Plan Ahead for Customs Success
Every time you ship internationally, you’ll need to take a few additional steps to prepare your shipment for the customs clearance process. Customs, the government service responsible for administering international trade laws, inspects and regulates every shipment to make sure the contents comply with the importing country or territory’s regulations. FedEx offers a variety of online resources and tools to help you get ready for every step of the process.
Understanding Roles in the Customs Clearance Process
Complete Your Documentation
Prepare your customs documents (the Commercial Invoice and any other required forms) and your international shipping label on your own or via Global Trade Manager.
Attach Documentation to Package
Print customs documentation or upload it via FedEx® Electronic Trade Documents, print your shipping label and stick it all on your shipment. Then, drop it off at your nearest FedEx location or schedule a pickup.
Export & Import Customs
If you don't select to use your own broker, we will take care of your shipment in transit and guide it through both Export Customs Clearance and Import Customs Clearance.
Completing the Shipment
FedEx will retrieve the shipment(s) from Customs and will finish delivering it to the importer/recipient.
Tips to Avoid Customs Delays
- Declare the accurate value for your item, even if it’s being provided to the recipient at no charge (i.e., sample or not for resale). The value will be used to assess duties and taxes.
- Keep multiple-piece shipments together, and label each piece of the shipment individually.
- Correctly complete all necessary documents. Keep your answers specific, accurate and free of spelling errors.
- Make sure information is consistent across all required customs documents.
- When filling out customs documents, list each commodity separately, and provide a detailed, accurate description of each one, including what it’s made of and how it will be used.
- Legibly print the commodity’s country of origin/manufacture to indicate where your commodity was manufactured, grown or produced.
- If you’re using your own broker, please include their complete contact information.
- Provide phone number or fax information for both the sender and the consignee.
Customs brokers stay on top of ever-changing international shipping regulations on the shipper’s and recipient’s behalf, making sure that each shipment complies with the necessary rules and laws. FedEx includes brokerage with every international shipment, though you can also choose to use your own broker.
Required Customs Documentation
As the exporter, you’re responsible for preparing all the customs documentation needed for your international shipment. Find more information on which documents you need to fill out, along with guidance on what to include, by using FedEx International Shipping Assist.
Duties & Taxes
Most shipments that cross international borders are subject to duty and tax assessment by the importing country’s government. Learn more about these charges and what to expect so you can avoid surprises and save yourself and the recipient time, money and effort.
International shipping regulations and requirements can change quickly, but staying on top of them doesn’t have to be difficult. FedEx issues regulatory alerts and updates for international shipping to help keep you aware of any new developments.
FedEx Electronic Trade Documents (ETD)
Submit customs document ahead of shipping.
FedEx® Global Trade Manager
Detailed document preparation center.
FedEx International Shipping Assist
Automated tool for planning international shipments.
International Terms and Definitions
Definitions of popular international shipping terms.
Stay Informed with FedEx Emails
Keep up with the latest FedEx offers and learn how you can make shipping and printing even easier with timely email updates.