When shipping internationally, it is important to check if your shipment is customs-bound or not. In general, goods are customs-bound and documents are not. However, what is considered a document and what is considered a good differs per country. For example, in Switzerland, business cards are considered documents and are therefore not subject to customs, but the same business cards are considered good and are therefore subject to customs in Brazil. In addition, a distinction is made betwee shipments from and to countries within the EU and shipments from and to countries outside the EU. In general, customs formalities only apply to shipments from and to countires outside the EU. The exception to this is the so-called transit goods. These are goods that have been or will be imported, but for which import duties and taxes have not been paid yet. As soon as the import duties and taxes have been paid, we speak of free goods.
Do you doubt whether your shipment is subject to customs duties or not? Please contact us for more information.
Within the EU, with the exception of the exceptional areas, there is free trade, which means that no customs formalities are required when sending goods.
Customs formalities apply to the shipment of goods from and to countries outside the EU.
If you have a dutiable shipment, you must always attach a commercial invoice or a proforma invoice to the shipment in addition to a fully completed consignment note.
Incoterms® or delivery terms are the agreements between the buyer and the seller of the goods and describe who bears which duties, responsibilities, costs and risks.
In certain situations, customs formalities may also require or be subject to other customs documents or arrangements.