How to determine prohibited items and duties for international shipping?

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Hello, how do you know which items are prohibited for international shipments from each country? Also, how to know if they are subject to duties, if there is a limit?

Replies 2 (2)

Shopify Staff
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Hi @yenysones,


Thank you for getting in touch with your questions, and it's great to hear that you're thinking of expanding your business to sell abroad.


There is no easy answer to your questions, as each country will have their own set of laws and regulations regarding what products can be exported into their country and what duties and import fees will apply. You will also need to consider other factors, such as shipping costs and sales taxes, when looking to sell abroad. For this reason, I would recommend taking the time to research the countries you wish to sell to and be sure that you're well set up to sell into another country or region before you start accepting sales. I would also suggest expanding gradually, to perhaps one or two extra countries at a time, rather than going from a business that sells domestically to one that sells worldwide in a short space of time. It'd be best for you to target specific countries and regions where you think your business has potential, and where servicing customers won't be too difficult.


Shopify provides many features to help merchants sell across their borders, including our new Markets feature. You can use Shopify Markets to customize your store to customers in specific regions, such as through offering different currencies and languages, as well as international domains. I would also recommend you check out our documentation on selling cross-border as well as our comprehensive blog post on international ecommerce, as these should provide you with plenty of tips and advice on how you can expand your business to other countries with success.


I hope that the information I have provided to you is of some use, but please don't hesitate to reach out again if you have more questions.

Victor | Social Care @ Shopify 
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You can google sensitive goods and prohibited goods for IATA, basically they are dangerous goods or politics goods as well as the goods  violate the local culture.


As for duties, each country has its own customs policy, espiecally EU, they need to charge VAT for all packages shipped to EU countries. You can google the countries customs policy before you dropship international countries. - Chinese dropshipping agent - reliable sourcing agent