5 most common customs questions when shipping overseas

The decision to go abroad for a job, school, or retirement can be an extremely exciting period in your life. Luckily, relocating to another nation does not necessitate the construction of a brand new home from the ground up! International shipping is a fantastic method to protect your prized possessions while also enjoying them in your new home or office. However, for many people, the process is intimidating. Let’s clear up some of the ambiguity that surrounds foreign delivery. Our experts at the National shipping company of Saudi Arabia are here to help. Continue reading for the answers to the five most common customs questions when shipping overseas.

5 most common customs questions when shipping overseas

All businesses and individuals that export goods must be familiar with the customs rules and procedures that regulate international trade. Therefore, you must prepare adequately. To begin your shipping journey, read these answers to some of the most common customs questions when shipping overseas.

aerial view of shipping boat
With Four Winds on your side, you can ship your belongings quickly and easily.

1. What items can you ship overseas?

Most personal and household items may be shipped worldwide, which is a wonderful thing. You can ship all kinds of domestic goods such as furniture, clothing, and other personal belongings. Remove as much clutter as possible from your home before packing for your relocation. So you won’t have to pay to transport items that you won’t use once you arrive at your destination. If you are shipping to Saudi Arabia, don’t be afraid to contact Four Winds if you have any more questions.

2. What are the prohibited items?

It’s critical to be aware of any international shipping restrictions that may apply to your order. But first, you need to be aware of a few things that you should never ship. Of course, you can always call Riyadh customs clearance to check if you have doubts about whether or not you can bring a particular item into the country. Quite a few of these things should be self-evident. Any item that could pose a risk while in transit is out of bounds. Explosives and ammunition are included in this category. These products could be harmful if they come into contact with a spark from an accident or another catastrophe. In addition, airbags offer a risk of exploding. Also, there’s no point in attempting to transport these.

For example, certain other banned goods are not necessarily dangerous. Instead of breaking shipping or state and international laws, however, you may be breaking the law. Two examples of this type of item are firearms and marijuana. States and countries have different rules on these two topics. Because of this, they are prohibited from being transported. To move from one state to the next or over international borders, each of these items needs to be transported by a licensed commercial carrier. We would also advise you to check with logistics companies in Riyadh if you have any further questions about shipping to Saudi Arabia.

In most countries, the following items are prohibited from being exported:

  • Aerosols
  • Anti-Collision Devices
  • Caffeinated Drinks
  • Ammunition
  • Cigarettes
  • Explosive items
  • Gasoline
  • Products derived from the hemp plant (including cannabidiol [CBD])
  • Marijuana (medical or otherwise)
  • Perfumes or Nail Polish (containing alcohol)
  • Poisons
One of the most common customs questions we get is about prohibited items. You can not bring anything on the list above.

Other Items that are prohibited from being sent internationally

There is a slew of other things you can’t send internationally in addition to those listed above. Among them:

  • Rosewood from the Brazilian Amazon
  • Regenerative medicine techniques such as stem cell therapy (hCG), human growth cells, or synthetic steroids
  • Fungicides and pesticides are two types of chemicals.
  • Autonomous vehicles such as hoverboards or other self-balancing boards
  • Batteries that have been damaged
  • Lottery tickets
  • Gambling-related items
  • Any substances that are harmful to the body or the environment
  • Ready-to-eat meals from the Coral Reef (MRE)
  • Caviar from sturgeons or belugas

You also can’t send anything that is difficult or impossible to recognize. Even if a country is on the list, it may have restrictions on what you can and cannot bring in. For example, secondhand clothing cannot be imported into Mexico. Unless it is part of an individual’s luggage. It’s best to find out beforehand if your items are prohibited in the nation you’re shipping to.

3. How much does it cost to ship items internationally?

International shipping costs are determined by a variety of factors. This includes the things you wish to send and any applicable tariffs and fees. Additionally, the quantity you transmit and the final destination affects the total price you pay. Volume estimate is the most accurate way to determine the cost of your move.  You can contact logistics companies in Saudi Arabia that can do this for you if you are transferring a lot of items or many prized possessions.

What are the Tariffs?

This might be one of the most common customs questions we get. Each government has the authority to apply tariffs, which are a sort of tax, on imported goods. Certain countries may charge extremely minimal taxes and fees on personal items brought in for personal use. It is critical, however, to inquire about the customs and fees associated with receiving your things from your shipping agent. Additionally, before shipping overseas, you need to complete all necessary customs documents. For example, if you are shipping to Bahrain, contact Bahrain customs clearance and they will provide you with all the necessary information on tariffs and customs documentation. This will avoid complications and delays in the subsequent countries.

Necessary customs documents for importing to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has committed to implementing a transparent and predictable import licensing system as part of its World Trade Organization (WTO) responsibilities. Saudi Arabia’s government mandates that shipping documentation be authenticated by local chambers of commerce around the United States. To export goods to Saudi Arabia, the following documents are required:

  • Original certificate of origin approved by the exporting country’s chamber of commerce;
  • Original business invoice (in triplicate) confirmed by the exporting country’s trade agency and stating the country of origin, the carrier’s name, the brand and quantity of products, and a description of the commodities, including weight and value;
  • Affixed to the commodity is an irremovable label indicating the country of origin;
  • A bill of lading or airway bill that is in good condition;
  • Documents attesting to conformity with appropriate health requirements;
  • Documents of insurance, if shipments go through CIF;
  • Packing list; and, if available, a certificate of conformity with appropriate Saudi requirements.
  • If required, the original documents must be accompanied by an Arabic translation of the radiation certificate.

4. How long does it take to ship items overseas?

Your shipping time is determined by the amount of freight you are moving, the final destination, and the type of shipping service you choose. If you choose air freight, the delivery time will be shorter. It is possible that you will receive your things within a few days. However, the downside is that it is far more expensive. While shipping your personal belongings by boat is less expensive, it is also more time-consuming. It could take many weeks to reach your destination, depending on where you are going. Sending certain basics by air and then waiting for your other stuff to arrive by boat would be a reasonable compromise.

Tracking your shipment

If you’ve wondered whether it’s possible to track your shipment, the answer is yes. We at Four Winds allow our customers to track their shipment so that they know exactly what time they can expect them to arrive. We are always aware of the whereabouts of your goods at every point of the journey. If you have any questions, please contact us so that we can provide you with an update.

5. Do I need to get insurance?

This is another one of the most common customs questions we get. You do, in fact. International shipping can be costly, and certain things may be damaged as a result of the journey over the ocean. Having the appropriate insurance coverage for your goods will provide you with peace of mind. While accidents and breakages do happen, at the very least you can rest assured that you are financially protected in the event of a loss. If you have any queries concerning international shipment, you can contact the logistics companies in Bahrain for additional information.

a man getting insurance after reading the answers to most common customs questions
It’s best if you get your own insurance when shipping overseas.

What You Should Know Before Shipping Perishable Goods Internationally

Perishable goods cannot be shipped to a foreign country due to international treaties. Although it is not possible to export food internationally, there are food options and methods of packing food that can be used. Items with a shelf life of at least 6 months, for example, can be shipped if they are still in their original, sealed packing from the retailer. If you’re sending the food through regular, non-commercial mail, it can’t be anything that requires refrigeration or freezing. It’s also vital to be aware that your packages may be subjected to temperature fluctuations as well as occasional physical treatment during their transit. If your item, such as cupcakes, must stand upright in order to remain in good condition, it is preferable not to mail it.

While any store-bought items that aren’t perishable can be shipped from the United States, the country that receives them may have restrictions on what can be shipped. It is not possible to transport homemade foods. However, there are other options for cheering up a loved one who is far away. Consider delivering store-bought supplies as well as a recipe for your favorite handmade dessert to a friend or family member. They’ll be able to make it themselves this way!

Sending Prescription Drugs Overseas

Prescription medications are yet another large group of commodities that cannot be transported overseas due to customs regulations. When shipping pharmaceuticals that are prescribed and you absolutely need them, you must go through a lot of complicated steps in order to be successful. You can contact custom clearance and freight forwarding to learn more about sending prescribed medication. In addition, the medications will need to be sent commercially by a carrier that has been approved. If you were thinking about shipping prescription pharmaceuticals to an individual, you will be unable to do so due to federal regulations.

Choosing the Right Carrier for Your International Shipping Needs

Whether for business or personal reasons, you may need to transport something out of the nation. You must be aware of the shipping restrictions that apply to foreign shipments. Following the completion of the above-mentioned steps, the following step is to select the most appropriate carrier. Before you entrust your important or time-sensitive shipments to the postal office, think about using a courier service instead. There are also many temperature-controlled companies you can choose from. If you are delivering medicine or food or very delicate items, they are the right choice for you.

cargo ship
When shipping overseas it’s very important to choose a good carrier.

In areas where the postal service is notoriously sluggish to deliver packages, a private carrier service is an excellent alternative. You’ll get rapid shipping that works around your schedule, as well as door-to-door freight service, which means you won’t have to wait in huge lines at the post office just to drop your box off. Please do not hesitate to contact us at Four Winds if you require any further information.

International Shipping – A Wonderful Start to Life Overseas

Making the shift from your native country to a new place as painless as possible is now possible through the use of international shipping. We’ll take care of everything for you, including outfitting and delivering your belongings to your doorstep. There’s no need to start putting to hire other services for that. All of your belongings will be at your disposal in a short period of time. Four Winds is a company that specializes in making international relocations as simple as possible. We also believe in delivering a cost-effective solution and we can tailor it to fit your specific requirements. We hope our answers to the top 5 most common customs questions will help you. Happy relocation!

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