Do customs affect me?

When sending domestically within the same country, or between countries that are members of the European Union, your shipment will not require customs clearance.

If you are sending internationally between countries that are not both member states of the European Union you will be required to complete a packing list detailing the contents and estimated used value of your goods for customs purposes.

Further information may also be required depending on the countries you are shipping from or to, and you may need to complete a ‘Personal Effects’ form or to provide additional information such as a copy of the consignee’s passport or flight ticket. More information on the specific documentation required for your chosen route can be found on the relevant country’s destination page on our website.

Most countries, including the UK and USA offer a tax and duty free allowance for returning residents, travellers and settlers who send unaccompanied baggage containing personal clothing and personal effects (sports equipment etc.) which are for their sole use and which have been owned by them for a minimum of 6 months. Not all countries offer this allowance such as Russia and Norway among others.

Over 99% of Send My Bag non-EU shipments will pass through customs without being stopped and as such our service and estimated transit times assume your item will be categorized for free passage and not delayed by customs. This means our prices do not include any taxes, local charges, inspection fees or any other charges.

It is the sender's responsibility to ensure that you are aware of how your own personal circumstances, what you are sending and the prevailing customs regulations of the destination country will affect the categorisation of your shipment and consequently whether you will be liable to pay customs duties, taxes or local charges, or incur delays due to additional processing or inspection by customs.

For example if you send 10 boxes to a business address in Australia the Australian customs authority may require additional clarification on the nature of the shipment than if you sent a suitcase to a residential address.

If you send to a personal shipment to a hotel or business, please use c/o in the company line to help the customs authority see it is a personal shipment travelling to a hotel or business and that it is not a commercial shipment.

To avoid delays, customs documentation should also be attached securely to your bag so that it is clearly visible to the customs authority, and it must also be packed in a separate holder to the tracking labels.

If your shipment enters a customs clearance event, please be aware that processing times vary greatly from country to country and it can take several days for information to be received and processed by the customs authority. Once the extra information is provided or duty paid, it can also take several days from the point customs officially clear the item, for it to be processed, re-enter the delivery network and be delivered. It is for this reason, that it is very important when sending holiday baggage that you always check in advance with the destination country if your items will require additional clearance and ensure the packing list and other documents are clearly visible.

Send My Bag offers the best prices around and while 99% of customers complying with our advice will receive no delay or customs charges, just as an airline cannot check your visa, we cannot check you have fully complied with the destination customs regulations. We therefore recommend every customer sending on a route with customs clearance, takes 5 minutes to check the regulations for their destination directly with the destination country's official travel advice line or customs office.

If your item is stopped by a customs authority and it is assessed as not complying with duty free entry, it will be the responsibility of the recipient to complete any clearance procedure, and pay any duties, taxes or charges. In some rare cases you may be required to present a passport at a local office, or if a customs authority has removed the item from Send My Bag's care you may also be required to pay the authority an additional delivery fee or to collect the item.

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