Purpose: Learn how you can use Sendcloud to ensure that your packages arrive smoothly to your international customers.
For more tips and tricks on international shipping, visit our blog entry: International Shipping: A Checklist for Problem-Free Global Shipping.
Fill in your business details and required identification numbers
EORI and VAT numbers are mandatory in commercial invoices, which are required when shipping outside the EU with commercial carriers. In general, make sure that your business details are complete in your Sendcloud account. Otherwise, customs might reject your parcels and have them returned to the sender address.
To do this, go to Settings > Addresses > Sender address > Choose a sender address > Click the pen icon to edit and add your VAT and EORI numbers. If you ship from the EU to the UK, you have to include specific GB EORI and VAT numbers. Find out more about VAT and EORI numbers in our dedicated article.
If you ship from the UK to the EU, you can also add your IOSS number in this page. Read here how to add it.
Make sure that you are not trying to ship any prohibited items
Rules may vary depending on the country and carrier. If you are not sure, we recommend that you always visit the official website of the carrier you are going to use, even if you create the labels from your Sendcloud panel. For more information about the goods that are generally not authorised, check our blog here.
Consider not offering restricted items to international clients.
Determine which incoterms you will use
If you ship with Sendcloud’s rates, all the international shipping methods will use DAP (Delivered at Place), which is the most commonly used Incoterm. This means that the seller is responsible for the shipping costs, the insurance and the preparation of export documents, while the recipient will pay any import duties.
If you ship with your own carrier contract, you might have the option to use DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) depending on the carrier.
Please note that most of the methods are DAP unless mentioned otherwise.
For more information on Incoterms, read our guide here.
Choose your shipping method
If you want to offer flexible delivery options on your checkout page so that your customers can choose their preferred carrier, whether express or regular, you can activate several carriers in your Sendcloud account. Click here for more information on how to enable your carriers.
If you ship with Sendcloud rates, we advise you to read the shipping conditions article of the carrier that you are interested in using and check the maximum dimensions so that you choose a shipping method and a carrier that suits the packaging and dimensions of your parcel. For more details, check our Carriers page.
Keep in mind that carriers may apply volumetric weight, also known as dimensional weight, which is the "volume" that a parcel occupies when in transit. To calculate the volumetric weight of your parcel and avoid extra costs, read this article.
How to compare rates
To compare the different available carriers and their prices, you can use our Price calculator. You will find it in Settings > Rates > Price calculator. You can also use our calculator to compare return methods. For more information, please read our article on How to use the Shipping Price Calculator.
Insure your packages
If you want to protect your shipments against damage or loss during transport, consider adding our Sendcloud insurance to your parcels.
To insure your shipment, go to the Incoming Orders tab in your Sendcloud panel and click the pen icon to edit the order details. You will be able to enter the desired amount at the bottom of the page in the Total requested insurance field. Here you can also check whether the shipping method that you are about to use includes carrier insurance (separate from Sendcloud Insurance).
Please note that the minimum insured amount is €100 at a cost of €1 per label. You can see the indicative insurance price in the Summary of the shipping costs before you create the label.
For more detailed information, please refer to the Sendcloud Insurance Terms & Conditions.
Ship to the correct delivery address
Sendcloud imports the delivery address that your customer indicates in the checkout of your online store. In case the provided address does not meet the requirements of the carrier, an error message will appear in the order.
To correct an address, go to the Incoming orders tab and click the pen icon to edit the order. Once you are done, don't forget to click Create the label.
Describe your items
When shipping internationally, it is important to fill in the details of the different products. To do this, go to the Items section of an incoming order or in the manual shipment creation form in your Sendcloud account and fill in the required fields:
- Item description
- Origin country
- Unit value, unit weight and amount of units
- HS Code
- SKU (optional)
To add a new item, clic the + Add item button and enter the details.
To delete an item, click the bin icon and then confirm by clicking Delete item. If you want to delete all items, click the red button Delete All.
Where to find the HS Code of a product
The Harmonized System (HS) Code is a numerical code used by customs officers worldwide to classify products. You can usually get the HS code of a product from the product manufacturer.
Alternatively, you can find all the commodity codes in the European Customs Portal. Search for the product by entering keywords that describe it.
Correctly apply the shipping label to the box
Labels printed with Sendcloud comply with the standards set by the different carriers and are ready to be applied. Read more about how to print your shipping labels here.
Ensure that you have correctly applied the label to your parcel to avoid delays, issues and losses. Some general tips include:
- Place the label on the outside of the box, if possible on the widest side
- Make sure the label is fully visible: there should not be any additional or old labels, and nothing should cover it
- The adhesive tape should not cover any important information in the label, including the barcode
- Use a clear, specially designed shipping envelope to attach your customs documents and invoices to the same side where you placed the shipping label.
Include customs documents
Each parcel you send to a non-EU country must be accompanied by customs documents. These include but are not limited to:
- Customs declarations (postal carriers): CN22 or CN23 + CP71
- Commercial invoice (commercial carriers)
- Certificate of Origin
You can download your pre-filled customs documents by going to the details of your international order, complete all the required fields (HS code, origin country, description and measures of the articles, etc.) and create the label. Then, go to the Created labels tab, open the label details and download your customs form.
You can also automatise this by selecting the option "Print customs documents with labels" in Settings > Printing. If you tick this option, your customs documents will be printed at the same time as the label. You will also be able to select the number of copies that you want to print. Don't forget to click Update settings.
Keep in mind that some carriers support Paperless Trade. For those cases, no document will be printed, as it will automatically be sent to the carrier.
For more detailed information about the different customs documents and requirements, click here.
→ International shipping: VAT & EORI numbers
→ How to calculate & automate parcel volumetric weight
→ How to download/print customs documents with Sendcloud