Sending Gifts Overseas: What You Should Know

Whether it’s a seasonal holiday, birthday, or any other kind of celebration, we all want to congratulate people dear to us. Even when we can’t meet them in person, we can still send them gifts. With international package shipping it’s quite easy to congratulate even someone who’s living overseas. All you have to do is to get to know these few things.

Research prohibited items

The internet is full of gift guides with fantastic ideas on what you can get to bring joy to your beloved ones. But before sending your gift, or even before deciding on what to buy, it’s essential to research what items are allowed for international shipping. Some goods are strictly prohibited in most parts of the world. Some are exceptional to certain countries. That’s why it’s best to always check the regulations of your destination country. Also, keep in mind that some parcel services might have their own rules and might not ship specific items.

Check how destination country treats gifts

Generally, gifts are things that we give other people free of charge. We don’t treat them as things of monetary value, but rather as things of emotional value. However, when it comes to package shipping, everything is not that simple. Usually, every package goes through customs and must have a declaration form. Based on various factors, customs officers might calculate extra charges. This applies not only to commercial goods, but also to items sent by one person to another.

When sending gifts to Europe or any other continent, you should research individual country’s take on gifts. Does it require you to mark your parcel as a gift? Do you need to indicate the value of your items? What documents should be included for smoother customs procedures? Some countries may not calculate taxes on gifts lower than a set value. Be sure to check what that value is.

Properly fill in the customs declaration

You have found out what you cannot ship to your destination country and how it treats gifts. Now it’s time to fill in the customs declaration. While it might be unnecessary to collect and include receipts of the items you’re sending, it’s best to write down a realistic value. You should also give a short description of the goods. Don’t forget to mark your parcel as a “gift”. With these steps combined, the customs will know that your package is not commercial and will process it accordingly.

Pick a courier

Picking the right courier is a very important step. Be sure to choose a parcel service that ships to the country of your interest. Don’t be hasty. Double-check, if the service you’re interested in offers Package Shipping to Poland, Romania, Italy, and other European countries specifically. You may also want to compare the prices and the shipping time offered by different companies. Insurance also comes in handy. If you don’t want to take any chances, insure your goods for extra safety.

Consider the impact of Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has touched and changed many parts of our lives. It has also impacted international package shipping. Due to virus outbreaks, countries go into lockdowns and even close off their borders. It makes it more difficult for couriers to deliver packages to the most affected countries. And the status of different regions may change at any time. Therefore, you should always check the situation and see if the postal services are available in a specific country at a given time.

If international package shipping is temporarily suspended, you can consider other possibilities. Maybe the gift you’d like to send is available in the local e-shops. Then, you can purchase it there and have it delivered directly. In this case, it’s important to check if the online shop accepts foreign credit cards. If the borders are not closed off, but the shipping is still disturbed, you could find a person who is traveling to the country and ask him to deliver the package.

Plan in advance

The holiday season is always busy. It’s so hard to find the time to buy all the presents! We rush, we forget, we feel exhausted. And in the end, our gift does not reach its receiver at the right time. Usually, we get angry at the postal services for not fulfilling their promise to deliver the package on time. But sometimes we ourselves are a bit at fault for not sending the parcel sooner.

All of this can be avoided, if you plan in advance. Be especially careful during Christmas and Easter holidays. It’s a booming season for package shipping. Postal services simply cannot handle the enormous number of incoming packages. Always add a few extra days or even a week to the estimated delivery times and ship your parcel accordingly.

Sending gifts overseas might be a bit challenging. But it becomes less frightening if you arm yourself with knowledge.

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Written by Marcus Richards

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