Remember that intense scene in Argo where the trapped group of foreigners is waiting in the Tehran airport while the customs agents are scrutinizing their passports and everyone is anxiously waiting to see if they clear and are able to board the flight and escape impending doom?
Okay, so shipping internationally and dealing with customs isn’t that intense, but it can be a scary concept – especially for those who rarely ship internationally. It can be hard to work with Customs, especially if you are working with a country that is not technologically advanced, has a high crime rate, or is experiencing some political unrest.
Luckily, Unishippers can assist you with the both the import and export of your shipments and has special relationships with carriers that provide international shipping services. UPS has a tool on their website called TradeAbility that can help you with specific country information and you can also enroll in their Paperless Invoicing Service. UPS freight forwarding also provides customs brokerage services that may be of benefit to you.
At the very least, it is important to know that your international package will require documentation. Here is a list of some of the most common documentation that is generally required for international shipments:
- Commercial Invoice
- U.S. Electronic Export Information
- Power of Attorney
- U.S. Certificate of Origin or NAFTA Certificate of Origin
- Other documents based on specific shipment info
International shipping doesn’t have to be a Hollywood worthy drama, you just need to be prepared and have a partner who can help assist you along the way.
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Comparing Freight Service Types
Depending on what your freight is, where it needs to go and how quickly it needs to get there, different freight services provide options to help you make it happen.