Filling out a customs & duties declaration form can be a scary thought for people who have never filled one out before. (They can also be daunting for those who have)
At Vyking Ship we have streamlined the process to make it easy (and pain free) to declare your customs & duties for international shipping.
The first step in completing your Customs Declaration is to click on the first circular icon that is located on each package currently at our warehouse. Just below this button are the words “Customs Declaration”
Once you click on the “Customs Declaration” button you will be brought to our easy to fill out Customs Declaration form.
Start by selecting the “Nature of Shipment”. Are the contents of this package pieces of Merchandise, Gifts, or Documents? The designation may affect how Customs Agents in your Country will determine how much, if any, taxes and duties are due.
Next, enter a detailed description of the first item in the package, followed by the cost of that item, and how many items in that package match that description. A good description will let anyone reading the Customs Declaration have a very good idea of what is inside without opening it up. If you description is too vague, say “Wallet” for $20, a Customs Agent may be more likely to open the package and see what kind of wallet it is and to see if a more accurate description of the item would indicate that the value should be much more than what was declared.
Declaring inaccurate descriptions or values on the Customs Declaration may result in penalties by Customs Agents in your Country or may result in the confiscation of items. Additionally, if you purchase shipping insurance on the package, that insurance will be for the total value based on the Customs Declaration. So if you declare a $200 camera as $50, insurance on that package will only cover the camera for $50. Even if you can prove to the USPS or FedEx that you paid $200, they will only cover the lesser value between the declared value and actual paid amount.
Sometimes merchants will ship you items with price tags that do not match what you paid for the item. Often times this is because the merchant discounted the items to you. This occurs most often with clothing and especially if the pieces were part of a previous season’s closeout sale.
In these cases we recommend one of two things so that your Customs Agents are not confused or think that someone has falsified values.
- Have us remove the Price Tags and Invoices (see Our full pricing page for details)
- Make sure that the box contains an accurate packing slip or invoice that has all items and their corresponding values listed on it. If there is only a packing slip with no values and the items are tagged with a higher value than you paid, if Customs Agents inspect your package they will likely believe the greater value on the tags as opposed to the value you listed on the Customs Declaration.
A few more things to note while completing your Customs & duties form:
- Please keep the description of your items alphanumeric, with no symbols. For inches, use “in” instead of quotation marks (“). For feet, use “ft” instead of an apostrophe (‘).
- Avoid using terms that could be misunderstood. For example, if you describe a flashlight as a “torch”, or a toy gun, glue gun, etc. as a “gun”, both of the items as described could raise some red flags with US Customs agents as your packages are attempting to leave the country (and could be returned without a refund!)
- If your goods that you are trying to ship could contain a hazardous material, but don’t, please elaborate on that. Common examples for these would be to explain that a lighter you are shipping contains no fuel (empty lighter) or a perfume that is water-based, rather than alcohol (water-based perfume).
If there is more than one item in your package, click the “Add Item” button to add additional lines.
Once you are satisfied with what you have entered, click the “Save” button at the bottom and your progress will be saved. You can always go back and change the details or add more at a later time.
We designed this to be simple and we draw the rest of the required Customs Declaration information from information in our database so that you don’t have to. However, if you can’t remember what was in a package or just don’t feel like taking the time to fill in the Customs Declaration, we do have an option available where we will do it for you. You can find this option in the “Additional Processing” section which can be found by clicking the button just to the right of the “Customs Declaration” button.
From there you can choose the “Complete Customs Declaration” option for $3.00 USD. When this option is selected, we will not only fill out your Customs Declaration to the best of our ability (if there is no indication of prices we may either leave then blank or find prices online) but we will also check to make sure that all items in the package match any enclosed packing slip/invoice and we will also notify you of any easily visible damage to your items. These added extra features can help save you a lot of money if the merchant made a mistake or your items were damaged in transit to our warehouse.
We strive to make our service and website as customer friendly and easy to use as possible. We certainly hope that if you wish to complete the Customs Declaration yourself that you do not run into any problems, but if you do, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will be glad to help you.