If you send or receive goods from outside of the European Union, you must fill out and attach the customs invoice to the parcel. Here you’ll find the sample customs invoice and step-by-step instructions on how to complete it.
Download the customs invoice here:Download PDF form
The following is very important if shipping outside the European Union:
Use the instructions below as a reference.
if your shipment is not of a commercial nature:
- print one copy of the sender’s identity document: National Identity Card, Foreigner Identity Card or passport
if your shipment is of a commercial nature:
- print one copy of tax identification (VAT)
- print one copy of the commercial invoice
You can buy adhesive envelopes in any post office or shop.
Step-by-step instructions on how to fill in the customs form
You must fill out the customs documents online in English (documents filled out by hand will not be accepted).
The customs invoice is a document that the customs authorities of each country must process and on which the necessary taxes and restrictions are applied. You must select how you wish the invoice to be issued:
- as a commercial invoice
When the content is a sale and the recipient made the purchase.
- as a non-commercial invoice
When the goods that you send are:
- personal belongings
- a sample
- a return
- a gift
The customs authorities are especially careful with non-commercial invoices, and they always check that the shipment isn’t an undercover sale (undeclared). Don’t try to deceive the customs authorities by indicating the incorrect type of invoice, or by indicating an incorrect value for the items sent.
Both the sender’s and the recipient’s National Identity Card, Foreigner Identity Card, or passport numbers must be indicated, and if it’s a company, the VAT number must be provided. Without this information, the parcel will be blocked at customs.
Tax ID = national identification number in most countries
VAT number = identification number with which the company is registered
Make sure that you ask the recipient for their TAX ID or VAT number before sending.
You need to make a detailed inventory of everything you’re sending.
Detailed description of each item in English
Describe each item you’re sending in the first column of the table. Use all the lines if necessary
- its purpose
- the material it’s made from
- its brand
- its size
- its use
- its intended gender (for example, women’s shoes)
- any other detail that could describe the item in question
As Maria’s boyfriend was recently transferred to Canada for work, she is sending him some of his most valuable personal items: a poster, a pair of shoes, a mobile phone, a watch and two t-shirts.
For items that may contain materials of animal origin, such as leather, wool or silk (for example, shoes, jackets, pyjamas, etc.) it’s obligatory to note the material and its origin, whether the material is bovine leather or synthetic.
If your items are used, make sure to mention this in the description.
Tariff Code/Tariff Heading
The tariff code is an international code used by the customs authorities to classify goods. To ensure that your parcel is delivered without delays, you must specify the correct code.
To find the tariff code, visit www.tariffnumber.com and look for the code at the top. Carefully read the full description of the code before choosing the correct one.
Maria needs to find the tariff number for 5 different items. These are the codes she found:
Don’t copy these, your items may contain different materials.
Advice for finding the correct tariff number
- Think about the materials the item is made from, its uses, and its purpose
- Once you get results, use your browser’s search function (ctrl+f or cmd+f) to highlight keywords in the search
- Read from start to finish—make sure it matches your item
- Be careful with the text that follows "excl.": the keyword, which indicates the number, doesn’t represent anything described after that word
- If you can’t find the item by searching, try synonyms ('trouser' instead of 'trousers', 'prints' instead of 'posters', 'vinyls' instead of 'records', etc.)
Country of origin
Indicate your item’s country of origin. As a general rule, you’ll find this on the product label under "Made in"
Number of products
If you’re sending more than one item of the same type (for example, two cotton t-shirts), you only have to describe it once in the table, but you should indicate the number of items you’re sending. To decide whether you need to describe your items on a new line, ask yourself:
Will the same code number apply for all items on this line?
If your answer is no, then you need to describe this item on a new line.
If you’re sending more than 13 different items, download an additional table from hereDownload the additional table
Indicate the true value of each item you’ve described.
This value can never be zero (0)
If you’re sending personal items without a specific value, try to value them as accurately as possible, for example how much would you sell it for at a second-hand market?
If you’re sending items you have made yourself, try to estimate the value of the materials and production cost.
Writing a value that does not align with the description (for example, €1 for the latest generation of a Smartphone) can cause delays or block your shipment. In the event that the authorities detect irregularities, they will request further documentation.
Although the shoes and phone are used, Maria detailed their real market value, which she calculated based on their original value and age. This value is approximate, but it’s necessary
This is how María completed the customs form:
Select the correct reason for the shipment. Remember that Packlink doesn’t manage temporary exports, only permanent ones
Indicate the number of parcels you’re sending in the correct field. If it’s more than 1, add up the total weight of the parcels and enter this into the weight field.
Indicating the exact weight is extremely important in order to avoid problems at customs. As well as delaying your shipment, it can lead to additional costs.
The Shipping cost (€) field must include the price paid to Packlink for the shipment.
This is an obligatory declaration for the customs authorities. It states that what you’re sending is not for military use.
If you’re thinking about sending something that can be used for military purposes: DON’T DO IT, it’s illegal
This is an obligatory declaration for the customs authorities. It states that you’re not sending anything manufactured with materials prohibited by protection laws for species in danger of extinction.
If you’re thinking about sending anything that may be made of materials originating from species in danger of extinction (for example: elephant tusk): DON’T DO IT, it’s illegal. If you’re not sure, you can check here: http://checklist.cites.org/#/es
Here you need to declare that you acknowledge that your shipment will not be exported temporarily, and that standard customs taxes will be applied. Packlink doesn’t handle temporary shipments outside the EU.