Help! How can you avoid customs charges?

New Member
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I have been sending orders internationally for quite some time now and I recently received a message from a customer saying that they had to pay a fairly hefty customs charge (import fee). They informed me that customs charges can be avoided if the product is marked as a gift. Is there a way to do that on the declaration form? I understand I can't go back and fix this one but I'm trying to avoid future customer frustration for those unaware of these fees. I'm shipping from the U.S. if that makes a difference. Thanks!

Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
476 36 76

Hello, there! 

Ren here from the Shopify support team, here to lend you a hand. 

Custom charges are one of the unfortunate realities of international shipping. Labelling a package as a gift when it is in fact a product is considered falsifying and against the law. You can read more information about this at this third-party link

A "gift" option can only be applied when sending personal items to friends or family, not a purchased product. I understand not wanting your customer to be responsible for paying the fee should they incur a customs fee, and in these cases you may wish to refund them or offer them a store credit for a future purchase. 

It's important to outline the details of what your customers might expect on a Shipping Policy page, so the fee doesn't come as a complete surprise. You can read more about shipping etiquette here.

An app does exist for calculating a total landing cost which you can learn more about here and might be worth a shot to help set the right expectations for international customers.

I hope you've found this helpful! Please let me know if I can clarify anything for you.



Ren | Social team @ Shopify
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