Sending Parcels Abroad: Your Ultimate Guide to Hassle-Free International Shipping

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How do you send parcels abroad efficiently and reliably? In this article, we discuss the process of sending parcels abroad, focusing on aspects such as choosing the right courier, packaging, and tracking, without overpaying or getting lost in paperwork. Whether it’s personal gifts or business shipments, let’s ensure your package gets to its international destination without a hitch.

Key Takeaways – Sending parcels abroad

  • Various international shipping options like International Tracked, International Signed, and International Tracked & Signed offer different levels of security, tracking, and confirmation of delivery, and can be accessed through local post offices or online.

  • Proper preparation of parcels, including correct addressing, selecting suitable packaging, and completing customs forms, is crucial for successful international delivery and can affect shipping costs and compliance with carrier regulations.

  • Awareness of international shipping restrictions and regulations for specific countries, as well as understanding return policies for internationally purchased items, is essential to ensure hassle-free shipping and the possibility of returns if needed.

Choosing the Right Postal Service for International Shipping

International shipping postal service, when sending parcels abroad

Navigating the sea of postal services can be daunting, especially when you want to send an international letter or a parcel. Remember, your local post office branch isn’t your only option. There are several services tailored for international shipping, with each one offering unique benefits.

Consider services like International Tracked, International Signed, and International Tracked & Signed. Each service has its own perks, and choosing the right one can make your international shipping experience a breeze. But what do these services entail? We’ll examine each in more detail.

International Tracked

Imagine sending mail or a package overseas and being able to track its journey every step of the way. That’s precisely what International Tracked offers. This service provides secure and reliable delivery of your international mail, letters and parcels, with confirmation of delivery.

Whether you’re an individual sending a gift to a loved one abroad or a business reaching out to deliver something to international clients, International Tracked is a trusted choice for your international mail needs. You can access this service at your local post office branch or buy the label online, providing you with peace of mind as your package travels across the globe.

International Signed

International Signed takes security a notch higher by requiring a signature upon receipt. This signature method ensures that your parcel won’t just be left at the doorstep, potentially exposed to the elements or sticky fingers.

The International Signed service guarantees the delivery of your mail overseas upon obtaining a signature. It can be acquired online or at your nearest post office, and may even include compensation cover for added security. However, it’s important to note that not all countries accept letters and parcels sent via International Signed.

International Tracked & Signed

For those seeking ultimate peace of mind, International Tracked & Signed offers:

  • End-to-end tracking

  • Mandatory signature upon delivery

  • Dependable delivery

  • Insurance coverage

This ensures heightened security and assurance for you.

Royal Mail is one of the providers that offers the International Tracked & Signed service. However, the price for this service may vary. For instance, in 2022, Royal Mail charged £10.35 for sending a 750g item using this service.

Discover how to claim compensation for delayed, lost or damaged Royal Mail deliveries, read our informative article.

Preparing Your Parcel for International Shipping

Preparing customs forms when sending parcels abroad

Once you’ve chosen a postal service, the next step is to prepare your parcel for its journey. This involves correctly addressing your package, choosing the right packaging, and preparing customs forms.

These tasks may seem mundane but play an important role in your deliveries and ensuring your parcel reaches its destination without any hiccups. We’ll discuss each task in detail.

Addressing Your Parcel

The journey of a thousand miles begins with the right address. Whether it’s a bustling city in the UK or a tranquil town in France, your parcel needs a detailed, correctly signed and formatted address to reach its destination.

Including the recipient’s full name, house number, street name, and city on the package label is a must. As the signature format may vary by country, be sure to check the specific requirements for the destination country. And remember, don’t forget to incorporate postal codes in your addresses; they play a significant role in ensuring your mail gets delivered accurately and efficiently.

Choosing the Right Packaging

Your parcel’s packaging is like its suit of armor, protecting it from the rigors of international shipping. Selecting the appropriate packaging materials is vital to ensure your items reach their destination undamaged.

Cardboard boxes, especially corrugated ones, are ideal for packaging due to their durability and lightweight nature. But it’s not just about the box. The weight and dimensions of your package can influence shipping costs and compliance with carrier regulations. So, always consider these factors when preparing your parcel.

Customs Forms and Documentation

Lastly, you’ll have to tackle customs forms and documentation. While the mere mention of ‘customs’ may induce a headache, with a bit of understanding, it doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

The key to a smooth customs clearance is providing thorough and precise details about your goods on the customs form. This includes a comprehensive description of each item, its corresponding value, and weight. With this information, your package is one step closer to a successful international journey.

Using Online Services for International Shipping

Buying postage online for international shipping, when sending parcels abroad.

In the digital age, the world of international shipping has moved online. Now, you can buy online, drop off parcels, and even track your items, all from the comfort of your home or office.

Online services have made the world of international shipping more convenient, streamlined, and accessible than ever before. We’ll discuss ways you could make use of these services for your international shipping requirements.

Buy Postage Online

Buying postage online is like having your own post office at home. Many couriers, including Norsk Global, DHL Parcel, and Parcels Online (Evri and DPD), offer online postage for international shipping at competitive rates.

You can purchase postage online from USPS, DHL, and FedEx, among others. These services allow you to get letters and ship packages from the convenience of your home or office. Plus, you can print and request free boxes, print USPS labels, and more.

Drop Off at Your Nearest Post Office

Once you’ve purchased your postage online, it’s time to send or drop off your parcel. You can collect or drop off your international parcels at any participating Post Office branch.

To locate the closest Post Office branch for international parcel drop-off, you can use the Post Office Branch Finder tool available on their website. Remember, all Post Office branches are equipped to handle the drop-off of international parcels, making it easy for you to send your packages abroad.

Tracking Your International Parcels

Tracking international parcels

Once your parcel is en route, it’s natural to want to keep an eye on its progress. This is where parcel tracking comes in. With modern parcel tracking services, you can:

  • Monitor your parcel’s journey from pickup to delivery

  • Receive real-time updates on its location

  • Track its estimated delivery time

  • Get notifications when it reaches certain milestones

All of this can be further tracked and done right from your device, making it convenient and easy to stay informed about your package’s whereabouts.

There are various tracking services available, offered by different couriers, making it easier than ever to keep tabs on your international parcels. We’ll explain how these services operate and how they can be used.

Tracking Services Offered by Couriers

From DPD to Evri, Royal Mail, and Parcelforce Worldwide, many couriers provide tracking services for international parcels. These services offer real-time tracking, giving you updates on your parcel’s location and delivery status.

With ‘fully tracked’ services, you can monitor your shipment’s progress from pickup to the delivery point. These comprehensive tracking services give you peace of mind, knowing where your parcel is at any given moment.

How to Track Your Parcel

So, how exactly do you track your parcel? It’s quite simple. All you need is your unique name address and tracking code, which is usually scanned at various points in the delivery process.

By entering this code into the tracking application or website of the affected shipping company, you can view real-time updates on your parcel’s location and delivery status. Whether it’s through the USPS, FedEx, DHL, UPS, or other courier’s website services, tracking your parcel is just a few clicks away.

International Shipping Restrictions and Regulations

International shipping restrictions and regulations

International shipping isn’t just about packing a box and sending it off. Each country has its own shipping restrictions and regulations that you need to be aware of. These differ from country to country and can include restrictions on certain types of goods.

Being aware of these restrictions and regulations is vital to prevent your parcel from getting held up at customs. We’ll discuss these restrictions and their implications for various countries and specific destinations.

Restricted Items by Country

Each country has its own list of prohibited and restricted items for international shipping. These can range from common items like firearms, ammunition, and alcoholic beverages to more specific ones like unset precious stones and industrial diamonds.

From Afghanistan to South Korea, each country has its own unique set of customs restrictions. Make sure to refer to the specific country’s list of prohibited and restricted items to ensure your parcel clears customs without any issues.

Shipping to Northern Ireland and Other Special Destinations

Certain destinations have further unique regulations. For instance, shipping to Northern Ireland may involve distinct regulations and potentially increased expenses in contrast to shipping to the rest of the UK.

Additionally, there are other special destinations, like Switzerland and certain EU member states, with stringent customs regulations primarily related to food production standards and high import tariffs. Before shipping to these locations, it’s important to become well-versed with these regulations.

Returning Items Purchased Internationally

Sometimes, things don’t work out as planned, and you might need to return an item you’ve bought internationally. Whether it’s a clothing item that doesn’t fit or a gadget that doesn’t work as expected, knowing how to return an item is crucial.

You have two options when it comes to returning items purchased internationally – using the free returns service offered by the retailer or paying for the return at your nearest Post Office branch or post below.

Returning Packages at the Post Office

Returning a package at the Post Office is quite straightforward. Once you’ve properly packaged and addressed your item, simply bring and deliver it to your local Post Office branch and obtain a Certificate of Posting.

To make things easier, some Post Office branches can generate and print the return label on-site. So, even if you don’t have a back label printer at home, you can still return your items hassle-free.

Free vs. Paid Returns Services

When deciding between free and paid returns services, consider the financial implications. With complimentary returns, the brand assumes the transportation costs. On the other hand, paid returns may involve a fee for the return. Retailers like Amazon, Zalando, and Otto provide paid returns services, but the cost can vary, so it’s always a good idea to check with the retailer.


From choosing the right postal service to send to to preparing your parcel, tracking it, understanding international shipping restrictions, and even returning items, we’ve covered a wide range of topics in the world of international shipping.

With this knowledge, you’re now equipped to navigate this world like a pro, whether you’re an individual sending a gift abroad or a business owner expanding to the world of international markets. So, go ahead and conquer the world of international shipping!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I send a parcel internationally from UK?

You can send a parcel internationally from the UK using international delivery services such as DHL or Royal Mail. Each service offers different transit times, postal prices, and value-added options to choose from.

Can you send Evri parcels abroad?

Yes, you can send parcels abroad using Evri’s low-cost international shipping service that delivers to 200+ countries and territories. With regular tracking updates, it’s an affordable and convenient option for sending parcels globally.

How do I address an international parcel?

When addressing an international parcel, make sure to include the recipient’s full name, house number, street name, city, and postal code on the package. This ensures accurate delivery.

How can I track my parcel?

To track your parcel, simply use the unique tracking code provided and enter it into the shipping company’s tracking application or website to view real-time updates on your own address, parcel’s location and delivery status.

What are the restrictions on items for international shipping?

Each country has its own list of prohibited and restricted items for international shipping, including firearms, ammunition, alcoholic beverages, and unset precious stones and industrial diamonds. It’s important to check the specific regulations of the destination country before shipping any items internationally.

Useful Reference Websites

  • Royal
    • As the UK’s primary postal service, Royal Mail offers comprehensive information on sending parcels both domestically and internationally. Their website includes details on pricing, parcel sizes, customs requirements, and delivery times.
    • A popular parcel delivery comparison site in the UK, Parcel2Go provides a platform to compare prices and services from various courier companies. This site can be a valuable resource for finding cost-effective options for sending parcels abroad.
  • Post
    • The Post Office website offers detailed guidance on international postage, including tips on packaging, prohibited items, and customs forms. It’s a trusted source for information on a wide range of postal services.
    • DPD is a leading courier service in the UK, known for its reliable parcel delivery. Their website provides information on international parcel services, including tracking options, delivery times, and country-specific advice.
  • – Sending Parcels
    • This official government website offers essential information on the rules and regulations for sending parcels abroad from the UK. It includes guidance on customs, taxes, and prohibited items, which is crucial for anyone looking to send parcels internationally.
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With over three decades of experience in the heart of London’s financial sector, I have dedicated my career to the pursuit of robust cybersecurity practices and IT leadership. As a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Chief Information Security Officer (C|CISO), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI), I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table.

My journey in the field of cybersecurity has not only been about personal growth but also about sharing my insights with others. As an international speaker, I have had the privilege of addressing audiences worldwide, discussing the importance of cybersecurity in today’s digital age. My passion for knowledge sharing extends to my work as an author and blogger, where I delve into the complexities of cybersecurity, offering practical advice and thought leadership.

In my role as a CISO and Head of IT, I have overseen the development and implementation of comprehensive information security and IT strategies. My focus has always been on creating resilient systems capable of withstanding the evolving landscape of cyber threats.

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