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USPS Issues Reminder about New Customs Rules

USPS Issues Reminder about New Customs Rules

The USPS issued a reminder on Wednesday that Postal Service employees should be prepared to provide tools to customers who are sending packages to the EU. New European Union rules require shippers to provide more detail about the contents of their packages on customs forms.

In a post for employees, the USPS wrote, “Customers should be reminded that broad descriptions of the contents are not acceptable. For example, “men’s cotton dress shirts” is acceptable; “shirts” is not. “Children’s toy doll” would be acceptable; “gift” or “toy” would not.”

The rule applies to packages being sent to all 27 countries of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. It also applies to Norway and Switzerland.

We wrote about the new rules in November which went into effect this month. As we noted, noncompliance could result in fines and penalties as well as delivery delays.

The USPS placed signs at Post Offices around the country explaining the change.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

2 thoughts on “USPS Issues Reminder about New Customs Rules”

  1. Specifics about what details are required would be a lot more helpful than examples.

    “For example, “men’s cotton dress shirts” is acceptable; “shirts” is not. “Children’s toy doll” would be acceptable; “gift” or “toy” would not.””

    That’s very helpful if I’m sending “men’s cotton dress shirts” or a “children’s toy doll,” but pretty useless for anything else.

    Based on the first example, it would seem the material is required, but not based on the second example. Men’s or children’s? Am I to assume this means I must enter the target age demographic, and also the target gender demographic, but only gender for adults?

    Like honestly, what is it they actually are requiring?

    So glad I stopped shipping internationally years ago!

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