Customs Documentation


When you are sending goods to any country which requires customs documents, you will be prompted in our easy five steps to complete a packing list (also known as a pro-forma customs invoice). Our easy steps will guide you through completing this online very quickly. You simply select what is in your items/luggage and communicate the quantity and estimated value.

The customs document is to establish the value of items moving across international borders and not for insurance purposes. Do be accurate with your declared value, as there are spot checks and you could be subject to an investigation.

Once the documentation is completed, you can print two copies and attach them to your luggage/items in the same way, but in a separate plastic wallet, to your barcoded label.

Personal Effects Documentation

In addition to a packing list, some countries will ask for a personal effects form to be completed. This allows the sender to confirm that the items being sent have been in their possession for some time and are not intended for sale. In most cases, this will allow your luggage/items to enter and exit the country without local customs charges. Do check the destination country that at the time of shipping one is still not required.

If you send items of high value, items intended for re-sale, or prohibited items you may find your luggage subjected to customs delays and fees. Again, declare the correct value and whether for re-sale or your own pleasure.

Important Information

Most countries, including the UK and USA offer a tax and duty free allowance for returning residents, travellers who send unaccompanied baggage containing “Personal Clothing & Personal Effects (sports equipment etc.)” which are for their sole use and which have been owned by them for a minimum of 6 months. Not all countries offer this allowance, so do check.
Almost all of Express My Stuff shipments will pass through customs without being stopped and as such our estimated delivery times on communicated on this basis. Prices do not include any taxes, local charges, inspection fees or any other charges. Our transit times also assume your item is waived through customs without stopping.

It is the sender’s responsibility to ensure that you are aware of how your own personal circumstances, what you are sending and the prevailing customs regulations of the destination country and consequently whether you will be liable to pay customs duties, taxes or local charges.

Multiple boxes are more prone to be stopped for inspection to a business address as opposed to a couple of boxes that look like luggage to a residential property.

If you send to a hotel/concierge/student halls/business premises please use c/o in the company line to help the customs authority see it is a personal shipment travelling to a non- residential addresses and not a commercial shipment.

If your shipment is stopped for inspection, please be aware it can take 24-72 hours for information to be received and processed, once the extra information is provided or duty paid it can then take another 24-72 to be on moving again. With holiday baggage/equipment, when sending outside the EU you should always check in advance with the destination if your items will require clearance and ensure the packing list and other documents are clearly visible.

We are always on-line for any questions, but we cannot check you have complied with the destination customs regulations, but we recommend every customer sending outside of the EU takes a few minutes to check the regulations for their destination directly with the destination country’s official travel advise line / customs office.


In some destinations you may be asked to provide information regarding your following unaccompanied baggage when you personally arrive at customs. You may be required to present a copy of your passport or offer a packing list.

In some cases you may be required to visit the local customs office and present your passport.

Other destination charges

Local inspection fees and customs fee may become due (consult the destination customs’ authority for information). Customs may also x-ray or open your item for inspection if they see fit.
If any local fees, inspection fees, customs duties or taxes arise these will need to be settled directly with customs before we/our carriers can deliver you item.
If a customs authority has removed the item from our/carriers care, this will constitute delivery. You may therefore be required to pay the authority an additional delivery fee or to collect the item.

Transit Times

If charges do arise these must be settled by the sender directly with the authority (or in some cases via our agent) before your items can be delivered.
Our transit times do not account for customs delays and we cannot be held responsible for any late deliveries, additional delivery fees, or the necessity to collect due to customs.

Please consult the relevant destination country’s customs’ authority website to ensure your documents and shipment complies with all regulations.

Prohibited Items

Please consult your destination country’s customs and border agency’s website for details of items which you may not be allowed to send unaccompanied when using shipping companies.
Please see our separate link of prohibited items across all routes. Items include: aerosols, liquids, pastes, gels, illegal and restricted Items, toner cartridges, tobacco, money and medication.

You should always ensure you comply with the destination country’s customs regulations by checking their website before your journey.