Choosing a customs declaration

Tips

There are three kinds of customs declaration. Here’s how to choose the right one for your overseas shipments.

Shipper’s declaration

This is the best way to declare low value, simple, uncomplicated items being sent overseas. Our booking system will complete a shipper’s declaration for you to sign at the end of booking. Make sure you complete the booking process accurately and then print it out to accompany your package.

Proforma invoice

For more complex shipments, or ones with multiple items of different descriptions and value, a proforma invoice is better. Use a proforma invoice for contents that have not been sold to the receiver but still have an intrinsic value, such as inter-office shipments.

A proforma invoice is provided by a supplier (e.g. you) prior to the shipment of merchandise. It informs the receiver of the kinds and quantities of goods sent, their value, and specifications such as size and weight. If you don’t routinely produce your own proforma invoices, we can provide you with a template.

Commercial invoice

If the goods are for sale to the recipient they should be accompanied by a commercial invoice. Most often this will be produced from your own sales system. If you don’t routinely produce your own commercial invoices or you want to check that yours are compliant, we can provide you with a template.

All customs declarations need to be typed, not handwritten.

The description and value of contents also needs to be accurate. Customs officers at all international gateways are trained in assessing the value of items, and it is likely that undervalued goods will be re-assessed.