Food and drink are frequently included in gift lists, as is a ‘taste-of-home’ care package for an expat. Thankfully, the rules for shipping food internationally are straightforward, if a little restrictive. When sending food to another country, the golden rule is to avoid sending anything perishable. Foodstuffs that can spoil during transit, such as anything that isn’t stored in a tin or jar, as well as dried goods, are considered perishable. If you do want to ship a specific food item, here are some basic requirements: Read our Do’s and Don’ts for Shipping Food Abroad for more information.
- Foods must be in their original packaging from the manufacturer.
- Food packaging must be tightly sealed and unaltered in any way.
- All ingredients must be listed on the food label.
- Foods must have a shelf life of at least 6 months after being shipped.
- Foods with a shelf life of less than 6 months will be classified as perishables and will not be able to be sent via courier, even if purchased in a store.
Check to see if the gift you want to send is restricted by either your courier or the recipient country. Restricted items are listed on each country’s customs website, which usually includes a detailed list of what is currently permitted and what is not. It can also provide information on quantity. It’s always surprising to learn what some countries prohibit, Gifts delivery to Pakistan
from Kinder Eggs in the United States to game consoles in China: here are some of the best examples.
Remember that no courier will transport any form of alcohol. Because alcohol is a flammable substance, this is the case.
For example, the following items are prohibited from being shipped:
- Photographic equipment
- Perfume lighters
- Batteries made of lithium
Customs Requirements for International Shipping
When you’ve finished your order, you’ll be given customs documents to print and attach to your package. Filling out the required fields correctly is critical to avoid any confusion at Customs, which could result in you paying more than you should. It’s also critical that you clearly attach these documents to your parcel’s outer packaging, with a spare set inside for added security.
It’s important to remember that most international shipments outside of the European Union, including your gift, will be subject to customs duty and tax. If your gift to Pakistan is subject to tax, you will be charged a separate fee by the customs authority, which is not included in your original courier quote. It is therefore critical that you accurately state the value of the items and the reason for shipping – it has been proven that being completely honest on customs forms is far easier and less expensive than attempting to avoid customs duties. Some countries have a tax exemption amount for gifts and personal items imported. When sending a gift to the United States, for example, there is a $100 USD exemption. This means you can bring in a gift worth less than $100 tax-free. We understand that international country-by-country customs regulations can be perplexing, so if you want to double-check, give our customer service team a call.
Every product has a commodity code to make things easier (also known as a Customs Tariff code or harmonization code). Depending on which country you’re shipping to, each code has a specific amount of tax to pay. It is critical to state this code clearly; otherwise, customs will simply open your package, inspect the contents, and apply whatever amount they deem appropriate.
This cost is usually paid by the package recipient, but because this is a gift, you can have it sent to the sender – all you have to do is contact our customer service team to make the arrangements.