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Customs forms

USPS offers tools for declarations

Customers sending packages to countries in the European Union will have to provide more detail about the contents when they fill out a customs form.

Postal Service employees should be prepared to let customers know about tools they can use to provide details on customs forms when sending packages to the European Union.

Retail System Software, Click-N-Ship, Global Shipping Software and Customs Form Online, among other tools, can assist customers in properly filling out customs forms to comply with new European Union rules.

Customers should be reminded that broad descriptions of the contents are not acceptable.

For example, “men’s cotton dress shirts” is acceptable; “shirts” is not. “Children’s toy doll” would be acceptable; “gift” or “toy” would not.

The specific descriptions are necessary to assign the package’s contents a Harmonized System (HS) tariff code, which is used by some European customs authorities to assess import duties and taxes.

Customers may also choose to research and assign the HS code using an online Census Bureau tool.

The requirement for HS codes extends to the 27 European Union countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

It also applies to Norway and Switzerland.

For retail customers visiting an RSS site and users of USPS Click-N-Ship, the online platform requires them to answer questions about what they’re sending and automatically assigns an HS code to the shipping label.

Signs are now up at Post Offices and other USPS retail outlets around the country explaining the change.

More information can be found at