Key Topics For Understanding International Shipping

International shipping doesn’t have to be complex. We’re here to help! Read about the key topics that are essential to know before you start shipping worldwide.

1. Market research

Do your research! Some products that are shipped may not be allowed in certain countries. USPS offers a great resource that lists restricted items by country.

2. Duties and taxes

It is the shipper’s responsibility to be transparent with your customers that customs, duties and taxes may apply to international shipments. Tax laws vary between countries and shipments crossing international borders are subject to these laws.

3. Multiple carriers

International shipping involves multiple carriers along the shipment’s journey. The last-mile delivery is usually handled by the destination country’s local postal authority. Don’t forget that not all international services provide full tracking with delivery confirmation. Be sure to research the international service you choose to ship with so that you can prepare your customers.

4. Insurance

We recommend protecting your shipments with insurance especially when shipping internationally as there’s a greater risk of products being damaged or lost. By providing insurance, you can minimize concerns from international buyers and also gain peace of mind.

5. Delivery times

Estimated delivery times can be longer when shipping internationally with unexpected delays due to customs. Most carriers do not offer guaranteed delivery times so be transparent with your customers and provide a range rather than a specific date. In certain countries an international order may not be delivered directly to the customer’s address and packages are instead sent to a local customs office or postal location for pick up.

6. Packaging

Shipping a product internationally might require different packaging as the product will be in transit for longer. This is especially important if the product is fragile or of high value. Ensuring products arrive undamaged by choosing suitable packaging will lessen returns and service queries.

By opening up your marketplace you can start expanding your business today. Find more international shipping tips in our previous blog post.

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International Shipping Tips

Please find links to useful references mentioned throughout our International shipping guide.

  1. USPS’ guide on international addresses 
  2. USPS prohibited items
  3. USPS prohibited and restricted items by country
  4. Canada Post prohibited and restricted items by country
  5. Asendia country list
  6. Taxes and duties
  7. USPS First Class Package and USPS Priority Mail Flat offers delivery confirmation to 43 countries
  8. Asendia Priority Tracked offers delivery confirmation to 45 countries

 

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Announcing: ASENDIA International

Starting April 23rd, 2018 in the Ontario region, Chit Chats is excited to launch Asendia for your international shipments.

Live in a different region? Hang tight, we’ll be releasing this service to all our locations soon!

How it works:

Asendia expedites international packages within the U.S. and then hands off to local carriers in the destination country for final mile delivery. By tapping into their vast international network the results are reliable and speedy delivery.

This service will have two options to take advantage of:

  1. Asendia International Priority Tracked — Fully tracked to 45 countries, max weight 4.4 lbs / 2 kgs (some destinations will have a weight allowance up to 66 lbs / 30 kgs).
  2. Asendia International Priority Airmail — partially tracked to 113 countries, max weight 4.4 lbs.

What does this mean for you?

Faster delivery to your international customers and cheaper shipping rates! The time in transit record is 1–4 days faster than other international mail service providers.

Benefits:

Don’t forget we offer full visibility through our platform for tracking your package and you can easily share this with your customers. If there is no tracking provided by the carrier you will only see the updates for when the package was released to the carrier from Chit Chats.

IMPORTANT:

Please ensure your Asendia International packages are sorted separately from the other carriers. Chit Chats cannot be responsible for any packages that are brought to us unsorted. You can easily create a batch label for these shipments. Read more here.

Please familiarize yourself with carrier-specific restrictions herePlease note that carrier-specific restrictions are in addition to Chit Chats’ Shipping Restrictions.

 

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Changes to USPS First Class International Flat

Did you know that USPS no longer allows merchandise to be shipped using First Class Mail International Flat? This came into effect January 21, 2018.What does this mean for you? Only documents are approved to be sent using this mail service.

What is considered a document?

  • Audit and business records
  • Personal correspondence
  • Circulars
  • Pamphlets
  • Advertisements
  • Written instruments not intended to be resold
  • Money orders, checks, and similar items that cannot be negotiated or converted into cash without forgery

What is no longer allowed?

  • CDs, DVDs, flash drives, video and cassette tapes, and other digital and electronic storage media (regardless of whether they are blank or contain electronic documents or other pre-recorded media)
  • Artwork
  • Collector or antique document items
  • Books
  • Periodicals
  • Printed music
  • Printed educational or test material
  • Player piano rolls
  • Commercial photographs, blueprints and engineering drawings
  • Film and negatives
  • X-rays
  • Separation negatives

As a Chit Chats client if you are shipping anything other than documents you will have two options to ship internationally:

  1. USPS First Class Package or
  2. Chit Chats Standard International Service

Tip: USPS First Class International package includes tracking to most international destinations and to ensure this option is available select ‘Thick Envelope’ in the package details.

Chit Chats International Standard Service

A great alternative to USPS First Class International Package is Chit Chats International Standard Service* which offers low rates that make it affordable to send to many international destinations. The delivery time ranges from 7 to 22 business days which is the same as USPS. This service can be used for any packages up to 2 kg.

For example, 0.25 kg to England would cost $6.18 using Chit Chats International service versus Canada Post which could cost you anywhere from $20 or more.

Stay tuned as Chit Chats will soon be offering another discounted international service with tracking and fast delivery! We are committed to providing the best rates to our clients and always looking for ways to provide alternate shipping solutions.

*Delivery time can range depending on the destination country and tracking is not included.

 

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