How to setup your products for international shipping
When you ship products internationally, there are a few things you’ll need to make sure of to enable the process:
- Make sure every product has an HS Code
HS Codes refer to the global, standardized ‘Harmonized System’ of product classification and are required for exporting traded goods. At checkout, FlavorCloud automatically takes the product and HS code information to identify the best carrier and calculate/apply appropriate customs fees, duties and taxes.
Each product you sell should be assigned the correct HS code, typically when you add a product or SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) to your online store. FlavorCloud uses the first 6 digits of the HS code.
- Include an accurate Product Description
A good product description enables a smooth shipping process through customs and should be on all shipping documents (e.g. Commercial invoice). It’s used to check that your goods are allowed by law to leave the country (export) and enter the destination country (import). FlavorCloud takes the product description directly from your online store and automatically adds it to the required customs documents ready to print and add to the shipment.
The description should be as specific as possible and include:
– Product name
– What the item is and what it’s used for (e.g. type, function)
– What it’s made of (materials, component parts)
– Brand and model number for branded items (i.e. information company product/HS code)
E.g. ‘Jewelry’ would be too vague but “Earrings, 30% gold & 70% metal” would be much better.
- Country of Origin (manufacture)
Note: this is the origin on the product, not the warehouse location/address you are shipping from. Typically, you indicate country of origin/manufacture for your product in your online store settings (selecting the country/region of origin for each product. It’s not uncommon that a product’s country of origin is different to where you ship from.
- Package weight and size
Again, you typically enter the weight/dimensions at your online store. The information must be accurate and FlavorCloud uses the greater of the actual weight or dimensional (DIM) weight at fulfillment. E.g. If the actual weight is 1lb but the dimensional weight is 3lb, you must enter 3lb.
When a customer reaches checkout for an international order, FlavorCloud automatically calculates the total based on the weights of individual products and quantities in the shopping cart. This is built in to the quote for the shipping costs, along with customs duties and taxes–all in real-time.
Important Note: FlavorCloud charges the merchant the weight at fulfillment, not at checkout. This accounts for potential errors with SKU weights in the ecommerce system, different packaging used at time of fulfillment, etc.
- Shopify script tags for FlavorCloud customers
- Shopify checkout.js file for FlavorCloud customers
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