International shipping paperwork can be overwhelming if you don’t know which forms are required and how to complete them. But, it doesn’t have to be. Read on to learn which USPS customs declaration forms are needed to ship internationally and the requirements of each, so that you can get on the right track to successfully export your product and tap into the global market. For additional information, including restrictions and limitations, please see International Mail Manual(IMM®) Section 123.
Customs Forms Basics
Customs forms are needed to specify, in detail, what is being shipped. Most countries require a customs declaration form that states what goods are being brought into the country, because some countries may have import quotas (limits), customs excise taxes, or prohibitions or restrictions on some goods. The form is also used by the destination country to calculate any applicable tariffs or duties. Most customs forms require you to note the description of contents, value of item(s), weight and quantity.
For international mailing, three USPS customs forms are used:
- PS Form 2976, Customs Declaration CN 22 — Sender’s Declaration
- PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note — CP 72
- PS Form 2976-B, Priority Mail Express International Shipping Label and Customs Form.
When shipping internationally with USPS, the customs form you will need to fill out depends on the type and value of items you are sending, as well as which mailing service you are sending them with. The requirements of each are outlined below in detail. Be sure to be as descriptive as possible when filling out these forms, noting what is being shipped, the nature of the product and what it will be used for.
PS Form 2976, Customs Declaration CN 22 — Sender’s Declaration
This form is used for First-Class Package International® Service packages, International Priority Airmail® (IPA) items, and International Surface Air Lift® (ISAL) items that contain goods of any kind unless prohibited by the destination country, with a maximum value of $400.00. PS Form 2976 is also used on First-Class Mail International® letters and flats, IPA letters and flats, and ISAL letters and flats that weigh more than 16 ounces (no merchandise may be sent in these items). PS Form 2976 is also used on all M-bag® services (direct sacks of printed matter sent to a single foreign addressee at a single address).
PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note — CP 72
Unlike PS Form 2976, this form is used for items valued over $400.00, as well as all Priority Mail International® items regardless of their weight or contents.
PS Form 2976-B, Priority Mail Express International Shipping Label and Customs Form
Use PS Form 2976-B for all Priority Mail Express International® items, regardless of weight, contents or value. PS Form 2976-B is also used for Priority Mail Express® items sent to APO/FPO/DPO ZIP Code™ destinations.
By understanding custom forms and what they require, your business can become one step closer to shipping internationally with peace of mind. When filling out your required form, always remember to be as thorough as possible, as it will ultimately benefit the customer on the receiving end.
*All forms shown in the article are proprietary to the United States Postal Service® and subject to U.S. copyright law, and may not be duplicated without the approval of USPS.