How to Fill Out a Customs Form for International Shipping

Learn what you need to know to fill out customs forms correctly.
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Last update:

February 27, 2024
A custom form is needed for virtually all forms of shipment outside a country. Wrong filling of a custom form may result in confiscation or outright destruction of your goods. This article is aimed at letting you know how you can effectively fill a custom form when sending out a package.

Customs Form for International Shipping

With pun intended, we can say that the concept of shipping has everything to do with the idea of operating an online retail business. During shipment, there has to be proper documentation as well as efficient packaging of each item. However, when it comes to the concept of international shipping, it has some layers of additional complexity which must be well understood. For this reason, it is very critical to know how to fill out international shipping forms provided by custom officials correctly. If you seek to have a global brand and presence, then you have to master the art of international shipping and its requirements.

Engaging in international shipping requires that any package that is sent across borders should be delivered on time and, of course, safely. Providing unclear or wrong information may mean that your package may be held up at the customs level. Such delay may be detrimental to your business if not averted. Do not, in any way, try to outsmart the custom authorities as most of them may have known various tricks used by shippers to avoid owning up to their responsibility. Doing so may put you in trouble later on.

Why You Need a Custom Form

Custom forms are used in declaring the value and contents of your shipment. These forms also serve as a means of acknowledgment, stating that you have fully complied with the required shipping laws for both the destination and the origin countries. Any parcel that is shipped to a country has to be scrutinized by the country's customs authorities. An evaluation of the package is carried out as part of the process of inspection to determine the duty and tax on the package. You may see the form as a kind of passport or pass for your package since it contains all the relevant details.

It is critical to provide accurate information when filling the international shipping form. Your package may be withheld if the information provided is false or not given. Some custom authorities go as far as destroying some packages when they notice something shady. Besides, most goods that are shipped to a country are subjected to custom and tax duties. It is the duty of the customs authorities to determine if these taxes or duties apply to a particular package and how much it costs based on the country’s tax laws.

Carriers Customs Form

As long as a parcel is crossing over to an international border, then there is a need to fill out the appropriate form. The customs form is a compulsory requirement and is part of the procedure for international shipping. Switzerland and the European Union are the only exceptions to the law. Shipping between countries in this zone may not require you to fill out a customs form.

Declaration forms from the post office may seem detailed, intimidating, and complicated. However, you are obligated to complete the form before it is approved for shipping. One way you can make the process of generating your shipping documents easy is by making use of the tools found in the ShipSaving platform. ShipSaving takes away the stress and complexities in getting your international shipping form ready without delay. The process of doing so via the platform is fast, efficient, and highly reliable.


The USPS requires that you fill a custom form for all packages that are shipped out of the United States. However, the value of the package and the type of mail class being used may provide an exemption. Let us take an example that you are sending a package that is less than 16oz in weight via a first-class international mail. You may not have to fill the customs form in such a case as the mail class is meant to contain documents only. 

Most shippers often ask if they can print out the USPS custom from the internet. Of course, you can get the form online. The process requires you to register your account online and begin to print your schedule pickups, custom form or shipping labels. Better still, to help you save time and also remove any form of complexities in the process, you should employ the services of ShipSaving. 


FedEx also requires shippers to complete the customs forms when it comes to international shipping. You would also have to identify the content of the package and what the package is made up of. Other information includes the cost of the package or the reason for sending the package. The ShipSaving platform can help you to generate the different declaration forms from the post office to ease the documentation process.

How to Fill Out a Customs Form

As earlier stated, you must provide accurate information when filling the documents required by custom. This information can be added to your shipping label, custom document or shipping label depending on the mail class or courier service. The following information is necessary to fill out the customs form appropriately, and they include address and sender name, receiver name and address, items quantity, value, sending date, invoice number, payment terms and non-deliverable parcel procedure.

Checklist for the custom form

The checklist for custom form includes the following:

  • Ensure that you are stating the truth when you mark an item as a gift
  • The receiver of the item may also have to pay for custom fees. So state the price of the goods, and let them know that they may pay for a custom fee.
  • Ensure that you provide a detailed description of the package.
  • Ensure that all relevant information is provided.

Ship with ShipSaving

The pinnacle of e-commerce business is international shipping, and you have to deal with a lot of documentation. Crossing unto another country’s border means that such packages are under subjection to the law of the land. To prevent your shipments from being withheld, rejected or destroyed, then it is necessary to take the right step towards filling your custom forms. Need help? Why not use the ShipSaving platform and make your shipping a wonderful experience for both you and your customers.

ShipSaving is a platform that is designed to provide shipping solutions to shippers, warehouse managers and business owners via an easy to use platform. With ShipSavings, you can be able to save as much as 80% shipping cost. The platform is designed to work effectively with other shipping carriers and e-commerce platforms to provide customers with the ultimate benefits.

You can print your shipping labels with just ₵ 1 for each label. This fee is lower than what is generally charged in the industry. ShipSaver also guarantees the user a high service quality, which is geared towards helping e-commerce business owners manage and grow their business. One other benefit of using the ShipSaving platform is that it gives you access to more than ten different shipping service options. With just a glance, you can get a price rate, which enhances your speed of doing business on the platform.  

Final Words

Now you are more enlightened about what it entails to fill the international customs form. You have also learnt that there is an available platform known as ShipSaving that provides users with a world of shipping solutions. Users can also have the opportunity to compare all other shipping solutions with just one click. You have access to a range of high-end tools to enhance your shipping e-commerce business as well as helping your business to grow.

Sign up for a free ShipSaving account to start shipping today and save up to 80% on your rates!

Written on:

October 5, 2021
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