Customs declaration

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Read all about customs declaration, CN22, CN23 and the customs information needed when shipping outside of the EU.

What is a customs declaration?

A customs declaration is a customs document that you need to fill out and attach to your shipment when exporting goods.

When you, as a business, need to send a parcel to a third country, outside of the EU, you also need to attach customs declarations. The customs service in the reciever country needs the customs declarations to identify the goods and the value of your shipment.

It depends on the carrier that you use, whether the customs document is considered a commercial/proforma-invoice or a CN22/23 customs declaration.

You must follow the requirements of your carrier.

In your customs declaration, you need to fill out the following information:

  • Product description and tariff code
  • Weight
  • Value

In this guide, we describe how you can easily create a customs declaration for your shipment.

You can collect and automate all of your freight and booking of customs in Shipmondo.

CN22 and CN23 customs declaration

In technical terms, a customs declaration is specified as either a CN22 or CN23.

Both CN22 and CN23 customs declarations contain customs information about the goods that you are shipping into the given country.

That way, the customs service can easily determine what the shipment contains and its value, according to the current legislation.

It is the value of the content inside the shipment that determines whether you need to use a CN22 or a CN23 customs declaration.

If the value of the content is below 300 SDR (Special Drawing Rights, the International Monetary Fund) corresponding to approximately 335 EUR, the shipment needs to be accompanied by a CN22 declaration.

However, if the value is above 300 SDR, a CN23 declaration is required.

CN22 customs declarationUp to 300 SDR
CN23 customs declarationMore than 300 SDR

You can check the current currency exchange rate for SDR (XDR) online, and convert it to your currency.

Remember, it is your responsibility as the sender of a shipment, to fill out the customs declaration correctly.

Example of a CN22 PostNord customs declaration

In some cases, when you book through Shipmondo, your CN22 declaration will be a part of your shipping label. In other cases, the customs declaration is created as a separate document.

In the example below, you can see a shipping label from PostNord Sweden to a reciever in Norway, which includes a CN22 customs declaration;

Example of a CN22 postnord CN22 custom declaration

Example of a CN23 PostNord customs declaration

If you are shipping a parcel that contains content with a value above 300 SDR, a CN23 customs declaration will be generated instead of a CN22.

In this case you will need to print the declaration separately from the shipping label and stick it to the parcel.

Here, you see an example of a PostNord label and a CN23 customs declaration from Sweden to Norway.

Example of a CN23 postnord CN22 custom declaration

The CN23 declaration contains more information than the CN22 declaration.

However, they both require a signature from the sender, in order to certify that the customs declaration has been completed correctly.

What is the difference between a commercial invoice and a customs declaration?

The customs declaration only contains information related to the customs clearance of your shipment, for example the tariff code, value or content.

The commercial invoice contains further information about the sale, for example the invoice number, detailed information about the seller and reciever and possible payment information.

However, if the shipment is a gift or product sample, the commercial invoice is referred to as a pro forma invoice.

It is up to your carrier to decide whether you need a commercial/pro forma invoice or a CN22/CN23 customs declaration.

If you book freight through Shipmondo, this is decided in advance. You just need to fill out the customs information correctly, in the booking-formula, and the correct customs document will be created.

How to fill out a customs declaration

You need to fill out the customs declaration in your booking system or directly with your carrier.

When you need to fill out the information, you specify the following:

  • Currency
  • Category (e.g. gift or product sample)
  • Quantity of products in the shipment
  • Country - ISO-country code for the country of origin.
  • Content - description of the content
  • Tariff code
  • Unit weight
  • Unit value - the sum of the total value of the shipment.

When you book your shipment for a country outside of the EU, it will look like this in Shipmondo:

Customs in Shipmondo

If your carrier requires you to use a CN customs declaration, then you might need to indicate, in the booking process, if you wish to use a CN22 or CN23 declaration depending on the value of your shipment.

It is important that you fill out the customs documents correctly. If the documents are not completed correctly, you may risk a fine or your shipment being returned to you, where you will have to pay for the extra costs.

Read more about how to fill out your customs documents online in Shipmondo.

A good product description for customs clearance

The key to a problem free customs process is a detailed product information and a good description of the product you are shipping.

The customs service needs to know the content of your shipment, as well as the material of the content, when your shipment enters another country.

You must provide the description in English, in order to ensure that it can be read and understood in the reciever country.

How to find the commodity / tariff code

Typically, your supplier will know the correct tariff code for your products.

If you are not producing your own products for export, then you need to find the correct product code.

A tariff code, is also known as a commodity code, and is used as classification for products and services, which makes it easier for the customs service to know what kinds of items are being exported.

It is important to provide the customs service with the right commodity code, in order to ensure that the customs duties and procedures are paid correctly.

You can find the correct tariff code, by using the UK Government digital service’s reference work.

How to print customs declarations

If your carrier does not support paperless customs, you need to print one or more copies of your customs documents.

In Shipmondo your customs declaration/commercial invoice will be printed automatically with your shipping label, if your carrier requires it. You can use either your label printer or a regular A4 printer.

Customs declaration to Norway

Many Danish and Swedish businesses ship to Norway, which is not a part of the EU, so it is required that they complete and attach customs documents when exporting to that country.

Through Shipmondo, you can send parcels from Sweden to Norway with DHL Freight or, if you want to send parcels from Denmark to Norway with, you can use PostNord and DHL Express as your carriers, directly from your free Shipmondo account, and thereby easily complete the customs documents during your freight booking.

If you have negotiated your own agreements with carriers like PostNord, Bring, UPS, DB Schenker or another carrier supported in Shipmondo, you can have your agreements activated on your Shipmondo account.

You can check the possibilities for freight to Norway here.

Customs and bulk shipments

Do you send many shipments to Norway or another country outside of the EU? Then BulkSplit might be the right solution for you.

You can gather together many shipments, usually parcels, and send them as one collected bulk shipment, which is usually a pallet.

When your shipment reaches the destination country, the carrier will open the pallet and split it into multiple parcels.

Then, each parcel will be distributed to the individual reciever in the country.

With BulkSplit you can save a lot of money, if you have a large shipment volume abroad, as the parcels are cleared in customs as one combined shipment.

That means you only have to complete one customs declaration for the entire shipment.

Automatic customs documents and Shipmondo

Completing customs papers, such as a commercial invoice or customs declaration, can be a tedious- and time-consuming process, especially when you have many export shipments.

But, we have a solution that makes this process a whole lot easier!

In Shipmondo you can automatise the completion of customs papers, and so save a lot of time.

You can save and store customs information on your product data and automate the completion of customs papers, when you book freight for your orders.

You can read much more about automatic completion of customs papers in our guide:

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