That's become especially true for retailers sending large volumes of goods bought online as packets or parcels.
New rules have been introduced which make the amount and quality of data given by e-commerce companies for every single shipment by post even more critical.
Failure to provide complete and accurate data can lead to shipments being delayed or even blocked by customs authorities.
What has changed?
The postal network offers not just the oldest and most established means of delivery but a fast, reliable and relatively inexpensive way to send packets or parcels.
That infrastructure has proven attractive to e-commerce firms, many of which consider the bulk of their sales unsuitable for commercial carrier rates because they involve small, inexpensive products.
However, it's important for international customs authorities to monitor what is being sent, who is the shipping and receiving party and how much VAT or duties should apply.
What details are needed?
The information required in digital form for so-called Item Attribute messages (or ITMATT, for short) is much more than the name and address of the intended recipient.
It means adding things such as;
- sender and receiver details
- their tax code or VAT number
- the product's total value and weight
- a complete content description: including the Harmonised System tariff number and its country of origin
- postal charges and any insurance
All that material is equivalent to the data entered on a CN22 or CN23 customs declaration form.
Whilst it might seem like extra paperwork, it's worth noting that many hundreds of retail clients who choose to ship goods internationally with Spring already provide a comparable amount of information.
In addition, all that data helps Spring ensure that your deliveries or returns will complete customs clearance procedures without a hitch.
Get in touch
As part of one of the world's largest post and parcel companies, PostNL, we know how important efficient postal operations are to e-commerce firms like yours.
If you have any questions about how to take advantage of how the new rules can help and not hinder your business, simply contact your local Spring sales team.
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