For centuries, the mail and postal services around the world have provided people with an easy way to ship packages. Even as the world turns more towards an internet age, the need to send a physical package will always be there.
But what about when you are shipping something across a nation’s borders? What additional information do you need to know to send your package?
When something is sent from one country over to another, there are extra protocols in place. It is a different situation than sending a parcel within one nation.
If you haven’t ever sent a package internationally, or need a refresher, here is a beginner’s guide to Canada to US shipping. First, let’s take a look at what can and can’t be shipped.
What Can’t Be Shipped
Any package entering the US borders is subject to heavy scrutiny. Government officials who oversee the US customs department must adhere to the standards of many other organizations.
Environmental agencies or health organizations like the CDC have a joined interest. There are potential downfalls of a dangerous package crossing the border. The group tasked with this responsibility is called the US Customs and Border Protection, or CBP.
The good news is the CBP has made a nice comprehensive list of the most common infractions inside packages. Some banned substances include alcohol, drug paraphernalia, and biological specimen.
Other fresh items not permissible to mail are raw food or fish, fruits or vegetables, and plants in soil. Other logical items that are too valuable or dangerous to be shipped include gold, medication, and firearms.
Finally, there are some strange things on the list, like dog and cat fur or ceramic tableware. Let’s take a look at the customs process and the forms you need to know.
Custom Forms Explained
A primary purpose of customs forms is to list the package’s price and content information for international shipments. This is because when packages are sent from one country to another, it is complicated. They are traveling across economies with different taxes, laws, and standards.
These forms help convert that information into a simple, concise summary. After a package goes through customs, it will have all of the taxes you will owe on the package explained to you. Customs for mail going to the US from Canada is essential.
No package can be shipped internationally without going through customs. You might not even need to pay any taxes on the package if it is under a certain price. Some special circumstances may require paperwork like a customs import license form or an unaccompanied articles form.
International Shipping Packaging Tips
When sending a package anywhere, even across a small town, it is vital to package it safely and securely. But that is even more so the case when shipping internationally across countries.
The further the distance is between your package’s starting and ending points, the more times the package will be handled and picked up by someone else. Choose the materials that you wrap your package with carefully, especially when mailing packages to the US from Canada.
Start with the box, pick a newer one, and do not use the same box, as they break down over time. When taping up your box, do not use regular tape, use packing tape. Packing tape is available in many places and a roll will last you a long time.
Don’t use any type of tape other than packing tape, including duct tape (this material creates issues during shipping). Wrap your package tight inside the box, especially if anything is easily breakable.
Use leftover package peanuts and bubble wrap saved from previous shipments. If you don’t have anything like that, try insignificant clothing or even paper. Don’t risk your package breaking along the way!
Weight of Your Package
One last thing to consider for your package is the overall weight of it. There are limits and restrictions on how heavy a package can be by all mail systems.
In the US, packages must be 150 pounds or less if shipped internationally. There are also height and width restrictions as well. If something is over 108 inches, it may be subject to extra shipping charges.
One thing that can make shipping from the US to Canada tricky is that they use a different system of measurement. In Canada, the maximum weight for a package is 30 kilograms.
Delivery Services and Shipping
Now that you know the ins and outs of shipping internationally, you can turn your attention to the actual shipment itself. Which delivery service should you use for mailing packages to the US from Canada?
Whether you are sending a personal package, or are a business looking to ship many parcels at once, picking the right vendor can be a challenge. Balancing who you can depend on versus the overall price of shipping is tricky.
Consider customer reviews, and also take into account whether your shipping needs are better met through a smaller or larger business.
If you need your package delivered in an even quicker manner than an institution promises, consider expedited shipping. Express shipping from the US to Canada or vice versa should take 2 days or less on average.
Canada to US Shipping: Know the Mailing System
Overall, Canada to US shipping can be a nice and easy process, if you know the facts. Shipping internationally comes with extra protocols and rules. They are in place for the safety of everybody within the country.
But remember, those rules are also there to hold off criminals and other illegal practices. If you are simply sending a gift or harmless parcel, and you wrap and package it correctly, you have nothing to worry about.
For all of your shipping needs, consider our great services provided by a dedicated and experienced staff.