How to Deal with Customs, Duties and Taxes When Shipping to the United States

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When shipping to another country, it helps to know all the laws, taxes and duties that your shipment might be subject to when it enters your destination country. A common occurrence when shipping internationally are delays due to packages being held up in customs. Having the proper paperwork and fees paid can minimize the time your package is delayed.

Here is a look at some of the particulars that you should be aware of if you are going to ship packages into the United States.

Important Tip for Any Country You Ship to

This is an important tip, no matter what country you are going to be shipping cargo into. Do not ship anything that you have sold to a customer as a gift. While this might seem like a good way to avoid duties and taxes, it can come back to haunt you eventually. Lying about package contents is against the law and can land you and your package in trouble.

Another thing to consider is that many rules and regulations that apply to using international postal services are avoided if you use a freight carrier like FedEx or DHL. These services have agents in most large and small countries and are capable of handling the specifics for you. For small shipments, it might be worth using a carrier with agents in your country and your destination country.

What Happens to Your Package when it Arrives in the U.S.

The first place your package is going to go when it arrives in the United States is to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection International Mail Office. Here your package will be inspected and cleared for entry into the United States.

To ensure quick processing of your package, make sure that you have the following information clearly marked on package:

  • Your name and address (assuming that you are the seller)
  • A very detailed description of the contents of the package, written in English
  • How many of each item (or items) is included in the package
  • What the selling cost of the package was in U.S. Dollars
  • The total weight of the package
  • The country of origin of the product. This may differ from your country and that is okay, just be sure to include the information.

Duties and Customs Forms

Any package being sent into the United States must be accompanied by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Declaration form. You can find this form in your local post office. This form, along with the listed information above will be used to assess the duty on your package.

Once the duty is calculated, that cost will be passed on to the local post office of your buyer. Make sure to inform them upon purchase that a duty might be assessed by customs and they will be responsible for it.

Cratex Group has many years of experience in industrial packing and crating of items for international shipment. Contact us today for more information or to have your packages crated for sending.