I want to send a parcel overseas, what do I need to know?

When looking to send a parcel overseas there are a number of things you’re likely to be required to do by the parcel company to ensure that it reaches its destination safely without being held up by customs.

Firstly, ensure that your package doesn’t contain anything listed on the dangerous goods list, most parcel companies will have the full list, or details of where to find the full list, on their website. By signing the Air Waybill provided by the parcel company, you are effectively assuming responsibility for the contents and guaranteeing they are safe to transport. For this reason, and as security is heightened in many countries around the world, including the UK, when sending a parcel overseas some parcel companies may require you to leave your parcel open in order to perform a visual inspection on the contents and the driver may refuse collection if your parcel has been sealed.If you have fragile, valuable or dangerous items that you need to send overseas, have a chat with your preferred parcel company, they may provide a special handling service that can cope with such items.

It’s important that your package is correctly, securely and clearly labelled, and includes your name and address on both the outside and inside. Protect the contents; it’s your responsibility to ensure that the internal packaging is sufficient enough to protect the contents from all the knocks and bumps of international travel, and that the packaging you use is suitable for the weight of the contents you wish to send. Check if your chosen parcel has weight and size restrictions when sending internationally, if your parcel doesn’t comply with their specifications for the service you’ve chosen you may have to either pay extra to change the service type or find an alternative parcel company.

Your Air Waybill will need to be signed by you before your parcel will take possession of your parcel. You will either need to print and complete your form ready for collection with your parcel, or the information you provide during the booking process will automatically generate one.The parcel company will either email you your Waybill for checking and printing, or it will be brought with the driver. Always check, and double check, your Waybill to ensure the information is correct, it is your parcel’s ticket and passport and incorrect details could result in a delay or, worse, destruction of your parcel. The Air Waybill also acts as your contract with the parcels, and even an invoice in some instances, so it’s vitally important you make sure it’s correct.

Insurance is usually included in the price you are quoted for sending your parcel overseas, up to a certain amount, it’s up to you to check that’s enough and purchase additional cover if required.

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