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International shipping and customs
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In this article


If you're using the Global Shipping Program, simply ship the sold item to the US shipping center. There, an international shipping provider oversees the processing, customs clearance, and international shipment of the item to your buyer. Certain items, such as those subject to export controls or requiring a license, are ineligible for the program. Learn more about using the Global Shipping Program.

For items that you don't sell through the Global Shipping Program, you'll need to fill out the customs form before you pay for and print a shipping label on eBay for an international shipment.

Some information on the customs form, such as address, is already filled out for you. You'll need to enter other information, such as the Exemption and Exclusion Legend or a Proof of Filing Citation that is required by the U.S. Census Bureau. You might also need to file an export license.

Customs is a government agency responsible for regulating shipments entering a country. All shipments being sent to and from a country must clear customs first.

Important:

  • To follow US export regulations and prevent your package from being held for inspection, you must complete customs forms and possibly file an export license for items that sold for more than $2,500.

  • Customs regulations vary by country and not all carriers ship to all locations.

Who pays for customs?

Generally, buyers pay additional costs such as duties, taxes, and customs clearance fees. To avoid problems, make sure that your listing clearly states this. You can cut and paste this directly into your listing:

International Buyers – Please Note:

Import duties, taxes, and charges are not included in the item price or shipping cost. These charges are the buyer's responsibility.

Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to bidding or buying.

If you add this information to your listing and receive negative or neutral Feedback from the buyer about having to pay import duties and taxes, we may remove the Feedback. Find about more Feedback which refers to customs delays or customs fees.

Note: It's illegal to falsify customs declarations or mark an item as a "gift" in order to avoid customs fees. If a buyer asks you to commit customs fraud, report it to us.

For items that are purchased by international buyers through the Global Shipping Program, buyers pre-pay all applicable shipping and import charges during checkout.

Where do I find customs forms?

As an eBay seller, you'll need to fill out the appropriate customs form as provided by your carrier. In most cases, this means that you'll only have to fill out one form that contains the following information-sender's name and address, recipient's name and address, and the package's contents, value, and weight. If you choose to send your item with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), there are 2 forms that may apply-Green Tag 2976 & the White Form 2976-A. Below is a description of when each of these forms is applicable.

Service

Shipping Method

Green Tag 2976

White Form 2976-A

Letter Post (small mail)

Ground & Airmail

Less than $400 value

Value is $400 or more White form inside package and top part of green sticker outside

Parcel Select

Ground & Airmail

N/A

All packages

Global Priority Mail

Airmail

Non-dutiable items (little or no value)

Dutiable items

You can find these forms online as well as other relevant customs information on the US Postal Service website.

Filling out the customs form

When completing the customs form, please use these guidelines:

  • Contents: Enter a detailed description of each item—for example, "men's cotton shirts." General descriptions—for example, "samples, food products"—are not permitted.

  • License number: If your item is accompanied by a license or certificate, enter the license number. You need to enclose an invoice for all commercial items.

  • Certificate number: If your item is accompanied by a license or certificate, enter the certificate number. You need to enclose an invoice for all commercial items.

  • Invoice number: If your item is accompanied by a license or certificate, enter the invoice number. You need to enclose an invoice for all commercial items.

  • Item value: Enter the value of each item and total in U.S. dollars.

  • Item weight: Enter the net weight of each item in pounds and ounces. Enter the total weight of the package in pounds and ounces, including packaging, which corresponds to the weight used to calculate the postage.

  • Country of manufacture/origin: State the country where the goods originated—that is, where the items were produced/manufactured or assembled. Senders of commercial items are advised to supply this information because it will assist customs in processing the items.

  • HS Tariff Number: If known, enter the 6-digit HS (Harmonized System) Tariff Number. This number must be based on the Harmonized Commodity description and coding system developed by the World Customs Organization.

Using the Customs Declaration Envelope

The Customs Declaration Envelope (Customs Envelope 2976-E) is an adhesive-backed plastic envelope that's used to hold shipping labels and customs forms printed online through eBay. These envelopes can be picked up from your local Post Office or ordered online at the USPS web site.

Specifying the Automated Export System/Internal Transaction Number (AES/ITN)

On the customs form you'll need to specify an Automated Export System/Internal Transaction Number (AES/ITN). An ITN is required for any international shipment that contains an item valued over $2,500 and/or requires an export license unless exemptions apply.

Example:

  • AES X20120502123456

  • AESDOWN 123456778 02/25/2012

To get an ITN, go to the AESDirect website.

For most shipments, you'll be able to use one of the following Exemption and Exclusion Legends:

  • If you're shipping to Canada, enter "NOEEI 30.36."

  • If the value of your shipment is less than $2,500, enter "NOEEI 30.37(a)."

  • If the item you're shipping is a gift or humanitarian donation, enter "NOEEI 30.37(h)."

Filing export licenses

If you're shipping an item valued at more than $2,500 or requiring an export license, then you need to file electronically with the U.S. Census Bureau and get a Proof of Filing Citation (PFC). To file electronically, go to the U.S. Census Bureau Automated Export System (AES). On this site you'll also find additional information on:

  • Items that may require an export license

  • Requirements for and restrictions on shipping to certain countries.

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