Sending Gifts Abroad: Top Tips

Tuesday, 24 Oct 2017

Sending Gifts Abroad

Every year Send My Bag handles more and more gift shipments. To make sure your gift shipment runs smoothly, please read the following tips and pointers, as prepared by our customs team: 

Sending Within the EU

When sending abroad within the EU, or when sending within the same country, no customs process takes place and there is, therefore, no need to declare a value for gifts being sent.

Sending Outside of the EU

When sending abroad, outside of the EU, you must declare a value for your gift shipment and customs duties and taxes may be collected by the local customs authority. When placing your order with Send My Bag, you can decide to declare your shipment as 'personal effects', 'gift' or 'commercial'. If you select 'personal effects' you will later be prompted to supply the information which the customs authority requires to process your shipment tax free. For example, this may include details of the flight on which you will arrive at your destination. 

Paying Extra Fees

If your gift shipment attracts duties and taxes, these, along with a handling fee, will need to be paid by the receiver before your gift shipment can be delivered. Send My Bag in no way profits from duties, taxes or clearance handling fees.

Value Limits for Gifts

Value limits for gifts set by Customs Authorities vary depending on which country you’re sending to. For example, the USA allows $100, Australia AUD 1,000 and any EU country has a limit of €45 (or the local currency equivalent).

Gifts for Multiple People

When sending gifts for multiple people, it is recommended that each gift is individually wrapped and clearly marked for the intended recipient to allow each receiver to avail of the national gift allowance. Be careful, though, as not all countries allow consignments to be shared across multiple people, so please check before sending. 

Definition of a 'Gift'

Almost every country classifies a gift as ‘an item sent for an occasion’ (such as a birthday or a wedding) and must, therefore, be sent ‘without any form of payment by the receiver’.

Limits on Duty-Free Gifts

Some countries impose a limit on the number of gifts a receiver can receive duty free. For example, the USA allows a maximum of $100 of gifts per day, whereas South Africa has a limit of 2 gift consignments a year.

Multiple Identical Items

Certain countries will only allow a specified amount of the same item to be shipped as a gift before they then classify this as a commercial shipment. An example of this would be India – you can only send 10 of any item before the goods will be cleared with duty and taxes. 

Commercial vs. Gift Shipments

In some countries, a shipment declared as a commercial shipment can have a higher value and still be cleared as a duty-free shipment than if it were declared as a gift. An example of this would be New Zealand’s $110 gift limit compared to their $400 de minimis allowance and the USA’s $100 gift limit against their $800 de minimis allowance.

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