Sunday, October 5, 2014

Answers To the Question: What Is Declaration Form

When shipping internationally many people ask us what is declaration form? A declaration form is a commercial invoice that must be accompanied with the air waybill for all outbound and inbound international small package shipments. Both of these together is what we call the shipping documents. The air waybill has the to and from information as well as the bar codes and the DHL account information. The commercial invoice should be an itemized, detailed description of everything that is inside the package along with their respective quantities and values.  Why is it necessary to itemize everything that is inside the package? There are two major reasons why:
  1. First of all, DHL wants to know what they are going to be transporting in their trucks and planes. They want to make sure that nothing is in there that is against the law or dangerous. If you simply state something vague such as "toiletry supplies" or "missionary supplies" then it is an invitation for trouble! Not only will DHL most surely open up the package to see what is inside, if anything is in there that should not be shipped, they will refuse to ship it.
  2. Secondly, the Customs departments of the destination country also want to know what is in the package. If the contents are not listed, the package will again be opened and inspected to see exactly what is inside. If there are any contents that are restricted or banned to import into the respective country, the package will be put on the shelf and will ultimately be either destroyed or returned to the shipper. It has been our experience that many if not most countries demand an itemized, detailed description of the contents, the quantity, and values of each item along with the HTS (harmonized tariff) code associated with each item. The HTS code is simply a number that is assigned to every possible commodity in the world. This is necessary because what one person in one country calls an item could mean a very different thing to the customs department in another country. Here's an example: A purse in the U.S. is typically associated to a bag that a woman carries holding various personal items. A purse in the United Kingdom however means a man's wallet. The HTS codes clarify exactly what each item is. In our Global Mission Shipping system, we show you how to obtain these codes.

In summary, the custom declare form is necessary for a successful international shipment.  If this form is too vague or misleading, DHL or the Customs departments of the importing countries will reject the package from clearance which could lead to either having the package sent back or destroyed.
Global Mission Shipping is committed to making the process of filling out all the shipping documents to an easy one. Give us a call (702)720-1515, send an email (, or click here to check out our website  if you have any questions.

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