International Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Consider Before Beginning International Shipping?
Why should I consider export shipping?
If you’re only selling in the U.S., you’re only reaching a small share of your potential customers.
According to the U.S. Commercial Service, 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the U.S.
In addition, small businesses account for 30 percent of all U.S. export shipments. In fact, the fastest-growing segment of U.S. exporting companies — making up a whopping 65 percent of all U.S. exporters — are companies with 20 or fewer employees. So, size is no longer a requirement for international success in global markets.
Some of the benefits for your business include:
Increased sales and profits. If your business is succeeding in the U.S., expanding globally will likely improve overall profitability and increase productivity.
Short-term security. Your business will be less affected by fluctuations in the U.S. economy and marketplace.
Long-term security. The U.S. is a large, mature market with intense competition from domestic and foreign competitors, so international business trade may become a necessity if you want to keep up in an increasingly global marketplace.
Increased innovation. Extending your customer base internationally can help you finance new product development.
Economies of scale. Exporting is an excellent way to expand your business with products that are more widely accepted around the world.
How do I begin export shipping?
Steps in developing an export strategy include:
Evaluate your product’s export potential.
Determine whether your company is export-ready.
Use market research to identify key international markets for your products.
Find customers and/or suppliers in international markets.
Establish an overseas distribution system.
Determine export prices, payment terms, methods and techniques.
Familiarize yourself with shipping methods, documentation, financing and other exporting requirements.
Understand government regulations, stipulations and restrictions regarding exporting.
How Do I Figure Out What International Labels and Documents I Need?
What documentation is required for international shipments?
Each country has specific document requirements for international shipments. To learn about the most commonly required forms — as well as when and why you need them — go to FedEx International Document Overview.
To determine and print the documents needed to accompany specific international shipments, you can also use the Find International Documents tool on FedEx® Global Trade Manager. Then, while you’re on FedEx Global Trade Manager, you can save time by using the FedEx Document Preparation Center to prepare, store and reuse your international documents. Please note: You must have a fedex.com user ID and password to access both of these tools.
Is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Certificate of Origin required for shipping to Canada and Mexico?
The NAFTA Certificate of Origin is not a required entry document for shipments between the U.S. and Mexico or Canada. You should complete one only if your product qualifies for preferential tariff treatment under the NAFTA Rules of Origin
If you’re not sure if you need a NAFTA Certificate of Origin, use the Find International Documents tool on FedEx® Global Trade Manager or call FedEx International Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (say "international services").
For help understanding the certificate — as well as to learn more about NAFTA, how your business can benefit from new markets in Canada and Mexico, and how FedEx® services and solutions can help — see our information on North American trade solutions .
How can I get help with international documentation?
You can find resources to help you with different aspects of international shipping at FedEx® Global Trade Manager
You can use the Find International Documents tool to determine and print the documents needed to accompany specific international shipments. Then, you can save time by using the FedEx Document Preparation Center to prepare, store and reuse your international documents. Please note: You must have a fedex.com user ID and password to access both of these tools.
What information do I need to identify the right harmonized code, to estimate the duties and taxes, and to find out what customs documents are required?
Knowing the following information will help you with all three:
The origin and destination countries.
The currency of transaction. (This is the currency in which you’ll be entering the value and charges related to this shipment.)
The purpose of the shipment (e.g. commercial, gift, sample)
The name and description of the product to find its Harmonized Code. (Harmonized Codes are used internationally to catalog and describe products for tariff and regulatory purposes.)
The product’s value for customs. (Enter the selling price or fair market value [even if not sold or for resale] of your shipment contents.)
The product’s country of manufacture. (The country where the product was built or created.)
What Are some common international terms and abbreviations that I should know?
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS for short) is an internationally standardized numeric system for cataloging and describing traded products. HS numbers are used by customs authorities around the world to identify a product's rate of duty, its import and export admissibility, and whether or not it should be physically examined. Importers and exporters are legally required to declare their products to customs by means of HS codes. Virtually all countries base their tariff schedules on the HS, making it easier to conduct international trade.
In the U.S., the numbers used by the U.S. government to classify and monitor U.S. exported products are called "Schedule B" numbers. The Schedule B is a 10-digit code built upon the first six digits of the HS code.
What International Countries Does FedEx Serve?
How do I find what countries FedEx ships to?
Can I use FedEx for imports and exports?
Yes. FedEx offers import and export services between the U.S. and 220 countries and territories. Please note that services available to and from countries vary. To view an import and export international services coverage map, click here
- For a list of import and export countries served for international package (150 lbs. or less) shipments, click here .
- For a list of import and export countries served for international freight (151 lbs. or greater) shipments, click here .
How can FedEx help me with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) shipments to Canada and Mexico?
Check out our information on North American trade solutions
to find out how you can benefit from NAFTA, and how FedEx can help you get started shipping to Canada and Mexico. We can help you decide what solutions are right for you.
How do I get information about shipping my item to a particular country?
You can find country-specific international shipping information by visiting the Country Snapshots
. The snapshots may include some or all of the following information:
- Prohibited and restricted items that cannot be shipped into or out of the particular country.
- Items that can be shipped into or out of the particular country, but require export controls or additional paperwork.
- Special provisions (such as free-trade zones and special conditions that apply to personal effects, gifts and samples) that mean reduced or eliminated tariffs for certain shipments.
- Import and export clearance information, such as the clearance process, document requirements, and duties and tax assessment.
- Regulatory contact information for the particular country.
What International Shipping Services Does FedEx Offer?
What are my package (150 lbs. or less) service options for FedEx Express® international shipping?
FedEx gives you flexibility to match the right international service to your speed-to-market needs.
FedEx International Priority®. Provides customs-cleared delivery typically in 1, 2 or 3 business days to more than 220 countries and territories. You can import from more than 220 countries and territories too.
FedEx International Economy®. Provides cost-effective, customs-cleared delivery typically in 2 to 5 business days to more than 215 countries and territories. You get delivery in just 2 or 3 business days to Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. You can import from more than 100 countries and territories too.
For your most urgent package shipments, consider:
FedEx® International Next Flight. Our fastest-possible delivery to and from more than 220 countries and territories. Reach major cities in just hours depending on flight availability. It’s available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
FedEx International First®. Reach many destinations in Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland as early as 9 a.m. in 2 business days. You can also take advantage of inbound delivery to select U.S. ZIP codes from more than 60 countries and Caribbean islands in just 1 or 2 business days by 8 or 8:30 a.m.
For a complete review of all international services offered by FedEx, check out the FedEx® international services chart.
Can I ship internationally with both FedEx Express and FedEx Ground?
FedEx Express provides service to and from more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Ground provides service between the U.S. and Canada. For a complete review of all international services offered by FedEx, check out the FedEx® international services chart .
What are my freight (151 lbs. or greater) service options for FedEx Express® international delivery?
We have two express services designed for individual pallets of 151 lbs. or more. Pallets exceeding 2,200 lbs. require prior approval from us, but both services allow unlimited total shipment weight.
FedEx International Priority® Freight. Provides customs-cleared delivery typically in 1, 2 or 3 business days to more than 130 countries and territories. You can also import from more than 100 countries and territories. You can select pickup and delivery at your door or the airport.
FedEx International Economy® Freight. Provides customs-cleared delivery typically in 2 to 5 business days to more than 130 countries and territories. You can also import from more than 60 countries and territories. You can select pickup and delivery at your door or the airport.
For your most urgent freight shipments, consider:
FedEx® International Next Flight. Our fastest-possible delivery to and from more than 220 countries and territories. You can reach major cities in just hours depending on flight availability. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For shipments up to 2,200 lbs. per piece (or more with prior approval from us). Unlimited total shipment weight.
For a complete review of all international services FedEx offers, check out the FedEx® international services chart . For a complete list of all international services offered by country, check out the international services coverage map, click here .
What's the difference between international express freight and air cargo services?
Our air cargo services — known as FedEx International Express Freight® and FedEx International Airport-to-AirportSM — are separate from our express and ground services. These are only airport-to-airport services, and they require their own air waybill and booking procedures. And, unlike our express freight services, they don’t offer a money-back guarantee, customs clearance, pickup or final delivery. For more information about our express freight services, please refer to the previous question. What are my freight (151 lbs. or greater) service options for FedEx Express® international delivery? For a complete review of all international services offered by FedEx, check out the FedEx® international services chart
How Do I Get Shipping Rates, Duty and Tax Estimates, and Billing Information for My International Shipment?
How can I get an international shipping rate quote?
Use the Get Rates and Transit Times Tool at fedex.com or contact FedEx Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx - 1.800.463.3339.
Where can I find out how much I’ll have to pay in duties and taxes for my international shipment?
Use the Estimate Duties and Taxes tool on FedEx® Global Trade Manager to classify your shipment and estimate the duties and taxes that will apply. Please note: You must have a fedex.com user ID and password to access the tool.
What billing options are available for my international shipments?
You have the same range of billing options for international shipments as you do for shipments within the U.S., including FedEx® Billing Online Plus. This paperless solution enables you to view and download your FedEx invoice data, pay charges electronically, create custom reports, and even dispute charges.
How Can I Get Scheduling, Tracking and Other Details About My International Shipments?
How do I schedule an international pickup?
It’s fast and easy to schedule a pickup online
Plus, when you schedule a pickup online, you get a pickup history record that enables you to check, edit or cancel your pickups. Please note: You must have a fedex.com user ID and password to use this tool.
How can I find out how long my international shipment will take?
Use the Get Rates and Transit Times tool at FedEx.com
Can I track the status of my international shipment?
Yes, you can track the status of your international shipments as quickly and easily as you can your U.S. shipments. Here are some of the shipment-status tracking options available to you:
FedEx® Tracking. Whether it’s via tracking numbers, door tag numbers, account numbers or order numbers, you can track the status of up to 30 FedEx® shipments from origin to destination.
FedEx Advanced Tracking. Provides shipment-status updates in an easy-to-scan format, with powerful search and filtering capabilities that help you quickly find information about your shipments.
FedEx InSight®. This shipment-status tracking and management tool is for shippers with a moderate-to-high volume of high-value shipments. It monitors your shipping activity and provides status updates about your shipments. It’s ideal for managing shipments across multiple locations and accounts. Please note: You must have a fedex.com user ID and password to use this tool.
FedEx Desktop. Download this software to your desktop and actively monitor your shipments. Receive notifications, drag and drop important shipments to your desktop, and email tracking results to your customers.
FedEx® Mobile. When you’re on the go, you can still get instant shipment-status updates anytime, anywhere. Through FedEx Mobile, your cell phone, PDA, Apple® iPhone® or iPod touch® can become an on-the-go shipping device.
Phone. Call 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 and say "track a package."
To learn more about these options, click here .
iPhone and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc.
Can I get proof that my package was delivered?
For most international shipments, you can request an image of the recipient's signature in a downloadable letter or via email or fax. This service is not available for FedEx International Express Freight® or FedEx International Airport-to-AirportSMservices.
How can I get international shipping supplies?
You can pick up shipping supplies immediately at FedEx staffed locations
You can order them online at fedex.com or by calling 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (say "order shipping supplies"). Please note: To order shipping supplies online, you must have a FedEx account number and a fedex.com user ID and password. Orders are shipped for delivery typically in 2 to 5 business days.
Where Do I Go for Information Regarding Special International Shipments?
How do I ship an international envelope?
It depends on what you are shipping in the envelope. If you’re shipping documents, you may only need an international shipping label. For assistance completing an international shipping label, please refer to the How Do I Figure Out What International Labels and Documents I Need? section of these FAQs.
When you ship internationally, you'll need to determine if the item you’re shipping is considered a document or a commodity by the destination country. Although the question seems straightforward, different countries classify documents differently, and those classifications can be confusing.
Generally, a document is typed, written or printed matter and has no commercial value. Typically, a document shipment doesnot require a Commercial Invoice. If the commodity you’re shipping is part of a commercial transaction or has commercial value, it's considered a commodity, thus requiring a Commercial Invoice.
To determine if your document shipment requires a Commercial Invoice, use the Find International Documents tool on FedEx®Global Trade Manager.
How do I ship gifts and personal items internationally?
Many countries and economies allow unsolicited gifts and personal items to enter the country duty-free if the item is valued up to a certain limit. Gifts exceeding that value limit are subject to import duties and taxes. View country duty-free limits.
To qualify for gift exemption, your international shipment must meet the following requirements:
It must be sent person-to-person with no company involvement or indication of involvement on the shipping documentation.
The shipping documentation must clearly be marked "Unsolicited Gift" in addition to the commodity name and the detailed description.
The total value of the shipment must not exceed the values prescribed by customs.
What do I need to know about shipping dangerous goods internationally?
It’s your responsibility as the shipper to identify, classify, package, mark, label and complete documentation for dangerous goods according to all international governmental regulations. Failure to do so could create dangerous conditions on the aircraft and result in your being subject to governmental fines and penalties under applicable laws.
The U.S. government requires shippers to have dangerous goods training before shipping dangerous goods. FedEx sponsors a number of
How do I handle temporary imports?
Many countries allow tax relief — either duty and tax exemption upon entry or a refund after exportation — for temporary import bond (TIB) shipments.
Temporary imports are goods imported for a specific purpose, then either exported back to the country of origin or destroyed. Examples of such shipments include goods to be repaired, trade show displays and tools of trade.
TIB shipments can be accepted using