3 Tips for Preparing an International Shipment

Posted by Tania

Flagship’s discounts on courier services for Purolator, UPS and FedEx are available for international shipments too! The international shipping process, however, may be quite intimidating for some. Things like duties, taxes, and brokerage fees may sound daunting. Here are some tips to help make your next international shipment easier and more efficient.

1. Commercial Invoices

The commercial invoice is a detailed listing and description of the goods being shipped and 3 copies of it must be attached to your shipment. For all FlagShip customers, our online shipping system is an excellent tool that allows you to generate your own custom commercial invoices.  TIP: Always provide an accurate and detailed description of your product to avoid customs delays. For example, it is better to list “sample of 70 cm x 25 cm scarf (100% polyester)” as opposed to a simple “scarf sample”.

 2. NAFTA Certificate of Origin

 The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) acts as a Certificate of Origin, allowing preferential treatment for goods originating from and travelling between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. TIP: If your product is made in the U.S. and is travelling to Canada, for example, make sure your supplier has the NAFTA certificate in order to avoid paying duties on the goods.

3. Brokerage

A customs broker specializes in the security and regulatory requirements necessary to clear your shipments at customs. This minimizes the risk of penalties and keeps your goods moving without delay. Our SmartShip™ system gives you the option to select either your own customs broker or use the carrier’s broker.

TIP: Leave the broker field empty if you choose to use the carrier’s broker for clearance.

TIP: Brokerage fees are included for air shipments. For more information, please contact us.

It is important to work with a reliable courier who knows the international shipping processes well in order to help you save and ship efficiently. Call us at 1-866-320-8383.