International shipping companies transport a huge number of parcels, but most individuals using parcel delivery services for personal items don’t need to ship things regularly. It might be something a person does only a few times in their life such as when they or a loved one move overseas. We can deliver a houseful of furniture or a single birthday present. Either way, these tips can make the whole process easier for you.
- Pack everything securely: while international shipping companies will take great care with your parcel, we can’t prevent rough seas or air turbulence. It is important to use sturdy boxes and plenty of padding to protect the items you are sending.
- Label your items clearly: include the name and address of the person receiving the item abroad, even if it is not being delivered to their door. Label the outside of the box, and include labels inside too. Customs is not likely to tear a parcel apart, but they do occasionally open things and it makes sense to avoid any confusion.
- Ship only packaged, non-perishable foods: your loved ones might miss their favourite brand of sausages or butter, but using parcel delivery services to send them just isn’t safe. Instead, ship them their favourite crisps, tea or biscuits in their original, sealed packaging.
- Check the rules of the country where the parcel is going: this is the most secure way to ensure that everything you have enclosed is legal. Different countries have different rules, and some would surprise you. Did you know a popular European candy egg with a small plastic toy inside is illegal in the USA? You can check the European rules here, but if using our parcel delivery services to ship items out of Europe, you will need to check the regulations individually.
- Be aware of anything in your parcel that might cause customs to open and search it: if you followed the previous step, this will probably not be an issue, but, for example, crystal contains lead, which can set off some sensors. Too many batteries in a parcel can also be a red flag for customs officials. Aerosol and other types of sprays, whether they are perfumes, cleaning products, shaving foam, hair gel or insecticides, are classed as dangerous goods. They cannot be shipped like other items. To make sure that you won’t have any issues, remember to package these items separately and label them clearly to comply with the relevant laws. We’re happy to talk to you about the contents of your parcel if you have concerns, and let you know if any items are considered dangerous goods.
- Make it easy to inspect your parcel: sometimes customs officials have to open parcels. Some things show up on security scanners and they have to confirm what is actually in the parcel. If you are shipping anything with lead or a similar substance, make it easy for inspectors to find and inspect that item. If it is a present, choose a gift box instead of wrapping it, and don’t tape it shut. International shipping companies can’t stop customs inspectors from ripping open gift wrap.
These tips can make it easier to send items via parcel delivery services whether you are moving overseas or sending gifts abroad. At Spratt Personal Shipping, we strive to offer better service than any other international shipping companies, and we’re happy to answer any questions you might have about any aspect of using our parcel delivery services.