Shipping and customs regulations can be very strict abroad, so research shipping regulations before sending packages overseas. Some basic guidelines:
- Medications cannot be shipped abroad. Do not attempt to do so.
- Electronics and other valuables will be held at customs in most cases and heavily taxed.
- When mailing items to students abroad, parents and relatives should clearly label the contents as “used personal effects” with “no commercial value” to try to avoid an import duty. However, there is no guarantee customs will not inspect the package and charge a fee to release the package.
- Never send anything of high monetary or sentimental value. If necessary, be sure to send via registered mail with a tracking number and possibly insurance, understanding that your package may get held up at customs and/or be taxed.
- Packages containing food items and/or vitamins are often inspected by customs officials which can cause long delays and could incur an import tax or processing fee.
- It is illegal to send controlled substances such as alcohol, prescription medication, and other drugs across international borders without an export/import license.