Freight News, Logistics

Don’t let the customs man ruin your Christmas

[ December 3, 2015   //   ]

Failure to give enough information about parcels sent beyond the EU caused an average delay of over 11 days at Customs last Christmas, says international courier ParcelHero.
In fact, 12% of all gifts shipped beyond the EU missed the festive deadline last year, either because they were sent too late or were not properly described in the Custom’s invoice form, according to head of public relations David Jinks, who points out: “No one wants their presents to arrive late for Christmas. By taking just a few easy precautions, senders can ensure that their gifts to friends and family overseas are sitting safely under the tree, and not in a Customs warehouse, on Christmas day.”
It is important to declare the contents and value of each item inside a parcel on the Custom’s invoice, so that customs officers don’t have to open the parcel, which is what causes most delays. ParcelHero research suggests in fact that 49% of gifts were held up to some extent at Customs last Christmas.
And while it’s always nice to give someone a surprise gift, when sending presents outside the EU it is important to specify what is inside on all documentation – parcels labelled simply ‘gift’ or ‘present’ were held 20% longer in customs.
ParcelHero has launched a new Christmas overseas mailing page to help people avoid delays with final deadlines for mailing gifts a guide to import duty and tax exemptions limits on gifts in different countries and duty may be payable, even on gifts.
Some destinations that are known to experience regular delays – for example 85% of all shipments to China and 78% to South Africa are four or more days late.  
David Binks adds: “It’s also important to remember that any extra duties to be paid will have to be by the receiver, and that also means they will be told what the item is, spoiling the surprise. Paying all duties in advance might be the safest choice.”