Guide for Mailing Cross-Border Packages in Chengdu
For foreigners living in Chengdu, they may need to mail things to family or friends back home every so often. In such cases, what are the ways for mailing cross-border packages in Chengdu, and what are the steps or requirements? Find the answers in today's Chengdu Helper.
In terms of channels, common international package mailing methods may be divided into two broad categories: commercial express courier and postal service. Commercial express couriers are highly efficient but also much expensive, on the contrary, postal service is relatively slower but also cheaper. Take for instance a 1kg package to be sent from Chengdu to New York City: If mailed via a commercial express courier, the item could arrive in the hands of the receiver in as short as four days, but it’ll cost 800 yuan; if mailed as a small postal service package, it would take 10-15 working days but only cost 158 yuan; if mailed as a part of a large parcel through land and maritime routes, it would require as much as a month or two months, but would only cost 83.5 yuan.
Thus, commercial express courier might be better suited for items with high value or time-sensitive, while other items are recommended to be sent via regular postal service.
The following is a more detailed table showing recommended mailing methods for common types of items, for your reference:
Commercial couriers: DHL, UPS, SF Express, FedEx and EMS
Postal service: SF Express E-parcel and China Post (for items exceeding 2kg to be sent via postal service, China Post's large parcel is the only option).
Customs and Tax Declaration
Commercial couriers like DHL and UPS usually adopt the proactive customs declaration method, which means that the recipient's personal identification info is submitted and quantity and value of declared item(s) are detailedly declared to customs, thus mailed items will usually be taxed. The postal service adopt the passive customs declaration method with their shipping, which means that customs will randomly inspect consignments and thus mailed items might not be inspected nor taxed by customs. Before mailing you package, ask the service provider about their customs declaration method, then make the customs declaration in accordance with items to be mailed in order to minimize cost and simplify the procedure.
Tips：Multiple items of the same type and/or brand new items might be considered commercial packages, which would result in extra duties and requirements for relevant documentations.
Powders, liquids, uninspected animals, plants or their products, biological products, flammable and explosive items are prohibited from the mail, but specific situations differ according to regulations of the sender nation, customs of the recipient nation and courier. A certain number of service providers, mostly commercial couriers, offer testing and examination services for items like powder and liquid, and if the items pass their testing and examination then it could be shipped.
If you intend on doing the packaging on your own, the first thing is to prepare a carton of suitable size and sturdy enough to hold all the items. After placing all items in the container, fill up the spaces with soft materials like bubble wrap. If the items to be mailed are not waterproof, it would be wise to put them in a plastic bag first and then place them in the box. For goods that need added protection, use two cartons or other methods to make sure they will arrive safely.
Tips：Some couriers provide packaging service for a surcharge.
Download and Fill out Mailing Form
You could use the selected courier's official website, customer service hotline or WeChat public account to make a pick-up appointment and place order. After making anappointment through the official website, phone or WeChat public account, a delivery man will come to the sender's address and pick up the consignment. SF Express, EMS and China Post also accept packages brought to their brick-and-mortar locations. SF Express uses directly-operated locations but also third-party pick-up and drop-off locations; both EMS and China Post use China Post locations such as post office. Commercial couriers usually demand clear and detailed info and declared value of the items to be indicated on mailing forms for customs declaration purpose, as well as requiring the sender to pay for duty.
The aforesaid are the two primary ways for sending international packages. Next time when you want to share the unique and wonderful Chengdu products with family and friends back home, you know what to do~