Shipping to a U.S. or international destination may require more information than shipping domestically. All shipments imported into a foreign country must be reported to the local customs administration in the respective destination country. The local customs administration will review the shipment based on the information provided on the commercial invoice or the carrier’s shipping manifest.
Duties and taxes and any other applicable customs clearance related fees may be levied against a shipment based on the value for customs, the description of the items, the country of origin and in some cases, the reason for export. The rate of duty or customs tariff is determined by the Harmonized System Code (HS Code) and any trade agreement that might be applicable to the shipment.
Purolator's shipment rates do not include applicable duties or brokerage fees, or any other clearance related charges.
Understanding the documentation requirements for shipping to the destination country will help to reduce customs clearance delays with shipments. All non-document shipments require information about the contents, value and the shipment’s country of origin in order to clear customs. This information must be presented on the bill of lading and/or commercial invoice for each shipment.
Note: Purolator does not require a commercial invoice for a single piece shipment destined for the U.S. valued at less than USD$200, however all trade data (name of shipper and receiver; description and quantity of the goods; country of origin and value of the shipment) must be on the bill of lading.
Providing a Harmonized System Code (HS Code) will help to properly classify your shipment for customs clearance. If you are shipping to the U.S., you can look up your HS Code on the United States International Trade Commission website.
It is important to complete customs documents accurately and with as much information as possible. Vague or incomplete descriptions can cause shipments to be delayed in transit or classified incorrectly during the customs clearance process. Using clear and detailed descriptions on the commercial invoice and/or bill of lading will ensure your shipment is properly classified for customs clearance.
Place one copy of each customs document in an envelope or pouch and clearly mark “Customs Documents” on the envelope or pouch. Secure the envelope or pouch to the outside of the package. Packing your customs documents inside the shipment will result in export delays. It is important to note that additional information may also be required in the destination country from the importer/receiver. Additional documentation may include permits, licenses or certificates. Delays may be incurred pending the receiver producing the required documentation for customs clearance.
Some items might be prohibited or restricted for shipping to certain countries, so it is important to confirm your shipment is allowed to be shipped to the destination country. Most countries will have a prohibited items list posted on the Internet. For more information on our list of restricted or prohibited items for shipping, see Purolator Terms and Conditions of Service.
The commercial invoice provides details of the transaction between the shipper and the receiver. The commercial invoice should contain all the required information about the shipment for the customs broker, and how to proceed with the clearance. A commercial invoice must be completed for:
The commercial invoice is not a controlled document, and can be presented in any format providing that the required elements are present. The following information is required to complete the commercial invoice. Mandatory items are denoted by an asterisk: