Hot issues and questions answered for import and export shipments

Posted by Tania

The customer service team at FlagShip spends their day helping customers with their import and export shipping. Our team has gathered a list of helpful tips relating to processing an import and export shipments – read below!

When requesting a quote for an import shipment, what information do I need to provide?

  • City, postal code, country of pickup and delivery
  • Dimensions and weight
  • How many boxes you are picking up


What information do I need to include on import labels and the commercial invoice?

  • Full address, contact and phone number of pickup and delivery
    • Detailed description of the contents
    • Country of origin of the product(s)
    • Value & currency of product(s)
    • Delivery service you would desire to take
    • If you have a broker that you use please include the information
    • When shipping internationally always include 3 copies of the commercial invoice on ALL boxes


How to fill out a commercial invoice, when:

  • Shipping Clothes and Fabric : Include material and colors.
  • Shipping Samples: Include the description of product samples (what the sample is, for example ‘Samples Swatches’).
  • Shipping Electronics: If resale must include manufacturers’ information.
  • Shipping Amazon: You must verify with customs that all products can be resold in that country. Certain products maybe banned, if it is banned customs will keep the product and in the system you will have a strike given against you, which will make it more of a challenge to ship internationally. After a certain amount of strikes you can be banned from importing and exporting.
  • Shipping a Return:
    • Repairs: State in description ‘Defective Return for Repairs. Reason for shipment: Temporary’
    • Return After Repairs: State in description ‘Defective no repairs: State in Description: Defective Return’
    • Please note some country may ask for additional documents
  • Shipping Checks and Documents: When writing in description, state ‘Documents’.
    • UPS: You do not need a commercial invoice.
    • FedEx: You always need a commercial invoice.
  • Include a valid phone number and email for your receiver.
  • The following will cause a shipment to be delayed:
    • FDA: Anything that comes in contact with the mouth and / or skin must go through FDA.
      • Include with commercial invoice a full list of ingredients and manufacturers information of the product you are shipping.
      • For shipments destined to any country other than the United States,Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands exporters are required to submit the CERS document electronically with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for goods that are valued at $2000.00CDN and more.
    • EEI: Importing from the US with a higher value of 10,000.
    • TSCA: Shipping cleaner, liquids that may contain Toxins.

Note if giving your account number to a supplier, inform them to not fill in DECLARED VALUE.  This is actually a request for insurance and cannot be removed once it is requested.

We hope this helps but don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions on your import and export shipping. Our customer service team is always available by phone at 1-866-320-8383 or by e-mail at