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. 

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 associated with 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) must include a customs tax reference number called an Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) number. 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 or other EU countries. 

IOSS numbers must follow the correct formatting. The custom tax reference number has a maximum of 20 characters in length and must not contain any special characters.

It is not necessary to include the words IOSS or VAT in the customs tax reference number field. 

The IOSS VAT Identification Number contains a total of twelve (12) alphanumeric characters in the following format of IMxxxyyyyyyz (reference USPS IOSS FAQ). Examples of EU VAT formats can be found here.

Examples of correct formatting:

  • DE356983735
  • IM5280008075
  • 370 6004 28

Examples of incorrect formatting: 

  • IOSS VAT ID: IM5280008075
  • UK VAT ID: GB375197855
  • Etsy IOSS IM3720000224
  • Etsy's IOSS#IM3720000224
  • IOSS NUMBER: IM3720000224
  • IOSS - IM2760000742
  • VAT number, 370 6004 28
  • VAT #: 370 6004 28
  • IM3720000224 11.26 euros

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

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

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 HS codes are a standardized numerical method of classifying items for customs processing. Depending on the carrier and country an HS code may be mandatory. 

If you ship to a military address an HS code will be required as well as for all USPS international shipments (this includes U.S. territories like Guam & Puerto Rico). 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 your shipment’s transit. 

Add an accurate HS code (minimum 6 digits) for each item in your shipment to access our full range of postage options. Find resources on HS codes on our blog.

If you import shipments 

The Chit Chats CSV importer does not yet include a field for HS codes. For this reason select the postage_type: “unknown” or leave this field blank. 

After importing your shipments, manually input the HS code for the shipment items before selecting the desired postage option. 

The shipments you import  from connected stores may not include accurate HS codes. Please make sure to update these after importing to ensure you see all of the postage options available to you.