Shipping internationally can sometimes require you to provide additional information for your shipment.


Customs Forms

Shipments to international destinations must be accompanied by a CN-22 customs form. Canadian shipments and shipments destined for the U.S. do not need an attached customs form.

When you purchase international postage from Chit Chats, our platform automatically generates the CN-22 form and includes it on the shipping label. However, there is the exception of some Chit Chats International Tracked Delivered Duties Paid (DDP) postage which does not require this information to be on the postage label. For all international postage, our partner carriers then receive this information electronically to facilitate smooth customs clearance for your shipments. 

Some countries may require you to provide additional tax documentation for your shipments. As a shipper, it is important to research and know the requirements of the destination country you are sending to. If you need help or have questions, our support team can provide guidance so don't hesitate to contact us. 

Customs Tax Reference Numbers

Some international shipments are subject to taxes and duties and the customs body in the destination country may request a tax reference number for your shipment. Be sure to research any specific requirements of the destination country you are shipping to.  

As of July 1, 2021 all shipments destined to the European Union (EU), UK, and Norway must include a customs tax reference number called an Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) number or VAT on E-Commerce (VOEC) number for Norway. This is needed to show that the appropriate value-added tax (VAT) was paid for the shipment. If this is not provided it could result in additional customs fees (such as your customer paying the VAT for their shipment twice), delays and the potential for non-delivery (meaning your shipment may either be returned to sender or destroyed).

You can easily enter this in the Customs Tax Reference Number field when creating shipments in your Chit Chats account. This is required if shipments are going to Great Britain, UK, or the EU.

Reference numbers must follow the correct formatting.

  • Maximum of 20 characters
  • Cannot contain any special characters (i.e. -, !, #)
  • Not necessary to include the words 'IOSS' ' VOEC' or 'VAT'

The IOSS VAT Identification Number contains a total of twelve (12) alphanumeric characters in the following format of IMxxxyyyyyyz (reference USPS IOSS FAQ).  On the other hand, the VOEC number is a 7 digit reference number. Examples of correct formattings can be found here.

Correct Formatting

Incorrect Formatting


IOSS VAT ID: IM5280008075


UK VAT ID: GB375197855


VAT number, 356983735


Etsy IOSS IM3720000224


IM3720000224 11.26 euros


IOSS # - IM2760000742

1234567VOEC NO: 1234567

Shipments that are charged value added tax (VAT) requiring an IOSS, VOEC, or VAT number must not exceed the following shipment retail value requirements:

  • Addresses in the UK: $220 CAD*
  • Addresses in the EU: $215 CAD*
  • Addresses in Norway: $380 CAD **

*Subject to fluctuations in currency exchange.

**Additional requirements may apply for individual items.

Personal Customs Clearance Code

A Personal Customs Clearance Code (PCCC) may also be required when shipping to some countries including South Korea. It is typically a 12-digit number issued by country authorities to its citizens. A PCCC allows individuals to clear customs when shipping goods in and out of the country. 

If you are sending to a country that requires a PCCC, clients will need to obtain this information from the recipient and provide it to customs or the tax authority upon request. 

Recipient Contact Information

As of July 1, 2021 recipient phone numbers are required for all shipments to the EU as customs may attempt to notify the recipients of any outstanding duties or taxes. A failure to provide this information may result in additional customs delays, fees and the potential for non-delivery.

You can add your recipient's phone number when entering the address details for your shipment in your Chit Chats account.

Harmonized System Tariff Codes

Harmonized system tariff codes often referred to as an HS code. An HS code is important because customs uses this as a reference to identify the goods in your package. This is a standardized numerical method of classifying traded products for customs processing. This allows shipments to move smoothly through the network and help decrease the risk of fraud and security threats.
As of March 1st, 2023, all shipment to EU member nations will require accurate HS coding. While HS codes are not mandatory for all international shipments we strongly encourage adding an HS code.

Currently HS codes are only mandatory for:

  • Overseas military addresses (APO/DPO/FPO) and other U.S. territories (e.g. Guam, Puerto Rico, etc.) and
  • USPS International postage

While HS codes are not mandatory for Chit Chats International Tracked shipments we recommend adding this in the optional field as it will help make the customs process easier and minimize potential delays to our shipment's transit.

Need to find an HS code? Reference Canada Post - Find a Harmonized System Code.

HS Code Format

  • Minimum 6 digits for each item in your shipment
  • Additional digits depend on the destination of the shipment

If you import shipments 

The Chit Chats Standard CSV template does not yet include a field for HS codes. You will have to manually add an HS code after importing the shipment.

  1. Select the postage_type: "unknown" or leave this field blank
  2. Import shipments with the CSV template
  3. After importing your shipments, manually input the HS code for the shipment items before selecting the desired postage option.

Find full instructions on how to import HS codes here.

To import HS codes via CSV, use the Chit Chats advance CSV template.

If you import shipments with a store integration? Find details on how HS codes can be imported based on your ecommerce platform.