, Photographic supplies.
3. Custom Requirement for shipping internationally
When you complete your order you will be asked to fill a custom form. Check the destination country’s custom web page to know about the requirements of the gifts you can send.
While filling the custom form and have to specify everything clearly about the contents to avoid any further hassle. While filling the custom form you have to give absolute detail, just writing as a gift will create a problem so make it little more clear like books, toys, candy and so on which will generally not create any problem.
Plus you have to write the monetary value of the gift in custom form, the higher the amount the higher is import fees that you have to pay. So first check the limit that country has for tax-free entry. The customs form will also ask you for the phone number of the recipient so message the giftee to get this information.
4. How to pack you international ship gift
For packing guidelines first is choose a new box which will provide maximum protection to your gift. Don’t use any gift-wrapping as outer packing you can use gift bag for packing purpose.
You packing should be strong enough so that your gift is able to withstand the long journey. The shipping companies will protect and care for your shipment but it’s smart step to make sure you include plenty of padding, you can buy packing material or use recycle things like newspaper, plastic grocery bags to safely pad your gift.
5. Ship your gift via courier
You can ship your gift via a professional courier service like UPS, FedEx, USPS, and DHL and can track its progress just by logging in their tracking portal. But if you can just avoid using these courier service as they will charge your giftee a custom handling fee and import fee, sometimes they also ask for passport information.
If you don’t want to use courier service you can use international gift delivery websites, where you just have to choose the item and rest will be taken care of by the company. They offer a vast variety of products from flowers, cakes, customized gifts, gifts baskets, and gift cards. These online shops will be cheaper than international shipping cost.
6. Consider purchasing insurance
If you are sending a unique and valuable gift then you should consider buying insurance. As if something happens to your gift in the way then you will be grateful that you have insured it.
Some of your courier services provide free protection cover up to certain value, so take care if your gift can be included in the protection cover.
7. Mark your package with instruction for carriers
The people handling your package doesn’t know what is in the package, so it’s wise to take time and indicate the content so that the handling person will get to know.
Let the handling person know if your contents are fragile or should not be bent. This step will ensure that the package reaches the destination safely.
8. Consider how long it will take to arrive
Don’t send any perishable food items which may spoil during transit as international shipping takes a lot of time. If you do want to send food items then you have to take care of certain basic needs while shipping food items.
There is a lot of courier or the recipient country who restrict certain type of food items so first check the country’s customs website.
9. Care while sending cash
Its very common money being sent as gifts and get stolen in the way. So take extra care while sending money as gifts, make sure that the money is not visible in the envelope and don’t label your package as cash.
10. Include a return address
It’s better to be safe than be sorry! You must include return address outside and inside your package, in case there is some problem then you can get the gift back rather than losing it forever.