Important Tips for Gift Shipments
There are many countries that allow duty and/or tax-free entry for gift shipments if the value is less than a specified amount. This amount varies from country to country and, in most countries, the shipment must be sent from an individual to an individual – with no company involvement or indication of involvement on the shipping documentation. Please note that duty and/or tax-free entry is only available for shipments to countries that recognize special-entry status for gift shipments and there is typically a maximum dollar amount. We encourage you to check the destination country's requirements prior to shipping.
The shipping documentation must be clearly marked 'Unsolicited gift - not for resale' and include a detailed description of the item(s). The air waybill must also include a brief description of the contents (e.g., 'Gift shipment of books and men's cotton clothing'). In addition to the general requirements, there are country-specific requirements.
Importations Into Canada
The gift exemption for eligible gifts imported into Canada is CAD$60 or less, per gift, even if a single gift has more than one recipient (e.g., gift to a family). Each gift in the shipment must be clearly identified as one gift. If the gift is worth more than CAD$60, the amount over CAD$60 is subject to duties and taxes (e.g., if a relative sends you a gift worth CAD$200, you must pay any applicable duty plus the GST, HST or QST on CAD$140).
The CAD$60 exemption that's available for gifts cannot be combined with the general CAD$20 exemption that's available on all items.
Importations Into the U.S.
The gift exemption for eligible gifts imported into the U.S. is USD$100 or less, per gift, per recipient. For consolidated gift shipments, the name of each individual receiving a gift, the description of the gift item(s) for each individual, and the value of each item must be shown on the Commercial Invoice. Each gift in the shipment must be clearly identified as one gift. And, the complete name, address and phone number of both the shipper and consignee must be stated on the Commercial Invoice.
If a company name appears on the shipping or customs documentation it is no longer considered a personal shipment and will not qualify for the gift exemption. This also applies to shipments that are addressed to or from an individual c/o their company name and address.
If any item exceeds the gift allowance, the entire shipment will be dutiable.
The following items are excluded from the USD$100 gift exemption. Shipments containing these items may be subject to duties and taxes, as well as formal entry requirements.
- Perfumes containing alcohol
- Bath, cosmetic, and beauty products containing antibacterial agents
Non-perishable Food Items and Gift Baskets Containing Non-perishable Food Items
To help reduce customs delays by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the description on the Commercial Invoice must include whether the item is homemade or store-bought (e.g., 'Homemade (or store-bought) chocolate cookies - for personal consumption, not for resale').
Please note that 'Kinder Surprise' chocolate eggs are prohibited from import into the U.S.
Importations Into the Rest of the World
In addition to the general requirements, please check the specific requirements for the destination country.
The following items are prohibited from being shipped via FedEx Express International Services:
- Perishable foodstuffs and any food item requiring temperature control
- Alcoholic beverage shipments from an individual to an individual
- Tobacco shipments from an individual to an individual
For more information on shipping restrictions, please call FedEx Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339.
*For a complete list of prohibited items, see the restrictions section of the Terms and Conditions in the FedEx Service Guide.