Assistance in customs clearance and shipments abroad (2023)

Do I have to complete a customs declaration?

The customs declaration is an official document that lists and details the goods being imported or exported. For more information on why a customs declaration is required, click hereHere.

If you are shipping goods (including gifts) to a country outside the UK, you will need to complete a customs declaration*.

You must complete a customs declaration (CN22 or CN23) for all gifts and goods shipped abroad. Shipments sent without a customs declaration (CN22 or CN23) or with an incorrectly completed or incorrectly completed customs declaration may be delayed or returned to the sender.

Parcels containing personal correspondencedon'trequire CN22 or CN23. Personal correspondence includes letters, brochures, catalogues, C4 and below, addressed to an individual (other than the sale of goods), postcards, Braille letters, individual bills/statements. For example, items such as prospectuses/brochures/college catalogs sent with a personalized cover letter addressed to the individual.

*Please note:When shipping goods from Northern Ireland to the EU, no customs declarations are required to ship gifts or goods.

What customs declaration do I need to complete?

Item value up to £270

Item value over £270

Tracked worldwide

Internationally tracked and signed

Internationally signed

CN22aTracked worldwide

Internationally tracked and signed

Internationally signed

International standard

international economy

International standard

international economy


Where can I complete the declaration?

Complete the declaration online on the Click and Drop® website

(Video) How Does Customs Clearance Work?

The best way to find out which customs declaration to complete and fill in the required information is to use our customs-friendly click and drop option With it, you can buy and print compatible address and customs labels. If you run a business, you can also create an account and link it to your marketplace or website.

Below you will find the information necessary to complete an accurate customs declaration in the Click and Drop® system. Having this information ready can speed up your online journey.

Complete the declaration at Post Office Limited®

The necessary explanations can be obtained at any branch of Poczta®.If you're shipping International Standard or International Economy and intend to pay for your shipment at a Post Office® facility, get your CN22 at the same time as it contains a unique barcode.

Please identify and bring with you the information listed below that is required to complete a valid declaration. Having this information ready can help expedite your journey through the Post Office® counter.

How to fill in the customs declaration form?

For items of commercial and non-commercial value, following these instructions will reduce the likelihood of your item being delayed or returned.

(Video) Role of Customs Specialist. Shipping job for export and import cargo in Logistics.

  1. You must complete and submit all relevant fieldsEnglish Franceor intarget languageGrunt.
  2. If you are completing the customs declaration manually, please useBIG LETTERSand make sure the information is legible.
  3. To choosetype of goodsfor content, i.e. H. Sale of goods, gifts, returns of goods, etc.
  4. item descriptionit must be precise, e.g. "men's cotton shirt". Generic descriptions such as "clothing", catalog numbers, or print/design descriptions are not acceptable. Also check out the Click and Drop® update below to see how our system can help you complete this section correctly.
  5. To be specified for each type of item (item) described.Total quantity, weight and value*. Specify the currency if it is something other than GBP, such as CHF for Swiss francs.
  6. Thegrand totalsshould be entered in the boxes.
  7. Sign and dateform. This confirms your responsibility for the item in relation to the contents of the shipment.
  8. Write yoursName and address including zip code, on CN22 if there is room for it, otherwise it should be in the upper left corner of the package. This is required by foreign customs and will help us return the item if it is not allowed in your country. When purchasing a shipment via click and drop, the fields are pre-filled with your name, date and signature.
  9. Make sure the customs declaration form is securely attached to the outside of the package. You must place it on the same side as the shipping label, if the size allows it. However, if this is not possible, we recommend attaching it to the back/back of the item, if space permits. This will facilitate customs clearance and allow you to clear quickly. Items that do not meet these guidelines may experience handling/processing delays. If you are using the CN23 form, place it in a plastic sleeve available from Post Office® branches and attach it to the outside of the package as instructed above. All international CN22 shipments are eligible for our label-free "Collect My Item" service where your local postman will bring you both a shipping label and a customs label to place when you book your item pick-up.

*The value of the item is the value of the goods and should not include shipping and packaging costs.

Click on the image below to see an example of a completed form CN22A.
For use in our International Tracked, International Tracked and Signed and International Signed services.

Click on the image below to see an example of a completed CN22B form (with barcode).
For use on our International Standard and International Economy services

For business/commercial customers

In addition to the information above, we also ask you to provide the following information:

(Video) A step by step guide to import goods into the UK | Customs-Declarations.UK

  • Please add theseHS tariff code (minimum 6 digits).
    • Customs Tariff Codes are an international standard that means product items can be easily identified by all customs systems around the world, regardless of language barriers.
    • The code must be based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System developed by the World Customs Organization. Check out the Click and Drop® update below to see how our systems can help you get a tariff code. Click for more informationHere.
  • If they are known, add themcountry of origin. This means the country where the goods come from, e.g. they were manufactured, manufactured or assembled.
  • "Gift" does not refer to the description/condition of the goods or the content of the trade items.
  • In addition to the correct customs declaration, it is advisable to attach the commercial invoice to the outside, which will make it easier for the customs authorities to process the goods.

Click & Drop® Update

Royal Mail has launched Hurricane Modular Commerce validation and verification softwareClick and drop®* from May 30, 2022. This means that when sending international shipments via Click and Drop®, you can now enter a description of the contents of the shipment and you will receive a list of possible harmonized HS codes** to choose from. If you find that none of the recommended harmonized HS codes are appropriate, you have the option, at your discretion, to use another code that you think best fits. Please note that while the software can assist in checking the HS Harmonized Code and Product Description, it is the sole responsibility of the user to provide correct and complete information.

The software is not a substitute for your own thorough testing.

*This link is for private customers only.
**Harmonized System Codes (also known as HS/HSN/Tariff Codes)

Shipment of goods to the EU - VAT and customs

  • Goods and gifts (excluding personal correspondence) sent to the EU from the UK (England, Scotland and Wales) may be subject to taxes, duties and customs. For customers shipping an item from NI to the EU, there is no obligation to complete and submit a customs declaration as NI remains in the EU Customs Union and therefore no duties or taxes apply.

From July 1, 2021, most goods shipped to the EU (including gifts) will be subject to VAT and possibly customs duties. Applicable taxes and duties depend on the individual package content, weight and value. The EU thresholds are as follows:

  • VAT and handling charges may apply for goods up to €150.
  • Gifts over EUR 45 are subject to VAT and a handling fee.
  • Goods and gifts worth more than EUR 150 may be subject to VAT, customs duties and a handling fee.
  • Excise duty also applies to goods such as alcohol and tobacco.

Thresholds and amounts charged may vary by country. The customs authorities of the country of destination determine the thresholds and amounts charged.See the guidelines of the European Commission.

You must decide how the recipient should pay for them as the package will not be released until payment is received. If you're selling to EU customers, Royal Mail has a range of options to choose from. To find out more visit ourImport One Stop Shop (IOSS)..

(Video) U.S. Customs Freight Shipping Clearance Process

Shipment of goods to non-EU countries - VAT and customs duties

The same requirements apply to the shipment of goods to other countries outside the EU in relation to the customs declaration. Customs borders for taxes and duties imposed by foreign customs authorities vary from country to country. Therefore, it is recommended to check them before shipment.

I'm sending mail to the Channel Islands. Do I have to fill in a customs declaration form?

Yes, if you are shipping goods or gifts to these destinations.

These include Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Herm and Sark.

Please note:Gifts and goods shipped to Jersey may be subject to GST (Goods and Services Tax), which is currently 5%.

Learn more aboutSending mail to the Channel Islands

I am sending mail to a British Post Office (BFPO) destination. Do I have to fill in a customs declaration form?

HMRC pays particular attention to all HM Forces mail arriving and leaving the UK.

(Video) Customs Clearance DHL

A customs declaration must be completed when sending gifts or goods to a BFPO destination. This applies regardless of the value.

Please attach the form to the outside of the item.

If the information published on our website does not answer your inquiry, please contact usclick heremore help.


How do I complete customs clearance? ›

Breaking Down the Customs Clearance Process
  1. Paperwork Verification. A customs officer verifies that the paperwork completed for shipments are correct. ...
  2. Customs Officer Check. A customs officer will see what fees may be applied to a shipment. ...
  3. Payments, Tax, Duties. ...
  4. Release of Shipment.

Is my SSN really needed to clear my shipment with U.S. customs? ›

"The appropriate identification number for the Ultimate Consignee is defined as an Internal Revenue Service employer identification number if a social Security number. if the appropriate Ultimate Consignee identification number is not provided at the time of entry or release, entry of the merchandise shall be denied."

What documents are needed for U.S. customs clearance? ›

Firstly, let's look at the documents that fall under the importer's responsibility based on information from the seller of the items being imported.
  • Commercial Invoice. ...
  • Packing List. ...
  • Certificate of Origin (C.O.O.) ...
  • Bill Of Lading (BOL) ...
  • Air Waybill (AWB) ...
  • ISF 10+2 Form. ...
  • Arrival Notice. ...
  • Delivery Order (D/O)

How long does the customs clearance process take? ›

Customs clearance is the act of moving goods through customs so they can enter the country. How long does custom clearance take? Typically, a customs clearance takes less than 24 hours. If your paperwork is lacking, however, it could take several days before your shipment clears customs.

Can I do custom clearance myself in USA? ›

Do I need a Customs Broker to clear my goods through U.S. Customs and Border Protection? There is no legal requirement for you to hire a Customs Broker to clear your goods. However, many importers opt to do so for the convenience.

What are the three 3 main documents required for import customs clearance? ›

Imports must have the following documentation: Invoice (unless a commercial sample under $25 in value) Ocean bill of lading, inland bill of lading, through bill of lading, air waybill (air cargo) Proof of insurance.

What happens if a package does not clear customs? ›

In most cases, the customs broker will need to cancel the PARS entry and re-submit it as a Release on Minimum Documentation (RMD) or post-arrival entry. In today's world, most of this is done electronically but there are still some instances where a paper entry is required.

Does U.S. customs check all packages? ›

Shipments will typically be inspected by customs to ensure that the contents match what is being declared and the value of the goods is also declared correctly. There's not much you can do to speed up these customs inspections so it's often the best idea to wait.

Do you have to answer U.S. customs questions? ›

You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, immigration agents or any other officials. You do not have to answer questions about where you were born, whether you are a U.S. citizen, or how you entered the country.

How much is custom clearance fee in USA? ›

The MPF for formal entries is an ad valorem fee of 0.3464 percent. The maximum amount of the fee shall not exceed $538.40 and shall not be less than $27.75. The fee is based on the value of the merchandise being imported, not including duty, freight, and insurance charges.

How much does it cost to declare US customs? ›

Mailing and Shipping Goods - Customs Duty Guidance

Up to $1,600 in goods will be duty-free under your personal exemption if the merchandise is from an IP. Up to $800 in goods will be duty-free if it is from a CBI or Andean country. Any additional amount, up to $1,000, in goods will be dutiable at a flat rate (3%).

How do I avoid customs clearance? ›

7 tips to avoid customs clearance delays
  1. Take care of all the necessary paperwork for customs clearance.
  2. Provide accurate goods description on your commercial invoice.
  3. Declare the correct value of your goods to customs authorities.
  4. State the reasons for your shipment in your customs declaration.
Mar 27, 2023

Who pays for custom clearance? ›

Who pays the duty? It is the responsibility of the importer of record to pay the duty. The seller or shipper normally cannot pay the duty in advance. Working with a customs broker that you trust can save you from being duped by the seller who claimed to prepay the duty.

How long can customs hold my package? ›

Normally, in three business days its status would change to “Released by Customs”, meaning that the package is on its want to you. But sometimes this doesn't happen. There are two main reasons why international packages get held up in customs for more than three days.

How long do USPS packages stay in customs? ›

If the package is small, the ISC can process it in just a few days. However, larger packages and parcels are often held for three or four days at the processing facility. The average wait time for a package at the ISC facility is usually about 7 to 10 days.

How do I clear US customs quickly? ›

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Members enter the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports.

Do you have to pay for custom clearance? ›

US Customs collects this fee on most shipments that enter the country. It's calculated at 0.3464% of the entered value (the cost of the merchandise, as entered on the commercial invoice you provide to your customs broker), with a minimum of $27.23 and a maximum of $528.33.

Do U.S. citizens have to go through customs in the US? ›

When you fly into the United States, the rule is that you must pass through customs and immigration at your first point of entry in the United States. Therefore, if you fly from Paris to Chicago with a layover in New York, you will need to pass through customs and passport control in New York, not in Chicago.

Which are 3 types of customs? ›

Types of Customs Import Duties
  • Basic Customs Duty (BCD)
  • Countervailing Duty (CVD)
  • Anti-Dumping Duty (AD)
Dec 9, 2020

What is required to import into USA? ›

In most cases, you will not need a license to import goods into the U.S. But for some items, agencies may require a license, permit, or other certification.

What is the difference between customs declaration and clearance? ›

Customs clearance is the process that goods must go through before being imported or exported. It's important that your customs declaration is accurate, or this can cause delays crossing the border. Customs declarations are also necessary for security, as certain goods are subject to licences or permits.

Why would customs reject a package? ›

Compliance issues – Customs officials are known for being stringent about import regulations. Therefore, if a package contains restricted or prohibited items, if there is any missing documentation, or if there are any other trade regulation infractions, a customs official can reject the package.

Why is customs holding my package? ›

Shipments are held in customs to ensure they satisfy export or import customs regulations. A held shipment may have missing or incomplete paperwork, be waiting for clearance instructions or the authorities may need more information to clear the goods.

Can I tell if my package is stuck in customs? ›

The US Postal Service has a Customs Forms Tracking Tool which you can use to easily track your parcel. This tool provides details on your package including its status, delivery information, and customs holds.

Can a shipping company open your package? ›

UPS reserves the right to open and inspect any package tendered to it for transportation.

What does customs check for? ›

Customs is the authority in the respective country you enter that is responsible for controlling the flow of goods, including animals, transports, foods, personal effects, and hazardous items, into and out of a country.

Can customs open your luggage? ›

Generally, customs officers may stop people at the border to determine whether they are admissible to the United States, and they may search people's belongings for contraband. This is true even if there is nothing suspicious about you or your luggage.

How do you know if you are flagged by customs? ›

There are signs that will indicate you have been flagged for additional screenings: You were not able to print a boarding pass from an airline ticketing kiosk or from the internet. You were denied or delayed boarding. A ticket agent “called someone” before handing you a boarding pass.

What questions do US customs officers ask? ›

Your CBP Interview

The CBP officers are authorized to ask you questions about your trip and your personal background, including: Your citizenship. The nature of your trip. Anything you are bringing back to the United States that you did not have when you left.

Do US customs check your phone? ›

Anyone who has traveled outside the country may already know that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has the right to search the phones and other electronic devices of anyone entering the country – including U.S. citizens -- without a warrant.

How can I avoid custom charges in USA? ›

Tell the seller explicitly that the item is for personal use. Import duties typically apply to items imported for commercial use (business or resale)—not personal or retail sales. If you're importing something for your own personal use or as a gift for someone else, you don't have to pay them.

Who usually pays customs fees? ›

Either the seller or the buyer of a shipment must pay customs duties, fees or taxes. Generally, the party responsible for payment is prearranged in the shipper and receiver's terms of sale. (Check your terms of sale to learn whether you're responsible.) Terms will typically require the buyer to pay.

What is the limit for US customs? ›

In most cases, the personal exemption is $800, but there are some exceptions to this rule, which are explained below. Depending on the countries you have visited, your personal exemption will be $200, $800, or $1,600.

Can you fill out a US Customs form online? ›

Filling Out Customs Forms Online

You can print just a customs form or use Click-N-Ship® service to pay for postage and print an international shipping label and a customs form.

Do I need to declare anything at US Customs? ›

You must declare all items you purchased and are carrying with you upon return to the United States, including gifts for other people as well as items you bought for yourself. This includes duty-free items purchased in foreign countries, as well as any merchandise you intend to sell or use in your business.

Does the US have customs fees? ›

The United States imposes tariffs (customs duties) on imports of goods. The duty is levied at the time of import and is paid by the importer of record. Customs duties vary by country of origin and product. Goods from many countries are exempt from duty under various trade agreements.

How much is a customs inspection fee? ›

A customs exam fee is the fee incurred by the importer if a shipment is pulled for a customs exam. Depending on the type of inspection performed, the fee can run from $80 to more than $1,000. The importer accepts liability for any customs fees incurred on shipments brought into the U.S.

What happens after customs clearance? ›

Once your import customs clearance is completed, your shipment has successfully gained permission to enter the country. Your shipment will then be passed onto your chosen courier to be transported to its final destination. However, you can only clear customs once all your owed duties are paid.

How do I contact customs about a package? ›

If you are unable to find the information you need, the CBP Information Center is open Monday-Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time. You can submit your question, compliment, complaint, or tip online or by calling 1-877-CBP-5511 (877-227-5511). If you are outside the U.S. you must call +1-202-325-8000.

Where is US Customs for Packages located? ›

Anytime you order something from outside of the country to be shipped to you here in the United States that package is going to inevitably have to go through the International Sorting Center (ISC) in New York City.

How long does US Customs take airport? ›

How long does customs usually take? On average, it takes travelers 17 minutes and 53 seconds to get through Immigration and Customs. This number will vary based on the airport you're traveling through, the time of year you're traveling, and the time of day you're arriving at the airport.

What to do if your package is stuck in customs for weeks? ›

If your package is held at customs, you should contact the courier company in charge of your shipment. Normally, they should be able to help you with the customs clearing process, or even, just identifying the problem. Before contact, make sure you have the tracking number to give it to the courier to check its status.

Does customs check USPS packages? ›

Mail entering the United States from abroad first arrives at a United States Postal Service (USPS) Sorting Facility. The Postal Service then sends packages to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for examination and to assess duties and taxes, if any is owed.

Why is my international package taking so long? ›

International shipping – If a package is coming from overseas (other countries), it is safe to assume that delivery may take longer than usual. Weather conditions or traffic – It is not so rare that during busy periods, such as holidays, or heavy snow, the parcel would take longer to arrive at its destination.

Can I complete a customs form online? ›

You have two main ways to fill out a customs form that can be used for mailing your item: 1 Customs Forms Online: Forms can be electronically generated and printed based on information entered in the application. Simply enter customs information and print customs forms that are appropriate for your mailpiece.

What does it mean to complete customs clearance? ›

Customs clearance is the process of getting permission from the associated government agency to either move goods out of a country (export) or bring goods into the country (import). We can also define customs clearance as a document that the customs authority issues to a shipper.

What is the first step of the customs clearance process? ›

The first step is to gather information. There are many possibilities. For example, a specific product is restricted at the destination country or may need some additional documentation. Although the level of stringent policies in the customs process varies from country to country.

Do US citizens need to fill out customs form? ›

If you are a U.S. citizen planning to travel abroad, you must comply with the document requirements for that country. For a list of Foreign Consular Offices in the U.S. visit the U.S. Department of State website. Each individual arriving into the United States must complete the CBP Declaration Form 6059B.

How much is the customs fee for USPS? ›

This mail is known as dutiable mail. In addition to the duties levied, CBP charges a $5.50 processing fee and the Postal Service charges a $6.00 handling fee per item. Postal Service delivery unit employees must collect these duties and fees from the addressee once the dutiable mail is delivered.

How much does it cost to declare U.S. customs? ›

Mailing and Shipping Goods - Customs Duty Guidance

Up to $1,600 in goods will be duty-free under your personal exemption if the merchandise is from an IP. Up to $800 in goods will be duty-free if it is from a CBI or Andean country. Any additional amount, up to $1,000, in goods will be dutiable at a flat rate (3%).

What happens if you forget to put customs form on package? ›

If you forget to write all items in a package on a customs form, it can result in delays or even seizure of your package by customs officials.

How detailed do you need to be on a customs form? ›

Customs form tips:

Be descriptive of all items inside the package. Provide an overview of each individual item, including the use and what it's made of. Provide an accurate value for each item. Customs will check if you have undervalued an item to avoid fees.

Where to fill US customs form? ›

You need to fill out physical customs form at Port of entry for most of the visas as foreigner, unless you arrive in US and use the Automated Passport Control Process (APC) Kiosk as B1/B2 Visa Holder, US Citizens, Green card holders, Canadian citizens, and users using ESTA ( visa waiver program), or D Visa.

Do customs check every package? ›

Shipments will typically be inspected by customs to ensure that the contents match what is being declared and the value of the goods is also declared correctly. There's not much you can do to speed up these customs inspections so it's often the best idea to wait.

How long can a package stay in customs? ›

Normally, in three business days its status would change to “Released by Customs”, meaning that the package is on its want to you. But sometimes this doesn't happen. There are two main reasons why international packages get held up in customs for more than three days.

What happens after custom clearance completed? ›

When the customs clearance process is complete, it means that the item has cleared the customs of the receiving nation and is available for onward transition to its destination. But before this can happen, a series of processes need to take place as part of the clearance procedure.

Who is responsible to arrange for the customs clearance? ›

Who is Responsible for Customs Clearance? In the majority of international shipping situations, the seller is responsible for export customs clearance and the buyer for the import clearance. However, the exact prearrangement will depend on the agreed Incoterm for the sales transaction.


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