International shipping requires more paperwork and legal technicalities than the local freight service. It’s also more expensive and usually takes longer to send your products to other countries. For first-time exporters, here are the things you should know when shipping products overseas.
1. Clearance from Customs
When shipping products to other countries, you’re required to clear those items through customs. Aside from the clearance, some paperwork is also required. If you’re unsure about the process, it’s better to hire a logistics consulting company to help you.
2. Pay the Required Custom Fees
After customs inspection, you will need to pay the assessed fees. The rate is usually dependent on the appraisal of your product. The higher the value, the higher the fee. To get a good idea of the customs cost, consult a customs broker or get the information online.
3. Pay the Shipment Fee and Tariffs
You need to pay the shipper the fees and the tariffs if any when sending products abroad. The tariff payments are not uniform and vary from country to country.
4. Determine Time of Arrival
When shipping products to other countries, you have to take into account possible delays. You have to remember that your package may take several days to reach its destination. At the same time, customs may take several days or weeks before giving clearance to your products.
5. Package and Label Your Products
Make sure that your product’s package is secure and has the correct labels. Otherwise, the item may get damaged or lost while in transit.
6. Select Mode of Transport
You can choose to export your products via cargo plane or ship. The former is faster but costlier while the latter is slower and cheaper. Some products, however, are not suitable for sea transport.
7. Don’t Send Restricted Items Overseas
Before sending your products abroad, check if it’s under the restricted list of the country you’re sending to. If you send it anyway, customs will likely hold the items and refuse to release them.
8. Know the Expiration Periods
You also have to take into account the expiration date of goods that you’re sending abroad. Make sure that they are still fit for consumption when they arrived at their destination.
9. Animals and Plants will Require Special Care
Shipping live animals and plants abroad will require a shipping company that has an exemplary record in dealing with them.
10. Don’t Forget the Insurance
Sending products abroad entails a certain amount of risk. It’s highly recommended that you secure insurance for your items in case of accidents while in transit.