If you’ve ever been a child away from home for Christmas, you’ll know the feeling of anxiously writing to Santa to let him know exactly where you are – just in case. Luckily, Santa always manages to find us, but what do you do if you need to deliver presents abroad and you don’t have a team of reindeer who can traverse the entire world in one evening?
If, like me, you’ve got family all around the world, it’s not always possible to get together for the holidays, so sending gifts abroad is a must. With that in mind, the team at Hemisphere Freight Services has offered up their best tips when it comes to sending parcels containing gifts, especially for the festive season.
Top Tips for Sending Christmas Presents Abroad Safely
- Know Your Regulations – Whether you’re shipping via courier or your local post office, it’s vital to check exactly what you can and can’t send. As a rule, any perishables or flammable items (such as alcohol or perfume) are a no-no, but each courier has their own rules so make sure to check. You’ll also need to make sure that the gifts you’re sending will adhere to the customs regulations of the country you’re sending them to – a quick online search should tell you what is and isn’t allowed by each country.
- Get Those Labels Right – As well as making sure you’ve got the address right and included your own address on the parcel, you’ll also need to print and fill out customs documents to attach. Make sure you fill these out clearly and correctly to avoid customs officers unwrapping your presents early for an inspection.
- Avoid Gifting Less Than You Intended – It’s important to remember that international shipping comes with tax duties that depend on the value of the gift you’re sending. To avoid your recipient being charged with these taxes, you can arrange for the fee to be sent directly to the sender in advance. Then all you need to do is make sure the tax code is written clearly on your documentation.
- Practise Proper Packing – One of the hardest things about shipping Christmas presents abroad is making sure they get there in one piece. Always gift wrap your present and then package it in a strong external box to avoid your wrapping getting ruined. This will also allow you to include packaging chips or other protective materials to keep your gifts safe. Gift bags can be a good idea as they’re easy for customs officers to open without wrecking the wrapping.
- Always Choose Tracking – Where possible, choose a shipping option that comes with tracking. There’s nothing worse than worrying about whether your parcels have arrived on time, and it will make things much easier should anything go missing.
- Get Organised – Talking of presents arriving before Christmas, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to send them! International shipping can take a little while, especially in the lead up to Christmas when the busy festive period can slow down customs processing. Send presents well in advance to make sure they arrive on time.
- Ship Direct – Of course, a great way to save yourself the trouble of packaging, labelling, and documentation is to buy from an online retailer and have your gifts sent directly. That way you know that all your gifts will be sent properly with the correct labelling. Most online retailers also offer tracking services and delivery times, so you can make sure your gifts arrive promptly.
Shipping your Christmas presents to friends and family worldwide doesn’t need to be more stressful than squeezing down a chimney after a box of mince pies. Stick to all these top tips and you should be able to save time and money, while making sure your gifts arrive on time to delight your loved ones this Christmas.