Customs Advice For International Shipping,

If you’re sending a package internationally for the first time, you may have lots of questions about customs. For example, what is customs? Well, customs are an authority that controls what comes into and goes out of a country. Customs officers are responsible for:

  • Ensuring no illegal or prohibited items get into the country
  • Ensuring that the government receives tax and duty for goods that are liable for charges
  • Nearly every country’s customs rules differ in some way or another, so it’s vital you check up on what the guidelines are for the country you’re sending to, before you send anything.

At Take&Ship we make international shipping, not just affordable, but easy too. When you get an international shipping quote through our shipping calculator, we’ll help you complete any necessary customs documents as part of the booking process.

Here are a few frequently asked questions about customs and what to expect:

    1. How long does it take for a package to clear customs?
    2. How long can a package be held in customs?
    3. How long do parcels take to clear customs?
    4. Package held in customs – what do I do?
    5. Overseas gift tax – what is it?
    6. What is a customs broker?
  1. What is a prohibited item?
  2. What is DDU and what is DDP?

How long does it take for a package to clear customs?

It normally takes a matter of minutes or hours for a package to clear customs, but it can take days or even weeks if there is a problem. Generally, customs will contact the recipient directly with any issues, which is why it’s so important to give accurate and up to date contact details for the receiver during the booking process.

Typical issues which can affect how long an item takes to clear customs, include:

  • Missing or incorrect paperwork
  • Wrongly declared goods
  • Prohibited items
  • Customs fees outstanding
  • Problems contacting the recipient
  • Your shipment has exceeded the value allowed

Please note that the estimated delivery time given for any service or destination does not include delays caused by the destination country’s customs process. When shipping internationally, customs could add additional time to your package delivery so always allow extra time where possible.

How long can a package be held in customs?

If your package is being held in customs due to an issue, it will depend on what the issue is, as to how long it is held. If there is duty to be paid or the shipment has exceeded the value allowed, the package will be held until the balance is cleared.
All goods sent via Take&Ship are shipped Delivery Duty Unpaid (DDU), which means any duty will need to be paid by the recipient when the package arrives at its destination country. If customs cannot reach the recipient for any reason, the package will be held, and further fees may be incurred in storage.

How long do parcels take to clear customs?

If you’re sending a package for internationally, your parcel could clear customs within 24 hrs if there are no issues, so you can help avoid delays by making sure you correctly declare your goods and complete all the necessary paperwork.

However, some delays are unavoidable. Customs will carry out random checks on packages to ensure the contents and the value of the goods has been declared accurately and there’s nothing you can do to avoid this. Backlogs are also common and if this happens all you can do is wait.

If you’re the sender and you see your package is being held in customs, you could contact the recipient just to ensure that customs have been in touch. If they haven’t, please contact our support team via our live chat and we’ll contact the carrier on your behalf.

Overseas gift tax – what is it?

If you’re sending a gift overseas, most countries have a tax-free gift allowance, usually on items under a certain value. However, you should check the customs authority for the destination you’re sending to, as each country has its own rules. If you’re a business sending merchandise overseas, avoiding customs duty by marking an item as a gift is illegal.

What is a customs broker?

A customs broker is a private individual or corporation that charges a fee for handling the clearance of goods through customs. This includes working with the importer to ensure any relevant documentation and licenses are in place and ensuring the correct duty and taxes are paid to reduce delays. A customs broker is typically used by businesses that regularly import and export goods internationally. Some freight forwarders will also offer this as a service.

What is a prohibited item?

Every country has a list of items they don’t allow in (prohibited items). This includes all the usual things you’d expect – aerosols, flammable liquids, livestock or anything considered dangerous or illegal.

However, there are often goods that you might not expect to see on these lists, so check carefully. For instance, you can’t send money to many countries. Likewise, leather products, mobile phones, musical instruments, cosmetics, foodstuffs and tobacco may not be accepted.

Other items may be allowed but come with restrictions or strict guidelines on the packaging. We suggest checking our destination pages, which have information for almost every country. Please also check the Take&Ship prohibited items list, which is a comprehensive list of items we have been advised by our carriers not to ship.

What is DDU and what is DDP?

DDU means ‘Delivered Duty Unpaid’, so when your package arrives at its destination country, the receiver will be contacted by customs to pay any customs duty owed before it will be released. If customs are not able to make contact with the recipient, the package could be returned or delayed, which is why it is essential to provide correct contact information. DDP is (Delivered Duty Paid), which means the sender accepts all responsibility and costs associated with transporting the goods.

All packages shipped via Take&Ship are Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU), which is much easier for the sender as each country we offer shipping to has different rules on what requires customs duty to be paid and how much. It is important therefore to declare the value of your items correctly and provide the correct contact details for the recipient, including telephone number and email address. This information should be provided to us during the booking process on the customs form, which should then be printed and attached to the outside of your box.

Please note that Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) is not something Take&Ship offer.

If you’re still unsure whether you can send your item, please send us a message via WhatsApp and we’ll be happy to advise you.

Customs Advice For International Shipping

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Reduce your Shipping Costs

Take and Ship will take your multiple packages and combine them in one large box. We will cut down the shipping cost as shipping one large parcel costs lesser than multiple small packages. Repacking end up saving money no matter what the overall weight of the items will end up being.

Take and Ship is committed to help you in your international purchases. For this reason, we offer you a consolidation & repacking service.

Consolidation is the process of combining multiple orders, possibly from different online stores onto one tracking number so all your packages will be delivered together but in their original packages. Let’s say you buy the latest Clothes from Trendyol and a pair of T-shirts from Hepsiburada in Turkey. Take and Ship will put the original boxes together to be treated as a single shipment, so you will receive the 2 packages at the same time.

Note: Consolidation does not involve repacking multiple packages into one box