International Shipping 101 - setting up shipments to clear customs

  • updated 1 mth ago

International Shipping Best Practices

  • Recipient must use a local contact phone # and email address on order page. If requested, respond back to the carrier quickly to avoid delivery delay or abandonment.
  • We recommend buffering timelines with international shipments especially with firm need by date orders due to custom delays that can be outside of our control. 
  • For personal shipments, do not include the company name. This causes confusion for customs on which Tax ID to use.

Duties & Taxes

All items being imported into a country are subject to duties and taxes (D/V). Duties are calculated based on the type of item (noted by a harmonized code), the value of the items, and the cost of shipping. Taxes are calculated by taking the total of the shipment times the duty rate of the country.

  • Each country has a different duty and tax rate
  • Most international shipments are sent Deliver Duties Paid (DDP) so the consignee does not have to pay any fees to have their shipment delivered and it is billed back to Kotis and shown on your quarterly report invoice. Economy shipping via FedEx International Connect is not eligible for DDP so the duties and taxes must be paid by the receiver. 


Client vs Kotis Responsibilities

In the unfortunate instance that a delivery is delayed, Kotis will work together with you as quickly as possible to resolve it. Kotis will take all measures to work with the carrier to find ways to minimize fees, such as storage, clearance, etc.. If a delay in shipment happens, the following outlines financial responsibility

  • Client is responsible in the event of
    • Consignee rejects order or if customs or carrier cannot reach consignee
    • In-country inspection
    • Incorrect shipping address
    • If the product is client supplied, and Kotis is given incorrect information regarding contents and origin
    • Force Majeure/Acts of God
  • Kotis is responsible and will handle in the event of
    • Timeline delayed due to carrier issue or miscalculation
    • Paperwork incorrectly completed
  • FeesPackages returned will be charged fees from the carrier including, but not limited to, warehousing/storage, paperwork, clearance, and/or return freight

Required International Forms (EORI and KYC)

EORI - Economic Operators Registration and Identification number

  • EORIs are required for UK and EU businesses to import/export goods into/out of the UK and EU. Depending on the country, the carriers may request the consignee’s tax ID number instead. This information is requested directly from the carrier for customs purposes only. Customer must fill out all information listed on the page.
  • Example: 


KYC – Know Your Customer documents

  • KYC is a form mandated by the Indian government to help clear items in customs
  • Every shipment to India must have these forms filled out. It is best to do so before the shipment arrives to customs to avoid delays
  • Requirements:
    • Individuals would need to provide PAN/Passport/Voter ID, Aadhaar
    • Business would need to provide GSTIN (for GST registered est.) or UIN/PAN (unregistered)
    • Authority letter- to authorize the carrier to process the shipment for customs clearance
    • Importer Exporter code (IEC) -issued 10-digit alpha-numeric number by the Director General Foreign Trade (DGFT) for imports and exports. IEC is required for processing the shipment for customs clearance. Visit here to know exemptions to filing IEC.
  • To eliminate delays and issues in customs, do not add a business name to shipments going to India for personal use. This can be corrected but could cause the shipment to be delayed or even abandoned/returned.
  • KYC forms for FedEx can be submitted electronically at https://kyc.fedex.com/
  • Examples:


PIMS (Paper Import Management System) is required by Indian customs when importing a range of paper products; ex. Notebooks.  It was brought into effect Oct. 2022.

  • PIMS requires an importer to obtain an automatic registration through an online system and submit a registration fee. This registration is good for 75 days.

  • PIMS shall require importers to submit advance information in an online system for import of items in the Annexure. On submission of online data/information, the system will generate an automatic Unique Registration Number (URN). No manual documents are to be submitted to any public authority for this purpose.

    • Importer can apply for online registration not earlier than 75th day and not later than 5th day before the expected date of arrival of import consignment. The URN is granted just after the payment of fees.  PAPER IMPORT MONITORING SYSTEM (imports.gov.in)

International Product Restrictions 

  • Hazmat (Power banks, phones, hand sanitizers, laptops, alcohol)
    • Review our guide on Hazmat items here 
  • Food
  • Animal Products
  • Cosmetics
  • Seeds
  • Tea

Please refer to the following guides for more in-depth restrictions:

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