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What should I consider when shipping personal gifts?

Five handy tips for Stress-Free Holiday Shipping

Clearly label your package for customs purposes.

Your Air Waybill should answer three questions about your package: what is it, what is it made of, what is it used for? Customers who don't supply enough information about their package may find it's held up by customs. To avoid disappointing delays, ensure your package is clearly labelled.

When sending a gift, make sure you write personal gift on your Air Waybill.

Telling Customs that your package is non-commercial by clearly stating personal gift after its description will help ensure you don't attract unnecessary customs duties and taxes. Please contact our customer service for further information.

If purchasing via the internet, check to see if local taxes and duties are included in the price.

Many people think they're getting a great price when they buy items overseas via the internet, but get a surprise when their package arrives with a demand for customs duties and VAT. For example, clothes valued at USD$200 arriving in the UK will attract 12% duty, plus 20% VAT, adding more than 30% to the cost of the purchase.

Ensure your package is well wrapped, with plenty of padding.

FedEx provides free shipping boxes, but customers need to wrap their packages carefully. Invest in some bubble-wrap, styrofoam beads or lots of newspaper to help protect your present! Have a look at our packaging tips.

Accurately estimate the cost of your package and take out adequate insurance.

The vast majority of FedEx packages are delivered safely to their address, but sometimes things can go wrong. All customers are asked to declare the value of their shipment  undervaluing can affect their insurance. Customers should also ensure they have adequate insurance, especially for high-value shipments.

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This Q&A is provided for information only and the answers do not have a contractual value. For additional information, you can refer to FedEx Conditions of Carriage for EMEA available at

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