5 Tips on Shipping Gifts Internationally

When you live outside of your home country it’s important to be aware of customs regulations and taxation around shipping gifts. Slice of Shanghai learned this the hard way in the post Another Package (via Slice of Shanghai).

Another Package An expensive lesson is learned today, through yet another experience of getting a package from my mother-in-law. When she offered to send the kids some clothes, I gladly said yes, especially after I tried to get them clothes here, and found nothing they liked. The kids and I were waiting for their clothes with excitement. The package finally came today, not alone though. It was accompanied by a big tax bill of 706 RMB! That’s over US $100! Ouch! … Read More

Things I was reminded of after reading this post:

  1. Talk to other people in your community about postal regulations and their previous experiences so you benefit from their wisdom.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the things you cannot send via mail. Give friends and family a reference list of items your country either places a duty, tax, additional cost and/or will not let you receive. I once received some beautiful wooden picture frames from a friend in Hawaii. I also had to pay $60 to get them fumigated!
  3. Resist the temptation of sending expensive items. One of my grandma’s necklaces has forever gone missing as the customs’ label said what it was and the amount. I received the package with nothing in it.
  4. Remember postage is based on weight and dimension. To save expense, consider choosing gifts that are small and light-weight.
  5. Be aware that all gifts will need a declaration attached outside of packages stating each item and a value estimate. Think about how you want to word this if the gift is a surprise and being honest about the contents.

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