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Beyond Basics

International Shipping Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs
For USPS, should I use Priority Mail International or International First Class to ship internationally?
With Priority Mail International (PMI), you can use the same USPS free domestic box, you get free Delivery Confirmation, and you can print the labels from PayPal or eBay. You'll print 2 pages and insert them into the USPS-provided plastic envelope and affix it to the box. You can now have the package picked up or drop it at the post office.

With First-Class Mail International® (FCMI), the fees are lower for the buyer. However, FCMI is not an option on PayPal or on the USPS website for label printing on the site. To use FCMI you'll need to provide your own box, and mail the package at the post office. A registered mail fee will be charged to track the package.
Can I drop my Express Mail International item or other USPS international packages in a collection box?
Express Mail International and Priority Mail International items that have the mailing label, customs declaration (including an electronic round stamp), and postage prepared and paid online through Click-N-Ship service on USPS.com, through the eBay/PayPal integrated shipping solution, or through an authorized PC Postage® vendor Web site may be deposited a collection box, lobby drop, Automated Postal Center drop, Postal Service lobby, or be picked up by a letter carrier. Schedule a carrier pickup online at www.usps.com/pickup.
I need more information on postage, shipping and customs forms on eBay or PayPal. Where can I find it?
To obtain more detailed information and help please visit the PayPal shipping help section. For more general information on buying and selling internationally on eBay, visit the Global Trade resource center.
How can I exclude countries I don't want to sell or ship to?
The ship-to location exclusion option allows you to specify countries you do not wish to include in your international listings. You can set up your own preferred exclusion list right in My eBay, or create an exclusion list for an individual listing. Then apply the exclusion list while you're listing your item through the Sell Your Item form or Turbo Lister. This option will only be visible if you choose to sell internationally. Learn more about setting up your exclusion list.
Can I buy insurance or purchase protection in the event of loss or damage for my international shipments?
  • USPS: Insurance coverage is available up to $500 for EMI and PMI parcels through the USPS online. To purchase higher insurance coverage, take the item to your local post office.

  • UPS: Sellers can Declare Value against loss or damage for international shipments when you print and pay for shipping services using the PayPal Online Label Solution or at UPS.com.

  • FedEx: Sellers can provide a declared value for shipments which represents the maximum liability for FedEx in connection with a shipment of that package. You may transfer this risk to an insurance carrier of your choice through the purchase of an insurance policy, but FedEx does not provide insurance.

  • Other Carriers/Shipping Insurance Providers: For shipping carriers other than USPS and UPS and for other insurance providers, please contact the company for their international insurance shipment options.
International Shipping Labels & Customs Forms FAQ's
What forms do I need to ship internationally via FedEx®?
FedEx® will recommend documentation for your specific shipments through FedEx Global Trade Manager, a free resource. You can then complete and even submit documents electronically.

You may also use the Global Shipping Program. The Global Shipping Program lets you sell to buyers in many countries around the world. When an item sells, just ship your items to the US shipping center. International shipping is handled for you, including preparing customs forms, paying applicable import charges and shipping to the buyer using a fast, reliable carrier.
What international services are offered by FedEx?
There are several international services offered by FedEx:
  • FedEx International First® - 2 business days to Europe
  • FedEx International Priority® - 1, 2 or 3 business days
  • FedEx International Economy® - within 5 business days
  • FedEx International Ground® to Canada - day-definite delivery
What forms do I need to ship internationally via USPS?
Express Mail International®
Express Mail International items may require either USPS customs form, the PS Form 2976 or PS Form 2976-A, depending on the item(s) being shipped and the destination country. Please refer to the International Mail Manual individual country listing to determine which form is required. If you're using Carrier Pickup, place copies 1-4 of your combined address label customs declaration PS Form 2976-A-EMI in PS Form 2976-E (adhesive envelope); retain copy 5, Senders Copy. If you choose to purchase special services at the Post Office, place all five copies of the shipping labels in PS Form 2976-E. The post office sales and service associate will complete the rest of the label, retain a copy, and give you the sender's copy.

Priority Mail International flat-rate boxes and parcels
Priority Mail International flat-rate boxes (except the Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate Box) and parcels require a PS Form 2976-A. When you complete your transaction online on the USPS Website or through a PC Postage vendor, you receive lower pricing and customs documentation is combined into the address label PS Form 2976-A-PMI. If you're using Carrier Pickup, place copies 1-4 in PS Form 2976-E (adhesive envelope); retain copy 5, Senders Copy. If you choose to purchase special services at the Post Office, place all five copies of the shipping labels in PS Form 2976-E. The post office sales and service associate will complete the rest of the label, retain a copy, and give you the sender's copy.

Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelope and small flat-rate box
There is no customs form required on the Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelope providing it weighs less than 16 ounces, does not exceed ¾ inches thick and does not contain dutiable contents. The PS Form 2976 is required on the Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate Box. You'll need to place the PS Form 2976 combined shipping and customs Declaration in PS Form 2976-E (adhesive envelope) and retain your sender's copy.
What forms do I need to ship internationally via UPS?
For your UPS shipments let UPS suggest which forms are needed for your item and destination at UPS.com. You can then complete your forms online.
I printed multiple copies of a form, but I do not see a postage paid shipping label. Where is my postage label?
If you inspect the first label that printed, it contains both your postage paid shipping label and customs form all in one. In the upper right corner is the postage area showing your paid postage amount. This first form with postage included should be the top form on the package and show through the clear envelope. It is titled "Customers Declaration" in the lower right corner of the form.
Why do the custom forms that print from PayPal look different than the smaller green customs forms I have been previously using?
The 2976 version of the online shipping label is larger than the smaller green customs forms to allow for postage, mailing information and customs information on one copy.
How should I attach shipping label and custom forms to the package? Why are there multiple copies?
Each of the different U.S. Postal Service ® international services prints different forms and have multiple copies. In all cases however, you should keep the copy labeled "Senders Copy" on the lower right of the form. The remaining forms should be placed in the clear plastic adhesive backed pouch, PS Form 2976-E.
Can I use my own adhesive label holder for the international labels? Can I tape the international labels to the package instead?
You may not tape the international labels and/or customs forms to your package. They must be placed in a clear adhesive pouch/envelope to allow easy inspection by various carriers and customs officials.

It is required that you use a U.S. Postal Service supplied envelope for PS Form 2976-E, which can be obtained at your local post office or online for free.
Can the shipping cost be hidden on USPS international labels?
No, this option is not available. The shipping cost must be displayed on international shipping labels, because it is required by customs. Items that do not display the shipping cost may be returned by customs.
What international shipping assistance can UPS provide?
Only UPS offers customers UPS Paperless® Invoice, an electronically transmitted commercial invoice that streamlines shipment processing, helps reduce international holds and saves ink and paper.

UPS offers a variety of free UPS international trade tools to help you grow your business internationally.
What international services are offered by FedEx?
FedEx International First® - 2 business days to Europe
FedEx International Priority® - 1, 2 or 3 business days
FedEx International Economy® - within 5 business days
FedEx International Ground® to Canada - day-definite delivery
Import Export Restrictions
Where can I find a list of Prohibited and Restricted Items?
Before listing your item, make sure it's allowed on eBay and find out if there are specific rules and conditions on how it should be listed. See the list of prohibited and restricted items and click the product category for information about the policies. You'll also need to make sure that the sale of your item complies with all local laws.

The US Postal Service also provides a list of prohibited and restricted items that can't be mailed overseas.

UPS offers the Country Regulations tool which allows you to determine prohibited or restricted commodities by country, as well as other country specific requirements and regulations.

Go to FedEx Global Trade Manager for country-specific information, requirements and resources.
What do I need to do to ship to Canada?
In Canada, buyers are responsible for paying duties, taxes, and applicable customs brokerage fees separate from the merchandise cost. Buyers will generally pay these fees upon receipt of your shipment. Tell your Canadian buyers that they may be charged additional fees once they receive your package.

UPS offers U.S. sellers a Non-Resident Importer (NRI) Account. The U.S. seller can then bill the customer up front for duties and taxes, as well as shipping and handling.

The advantages of having an NRI account:
  • No cash on delivery (C.O.D.) or power of attorney (POA) to worry the buyer.
  • Quicker shipment of goods as UPS does not have to wait for the release from customs.
  • Delivered as prepaid.
For more information on setting up a Non-Resident Importer account, call 1-800-PICK-UPS.

Go to FedEx Global Trade Manager for details on shipping to Canada or call 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (and say "international services").

The eBay Shipping Centre gives you all the information you need to simplify your shipping and increase your selling efficiency - right from eBay and PayPal
Exclude Ship-to Locations
How do I restrict my buyers to certain countries, instead of offering my items worldwide?
You can now set up your own preferred exclusion list right in My eBay, or create an exclusion list for an individual listing. Then apply the exclusion list while you're listing your item through the Sell Your Item form or Turbo Lister. This option will only be visible if you choose to sell internationally.

To do this, just follow these steps:
  • Click My eBay at the top of any eBay page
  • Click on the Account tab and select "Site Preferences"
  • Location Buyer requirements and click on the "Show" link to the right, then click "Edit".
  • Check off "Buyers in countries to which I don't ship"
  • Scroll down and click Submit



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