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International Shipping

International Shipping

Learn the basics of FedEx® international shipping and prepare your next shipment with these tools and resources.

Learn the basics of FedEx® international shipping and prepare your next shipment with these tools and resources.

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Frequently Asked Questions

A harmonized code is a six-digit code used by customs officials to document the commodities entering and exiting the country. All import and export codes are based on the Harmonized System (HS) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS). Virtually all countries base their tariff schedules on this system, making it easier to conduct international trade.  Every imported or exported item is assigned a classification code (Harmonized Code) that corresponds to its product type. These numerical codes are used by countries worldwide for statistics-gathering purposes. They also determine which tariffs, if any, will be applied to the product. Additionally, foreign trade regulations require exporters to include the correct classification code on export  documentation.

A Commercial Invoice is used to record accounts receivable for the seller and accounts payable for the buyer. The content of the Commercial Invoice is almost always the same as the Pro Forma Invoice. However, the final sale price may vary with the Pro Forma Invoice, as the Pro Forma Invoice is issued before an actual sale takes place. Its purpose is to give a customer a clear idea of what to expect, and it acts as a good faith estimate showing what can be known in advance, such as prices and terms, and an average billing amount for the types of items being requested. A customer may also use a Pro Forma Invoice to decide whether or not to place an order. The purpose of a Commercial Invoice is to request payment for items that have actually been sold by showing the amount that should be paid.

Clearance delays occur for a variety of reasons. Some examples include:

  • Missing documentation
  • Incomplete, missing, or inaccurate information on documentation
  • Additional documentation needed by regulatory agencies
  • Processing required by additional regulatory agencies
  • Missing piece(s) of multiple-piece shipment

If additional information is required from the shipper or recipient, FedEx will attempt to contact them. Once all requirements are fulfilled, your shipment will be cleared to move to its final destination.

Customs value is the total shipment value as declared by its shipper to serve as the basis for determining duties and taxes. It usually reflects the selling or the replacement price of the shipment and is equal to or higher than the declared value for carriage. If you are shipping 5 items at $20 apiece, then your customs value would be $100. 

Before you ship, check to see if your product has an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN), a five-digit, alphanumeric code that identifies the technology level and capabilities of your product. You’ll use this code to find out when and where you need an export license. 

Resources for Exporters

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Reach Global Markets

Find greater opportunities and grow your business by understanding international market conditions, regulations, business customs and service availability.

Country Commercial Guides
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Affordable Service to Canada

FedEx International Ground® offers cost-effective door-to-door shipping from the U.S. to 100% of Canadian businesses and residential addresses.

Ground Shipping to Canada
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Build Your Exporting Plan

Assess your current exporting approach and prepare for what’s next with tips to guide your growth at every stage.

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