Shipping Internationally 

Shipping Internationally 

Shipping Internationally 

International shipping can be daunting – if you’re looking to expand, but aren’t ready to voyage into the world of customs, taxes, and international regulations on your own, Phase V is your solution. Read on to learn how we can help. 

There’s no easy way to explain how international shipping works, as each country and carrier have their own prohibitions and restrictions, but on this page, we’ll give you a basic overview of the terminology and general expectations of shipping internationally so you can become more familiar.

Want to get more info on shipping internationally? Check out this blog post –


Customs: When shipping internationally, customs clearance is required. This involves declaring the contents of the shipment and providing all necessary documentation. Customs regulations vary by country, so it’s important to research the specific requirements for each destination.

Declarations: The shipping documents should include a detailed description of the items being shipped, including their value and the purpose of the shipment. In some cases, additional documents such as import licenses or permits may be required.

Taxes: Import taxes and duties may be assessed on the shipment, depending on the destination country and the value of the goods being shipped. It’s important to research these costs in advance so they can be factored into the overall shipping costs. 

Shipping methods: There are several shipping methods available for international shipments, including air, sea, and ground. Each method has its own pros and cons, and the choice will depend on factors such as the destination, the size and weight of the shipment, and the required delivery time.

Packaging: Proper packaging is essential for international shipments to ensure that the items arrive in good condition. The packaging should be strong and secure, with appropriate labeling and markings to help with customs clearance.

Shipping insurance: International shipments may be subject to a greater risk of loss or damage, so it’s important to consider purchasing shipping insurance to protect the value of the items being shipped.

Documentation: The documentation required for shipping internationally can vary depending on the destination country and the nature of the shipment. However, some common documents include:


  • Commercial Invoice: This document provides a detailed description of the goods being shipped, including the quantity, value, and purpose of the shipment. It’s used by customs officials to assess import duties and taxes.
  • Bill of Lading: This document serves as a receipt for the goods being shipped and outlines the terms of the transportation agreement between the shipper and the carrier.
  • Packing List: This document provides a detailed list of the items being shipped, including their weight and dimensions. It’s used by customs officials to verify the contents of the shipment.
  • Certificate of Origin: This document certifies the country of origin of the goods being shipped and may be required to qualify for preferential duty rates.
  • Export License: Depending on the nature of the goods being shipped, an export license may be required to comply with international trade regulations.


To avoid delays with customs, it helps to provide a have a specific description of your product and where it’s going. Details needed about the item or items you are shipping include: it’s size, where it was made, it’s value, and the addresses and phone numbers of the shipper and the receiver. 


HTS Codes:

To meet customs requirements of the U.S. and foreign governments, it is necessary to classify every commodity accurately under the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) codes. The Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) is an internationally standardized system of names and numbers used to classify traded products. It assigns a unique six-digit code to each product, which is used by customs officials around the world to determine the applicable tariffs and trade statistics for that product.

The first two digits of the HTS code indicate the chapter, which is a broad category that groups similar products together. The next four digits provide a more specific classification within the chapter. Countries may further define the commodities by adding two additional digits beyond the six-digit code.

The HTS code is essential for international trade, as it helps to ensure that products are accurately identified and categorized for customs purposes. It also enables customs officials to determine the appropriate duties and taxes to be charged on imported goods. It is recommended to include the HS code for each commodity on the commercial invoice. Failure to classify a product properly may result in customs delays, fines, or even seizure of the shipment.


The Phase V Solution

If this sounds a bit overwhelming, we get it! The benefit of partnering with a 3PL is you don’t have to go at it alone. Phase V has a team of experts who know how to handle the various rules and regulations of international shipping, so we’re able to guide you through the process. In addition to being armed with the knowledge you need to avoid mistakes, delays, or extra fees, you’ll also save on costs by using our discounted shipping rates. 

Ready to make international shipping a breeze? Contact us today