When shipping internationally, you go through the same steps as shipping domestically, except that you need to add customs information to your shipment. EasyPost uses this information to automatically generate the necessary customs forms for your shipment. You need to pass customs information whenever you are shipping between two countries.
If you haven't run through our Getting Started Guide, definitely do that before moving on to this one.
When shipping internationally, carriers require that you add information about the contents of your package. This information is used by the customs process for the country to which you are shipping.
To add information about your package’s contents, you need to create a CustomsItem object for each type of item you are shipping. If you have multiples of the same item in the package, you don’t need to create a new CustomsItem for each. You just specify the number of items when creating the CustomsItem object.
When creating a CustomsItem you pass the following:
To get the “hs_tariff_number”, you’ll need to look up the harmonization code associated with whatever product you are shipping. You can search for them on http://hts.usitc.gov/. Though some codes may be longer, you only need to pass us the first six digits of the code. Also, remove any “.” in the harmonization code before sending to us. In our case, the harmonization code for a cotton T-shirt is “6109.10.00”, so we’ll just pass “610910” as the “hs_tariff_number”.
Here is an example where we create a CustomsItem object for the T-shirt we’re shipping:
Once you’ve created the CustomsItem objects for the items you are shipping, you next need to associate them with the customs form that you we be adding to your shipment. We call this form the CustomsInfo object. You will need only one CustomsInfo object per shipment.
The Customsinfo object contains a bunch of attributes that are very specific to shipping goods across borders. Below we’ll do our best to explain each though it can be a bit confusing. If you ever have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org..
When creating a CustomsInfo object you need to pass:
eel_pfc = When shipping outside the US, you need to provide either an Exemption and Exclusion Legend (EEL) code or a Proof of Filing Citation (PFC). Which you need is based on the value of the goods being shipped.
The trickiest part of creating the CustomsInfo object is figuring out the values for the attributes. Once you’ve done that, it’s simply a matter of passing those values to us. Here’s an example of creating the CustomsInfo object for our shipment of T-shirt and Hat to the UK:
Now that you’ve created the required customs information, you can now create your international shipment. The only difference from a domestic shipment is that you need to also pass the CustomsInfo object when creating a shipment.
When you buy a shipping label for your shipment, we automatically create additional customs forms you need. Most often, the customs form is integrated into the label and you can put it directly on your package. If you ever have any questions about a specific carrier, don’t hesitate to email us.
Here’s an example where we are creating an international shipment:
Congratulations! You’ve just shipped your first international package with EasyPost! Check out our Full Reference API Documentation.