Starting March 1, New International Customs Rules Apply

If you ship internationally, new customs regulations will be required. Providing detailed content descriptions will be imperative to prevent returned and refused packages.

Updated Feb 28, 2023

As new regulations for EU shipments come into effect March 1, 2023 we’ve got you covered. Get the full rundown of all the things that you need to know and how to prepare your international shipments ahead of the upcoming changes to custom regulations.

If you ship internationally with Chit Chats you’ll need to ensure that you comply with these new regulations.

Detailed Shipment Descriptions

When shipments cross international borders they are subject to customs regulations. As part of the March 1, 2023 update to EU custom regulations, all imported shipments must have detailed shipment descriptions. This is important to remember, as it is the sole responsibility of the shipper to ensure that shipment’s description is detailed and accurate.

By providing a detailed description for your shipment, we are able to pass this important information to both the shipping carrier and customs. This helps with a smoother transit as customs will be clear on what is in the package, preventing delays and reducing the risk of fines. Additionally, these measures help to mitigate the risk of fraud for consumers.

General categories won’t be acceptable and will only cause headaches for your shipment’s transit with delays or even worse, refused entry. Gifts, documents and other shipment types are not exempt. It’s a good idea to review all your shipment descriptions when shipping to any international destination so that the description is in plain language and precise enough for customs authorities to be able to identify the goods.

Find some common examples below to help you. This list is meant as a guide only, and it is not exhaustive.

Unacceptable Shipment DescriptionAcceptable Shipment Description
ApparelMen’s Shirt, Lingerie, Girl’s Vest, Boy’s Jacket
ArtPainting, Drawing, Sculpture, Photography
Auto PartsAutomobile Brake, Windshield Glass for Automobiles
CapsPlastic Cap, Baseball Cap
DecalVinyl sticker
GiftsScented candle, remote-controlled car, cashmere scarf
HandcraftDescribe which type of Handicraft -Vase, dish, necklace, chairs
Household GoodsPlate, Dish, Tableware
Leather ArticlesSaddle, Leather Handbag, Leather Jacket
PinsEnable pins, sewing pins, safety pins
PosterWall poster, Printed poster
PrintArt print
StickerSelf adhesive paper sticker, Self adhesive plastic sticker

European Commission Guidelines

Guidance on acceptable and unacceptable terms for the description of goods

Harmonized System Coding

You may have heard of Harmonized System (HS) Codes or have been prompted to detail the country of origin for your products. With these new regulations, this is where these details become important for your shipments.

HS Codes are commonly used when shipping goods to classify the items contained for customs processing. The Harmonized System is a standardized numerical method of classifying traded products. As of March 1, 2023, all shipments to EU member nations will require accurate HS coding. Visit this resource to help classify your shipments.

In order to make this as smooth a transition as possible for your shipments, we require your cooperation in providing accurate and detailed descriptions for shipments.

There will be no changes required for your workflow when adding or importing shipments to your Chit Chats account. Just be sure to provide detailed and accurate shipment descriptions for everything in your package and we’ll do the rest.

  • Breakdown your shipment descriptions by listing each item enclosed with the quantity
  • If you ship multiple items in one package, use semicolons to separate each item
    • For example: 1 men’s tshirt; 2 baseball caps
  • If you import shipments with one of our integrations, update the product descriptions in your connected store(s) to be as detailed as possible
  • Check your preset settings to ensure your saved descriptions are detailed and accurate

While the new customs rules are specific to international packages going to European countries that follow EU customs regulations, it is highly recommended that you provide detailed shipment descriptions for all your international shipments. This will help you get packages to move efficiently through international borders and will likely become a standard requirement for all international destinations.

Countries that follow European Union (EU) customs rules

AustriaBelgiumBulgariaCroatiaCyprus, Republic of
Czech RepublicDenmarkEstoniaFinlandFrance