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New USPS Customs Regulations for Packages Shipping to European Union Countries

Starting March 1, 2023, new customs regulations will apply to all USPS international packages sent to European countries that follow EU customs regulations. This means that shippers must provide more detailed content descriptions on their customs forms for every item in the package. General categories will not be accepted, and descriptions must be specific to each item. USPS is providing tools to help shippers comply with these new rules.

Failing to comply with the new regulations may result in packages being returned or refused, and shippers risk losing revenue and customer satisfaction. By following the new EU regulations, businesses can increase accountability, reduce fraud, and improve the efficiency of cross-border e-commerce. Consumers should be aware of these rules and ensure they properly describe the contents of their international shipments.

The new requirements will apply to 27 European Union countries:

Map source: wiki

About the Author

Daniel Sodkiewicz (Co-founder and CTO)

Daniel is a CTO and co-founder of GeekSeller with years of experience in software development, online marketing, UX design, and e-commerce consulting. Based in Austin, TX, he is an established expert in the industry. Daniel keeps a close eye on the latest trends and news in e-commerce and regularly writes about it on this blog and LinkedIn.

7 responses on this

  1. Alla April 14, 2023 3:47 am

    hello, maybe you could explain this: today I sent a small book from USA to Netherlands as a birthday gift. I paid about $20 for the service and an envelope. I was told that my friend in NL will have to pay 17 euro to get this package. WHY?
    thank you.

    1. GeekSeller April 14, 2023 8:42 pm

      Hi Alla,

      When you send a package from one country to another, it’s important to consider that there may be import taxes or customs duties that need to be paid by the recipient before they can receive the package.

      In the case of your gift from the USA to the Netherlands, it’s possible that the recipient was charged a fee for customs clearance or import duties. These fees are usually charged by the customs authorities in the destination country and are based on the value of the contents of the package, as well as the purpose of the shipment.

      The specific amount charged for customs clearance or import duties can vary depending on the country, the value of the item, and the type of item being shipped. In this case, it seems that your friend in NL was charged 17 euro for these fees.

      It’s worth noting that customs fees and duties are not always predictable, and they can be a surprise to both the sender and the recipient. To avoid this in the future, you may want to consider including a note with the package that specifies that the recipient is responsible for any customs fees or duties that may apply.

  2. Robin May 5, 2023 9:45 pm

    What ever happened to secrecy of correspondence??is that just not a thing anymore?personal privacy and stuff like that?do people not give a f$)k anymore?
    Why do I have to tell you what I am
    Sending to anyone?it’s non of your goddamn business what I sent to who.

    1. GeekSeller May 5, 2023 9:54 pm

      We totally get it, complying with new customs regulations can be a pain in the neck for sellers. But, the thing is, these regulations are needed to keep cross-border shipments safe and secure. They help prevent the smuggling of illegal stuff and make sure that the right taxes and fees are paid. By giving more specific descriptions of the items being shipped, USPS can also reduce fraud and make cross-border e-commerce smoother.

  3. Ann May 23, 2023 2:41 pm

    It’s absolutely disgusting and unbelievable that this is happening. I wanted to send a pkg yesterday cost $20 approx was informed by USPS worker my family in Ireland would have to pay $22 ?? What’s going on!? I am not sending any more pkgs. It’s out of control. I decided to just send envelope $3. I will not support this bull crap. If we pay shipping that’s enough. I hope others know about this because it’s shocking you send someone a gift and they are hammered for the customs. [this post was slightly edited by the administrator before approving it for publishing]

    1. GeekSeller May 23, 2023 6:35 pm

      We understand your frustration. The good news is, a new initiative from the European Union aims to simplify international shipping. You can find more information here – EU Proposes Simplified Customs System.

  4. Emm November 14, 2023 5:53 am

    first time I shipped a package this year to a EU Eastern European country, and was advised that on a $40 gift the recipient will pay $33 fee. as another reader posted, it’s disgusting. ridiculous after all the hefty fees we already pay for these services.


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