What Is A Customs Invoice & Why Do I Need One?

Whether you’re sending a huge birthday present to family abroad, or you simply want to send a few bits to a pen pal, international parcel delivery is extremely difficult to secure if you haven’t got a customs invoice. The process behind having one is simple – by filling out a simple form with your parcel delivery details, you could completely cut any confusion and inconvenience that might occur during your international parcel delivery. Keep reading to find out about the customs invoice, and why it’s important to have one when sending a parcel abroad.

What Is A Customs Invoice?

A customs invoice is simply a document enclosed with your parcel during delivery, which includes relevant information regarding the contents of your parcel. Unless you’re sending the parcel to countries within the EU, it’s mandatory to fill out a customs invoice with details about the items that you’re attempting to export. You know when you get thoroughly searched at the airport before departing? That’s essentially the process that happens with your parcel, so for parcel customs to be confident with the contents of your package, you will need to include a customs invoice.

As previously mentioned, this only applies to countries outside of the EU. If you’re trying to send a parcel to countries within the EU, such as France, Germany or Austria, you will not need to fill out a customs invoice form.

However, if your shipment includes a large parcel that weighs greater than 2.5kg, it will require a customs clearance and thus a customs invoice.

How Will A Customs Invoice Affect My Parcel?

If you try to send your parcel internationally without a customs invoice enclosed, it will not be able to leave the country, proving very frustrating for you and the recipient. Therefore, when trying to arrange international parcel delivery that’s outside the EU, you will need to enclose a customs invoice, otherwise your parcel will remain completely stationary. Without a firm knowledge about what your parcel contains, customs will not be able to send it away for you. The process behind international parcel delivery is quite extensive, and so a customs invoice will make the entire situation easier for yourself and others involved with the parcel delivery.

Before your package can be sent to the courier, all of the details on your customs invoice will be sent to the courier’s pre-clearance team, who will analyse the data and consider the requirements of the country that you’re trying to send the parcel to. If the destination country is happy with the contents of your parcel, it will then be prepared for exportation. After transit, it will arrive at the destination country’s customs authority for customs clearance.

Therefore, because of this, it’s imperative that your customs invoice includes all relevant and important details regarding the contents of your international parcel delivery. Not only does it make life easier for you, but it also puts your courier’s reputation on the line. The courier that you have chosen for your international parcel delivery has an agreement with the customs authority in the destination country, meaning that they are trusted to follow all rules and regulations put in place by customs. If your parcel breaks these rules, the relationship between the courier and customs could be at risk, making the process of international parcel delivery unnecessarily strenuous.

How Can I Complete A Customs Invoice?

In order to effectively fill in a customs invoice, you will need the right template. There are several tools online that will create a customs invoice for you based on the details that you have provided them with. Once you’ve completed that process, there are vital things that need to be included in your customs invoice. These include:

  • Collection and delivery address
  • An accurate summary about the goods inside
  • The total shipment value
  • Tax status of the receiver
  • Country of manufacture
  • Declaration testament
  • Reason for export
  • Itemised goods description and value for each item in the parcel

Without all of the above details, your customs invoice will not be sufficient enough for the customs department, keeping your parcel stranded. However, with these specific details, customs officials are able to assess whether any additional documents are needed for the clearance of your parcel, as well as decide how and if your goods will attract import duty and tax.

Sending a parcel internationally doesn’t have to be difficult at all, and with your co-operation, the entire process can be fast and stress-free. If you’ve filled out your own customs invoice and are ready to arrange international parcel delivery, use our courier comparison tool today to save yourself time and money!