Shipping whistles to EU countries

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raindog1970
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Shipping whistles to EU countries

Post by raindog1970 »

Is anyone here aware of recent changes to customs regulations in EU countries that now requires a copy of the invoice to be included with the customs documents? I recently shipped whistles to Belgium and Hungary, and both customers are having difficulty getting customs to release their packages because I put the invoice inside with the whistles like I've done for almost twenty years. I know that Germany has long required two copies of the invoice to be included with the customs documents, and you get a notice reminding you of that when you print customs forms on the USPS website. There was no such notice for my shipments to Belgium or Hungary, and even the employees at my local post office say there's no such requirement listed for either country. I'm assuming that it's some new EU regulation that the USPS is just not up to date on yet, but I thought I'd ask and see if anyone here knows for sure. I'll definitely be adding a copy of the invoice with the customs documents for all future international shipments even if it's not listed as a requirement, because I hate that my customers are undergoing an unnecessary hassle. It makes no sense to me that an invoice copy would also be required when there's an itemized list of everything in the shipment printed on the customs form, with the declared value of each item as well as the total shipment value. Both customers said customs contacted them and said they had no proof of the shipment value without a copy of the invoice, but that's just not true when everything is properly declared on the customs form.
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Mr.Gumby
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Re: Shipping whistles to EU countries

Post by Mr.Gumby »

Rules for importing goods from non EU countries were tightened up more or less recently, here are current guidelines for buying online from non-EU countries.

Invoices are not explicitly mentioned, as far as I can see having a quick look, but obviously a custom declaration leaves plenty of room for under declaring the value of an item, so individual countries apply their own rules regarding proof of purchase price. Here is a list with requirements for a number of countries. Some explicitly require an invoice for determining the value of goods, some don't mention invoices (although that probably doesn't mean one isn't required).

FWIW, years ago customs requested an invoice for a pair of Converse all star trainers I had ordered online (from China) before releasing the parcel. It's not something new or unprecedented, even if it never happened before or since.
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