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Why an express option

  • Retailers who offer express shipping grow 1.6 times faster than those who don't
  • Average basket level increased by up to 71%*
  • An Express courier service option increases customer choice and speeds up delivery
  • 45% of shoppers have abandoned an online basket because of unsatisfactory delivery options
  • 39% of these shoppers said it was because delivery would take too long

*Statistics from current DHL customers

Frequently asked question

Get end-to-end tracking and round-the-clock updates with 24/7 phone support only we can deliver.
  • Which currency will shipping costs be calculated in?

All charges are negotiated locally and billed in Singapore Dollars (SGD).

  • Is this offer available for existing customers?

This offer is only available for new customers who do not have a DHL Express account yet.


Christmas shopping is on the rise this season. Get informed on country restrictions to avoid unnecessary delays and possible seizure of shipment this Christmastime. Check out the international import and export guidelines for each country below.

Choose your location



All WPX shipments entering Australia must include the following:

  • Ensure that all pages of the documentation are imaged in GIA
  • Commercial invoice (not pro-forma) must state:
    • Full consignee (receiver) and Consignor (shipper) details. Note: Terms such as Private Individual, Residential and N/A are NOT acceptable
    • Quantity and weight of goods
    • Value for customs purposes and currency. Note: Under declared values are flagged by AU Customs through weight/value ratio check and clearance is delayed until proof of value is provided, e.g. provision of evidence of money price paid
    • Nominal declared values such as USD1.00 are NOT acceptable
    • Country of origin
    • Full description of the goods (not just part/code/tariff numbers) e.g. 100% Cotton T-shirt

Note: Ambiguous goods descriptions such as “Gift”, “Goods”, “Sample”, “Merchandise”, “Accessories” etc., must NOT be used at any time. Also, specific brand and/or product names must NOT be used as the goods description on the Air Waybill, e.g. “Marlboro” instead of “cigarettes”.

Informal Clearances

Shipments less than AUD1000.00 can be cleared informally via Self-Assessed Clearance (SAC) declaration. These do not incur Duty or GST. Further information regarding SACs can be found at:


However, this does NOT apply to excisable goods, i.e. alcohol and tobacco, whereby Duty and GST will generally apply. Moreover, Wine Equalization Tax (WET) may also apply. Further information on importing alcohol and tobacco into Australia can be found at (alcoholandtobaccofactsheet.pdf)


The Department of Agriculture has VERY strict requirements in place for specific commodities. We have seen an increase in the number of shipments delayed for Quarantine checks due to inadequate descriptions from wholesalers/resellers/agents and other operators who handover their shipments to DHL for international linehaul and delivery.


DHL AU is automated with Quarantine officers having access to our GIA images when they require full details of the shipment description.


We can avoid 50% of our quarantine delays if we have detailed descriptions that prevent physical examinations and save the consignee additional costs and delays, e.g. a picture frame should be described as wooden, metal or plastic picture frame.


Do NOT use the term “GIFT” – the goods should be specifically described.


Please AVOID sending food of any kind unless commercially packaged and labelled. Organic substances such as wood, soil, sand, bark may also require similar treatment.


The following items are the main products that cause delays and part destructions and double handling of shipments. Do NOT ship any items on this list to AU:

  • Salami and all meats
  • Any fresh food or fruits
  • Raw nuts
  • Cheese and other dairy products from specific countries (e.g. India)
  • Teas containing lemon rind and /or orange peel
  • Homemade food items which are NOT commercially packaged or labelled
  • Christmas wreaths made of plants or Pine cones
  • Goods made from straw or containing bark
  • Potpourri – dried flowers
  • Toys that may contain sand, soil or seeds as filling

Note: Pine cones commonly used in Christmas decorations are prohibited imports into AU.


There is a strict penalty regime in place that allows for heavy fines to be levied on parties not complying with these import requirements. For example, a poor goods description and/or deficient consignee/consignor address can result in DHL being issued with penalties of up to AUD 9,450.00 per shipment. It is critical, that the above guidelines are adhered to for all shipments sent to the AU.


For shipments stopped at the AU border, there will be a cost associated with the return of these shipments through the Network. Some prohibited commodities may not be permitted to be returned and may need to be abandoned/destroyed (with associated costs).


There are no specific Christmas guidelines applicable for Bangladesh. Import Clearance requirements are as reflected in ISD.


There are no special treatment/guidelines/instructions for Brunei during Christmas season. Please refer to ESD.

Cambodia (KH)

The gift item shall be within the value of $50 and below. Shipper needs to indicate Gift or Christmas Gift if applicable on the awb/invoice.


Gift to Private Individual

Imported gift shipments for personal purposes (receiver is a private individual) must adhere to a set value and quantity limit.

Value limit:

CNY 800 (USD 116), shipping from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan
CNY 1000 (USD 145), shipping from countries and territories excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan


The quantity of gift should be reasonable for personal use, not for resale. The reasonable quantity is to be determined by Customs officers.

Additional clearance paperwork requirements
  • Copy if receiver’s ID (for residents of China) or passport with valid Chinese visa (for foreigners)
  • Explanation letter for the purpose of the importation from the receiver (if required)
Prohibited items
  • Live animal / insect(s) and products
  • Meat and meat products, seafood
  • Liquid milk / yoghurt, butter, cheese
  • Egg and egg products
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Plants, seeds
  • Toy gun
Gift to Business

Imported gift shipments for business purposes (if receiver is a business entity) will be considered as a normal express consignment.

  • No value limit
  • Importer on Record (IOR) is needed if the shipment’s value is over CNY 5000 (USD 725)
  • An import license will be required if the commodity is subject to license control regardless of the quantity and value, such as:
    • Foodstuff, alcoholic beverages, dairy products
    • Cosmetics, nutrition products
    • Home appliances; coffee machines, electromagnetic cookers, roasters, microwave ovens, etc.
    • Cellphones, computers, printers/scanners, game consoles (PSP, X-BOX, etc.)
    • Automobiles/motorcycle parts/accessories
    • Sound box/speakers, tuners, audio amplifiers, radio receivers, CD/DVD players
    • TV receivers with all kinds of displays, and monitors
    • Toys


Gift definition for NON DOC

A gift shipment must be from a named individual (who may be sending from a company address) to another named individual (who may be located at a company address). And not under company name as receiver. Corporate gifts are those sent from company to individual (usually contains diaries, planners, calendars and other company giveaways).

Valuation, Duties & GST

All goods imported into the Fiji Islands are subject to duties and tax with VAT (GST) with the value of $2000.00 FJD with freight and above.

The GST taxable is calculated based on the CIF (Costs, Insurance and Freight) value plus all duties and other chargeable costs, whether or not shown on the invoice.

Formal Clearance

CIF value in $2000 FJD and above requires formal clearance for shipment that contains dutiable goods.

Informal Clearance

CIF value in $1999.99 and below is Cleared Duty-free if imported as personal gift.

Clearance paperwork requirements
  • DHL shipment waybill
  • Commercial invoice
  • Evidence of payment
  • Consignee TIN (Tax Identification Number)

Further to the above, it is critical that descriptions on invoices provide a clear description of the goods. A description consisting only of “PERSONAL EFFECTS” or “GIFT”, do not make the contents of the shipment clear. For dutiable goods (liquors), the alcohol percentage, number of bottles, quantity/litres and brand name is required to be listed on the invoices. In this case, ambiguous descriptions will lead to shipments being held and clearance delayed.

Hong Kong


A full description in English of the goods is required on HAWB and invoices. Ambiguous goods descriptions such as “Gift”, “Personal effect” must NOT be used at any time.

Hong Kong is a free port. Most of the commodities do not incur import duty, except below typed of commodities. DTP is preferable to avoid delays.

  • Liquor – with an alcoholic strength of more than 30% by volume measured at a temperature of 200C. For the facilitation of the clearance and import duty estimation, it would be better to mention the information such as Brand Name / Type of Liquor (e.g. Brandy) / % of Alc. / year of manufacture / volume.
  • Tobacco – Cigars / Cigarettes
    Import permit is required for raw tobacco importation. Smokeless tobacco is not allowed to be imported into HK.

For the import control status if other commodities, please refer to the below listed in ISD for Hong Kong.


Gift definition for WPX

A gift shipment must be from an individual person to another individual only. Gifts sent on behalf of a Company would not be treated as gifts and would have to follow the norms for regular commercial shipments.

Volume restrictions

Volume restrictions have not been defined, but the following guidelines must be followed:

Product Quantity
Alcohol / Spirits / Wine 1 bottle, not more than 1 litre
Perfumes 100 grams or milliliters
Chocolate 500 grams
Cookies / Biscuits, etc. 500 grams
Clothing (Do not send clothing made / consisting of animal fur or bones or horns of items listed in CITES) 2 to 4 pieces of garment
Restricted products
Product Quantity
Tobacco related product Restricted in any quantity
Raw meat / fish Restricted in any quantity
Vegetables, fruits, seeds Restricted in any quantity
Used items (mobile, computer, telephone, printer, tablets, smart phones, other electronic or consumer goods) Restricted in any quantity
Import into India of any ornaments/jewellery made of precious or semi-precious items are prohibited Prohibited in any quantity
Paperwork requirements for WPX
KYC (Know your customer)

The individual Consignee must provide any two (2) of the below documents:

  • Aadhaar Card
  • Passport (address page and photo page)
  • Pan Card

A foreigner consignee will have to provide proof of residence (stay proof in hotel / with friends or relatives / rent agreement).


Consignee will have to provide authorization.


Invoice should clearly mention the full description in English (example: Apple iPhone 5S 16GB) and must specify the world “Gift” if the content is a gift. It is suggested that the wording “Gift only, no commercial value” be mentioned in the invoice if it is a gift.


Value of the products listed on the invoice should be the actual transaction value (correct international price) even if there is not transaction involved. Incorrect value declared may be interpreted at Customs as a case of mis-declared value and such shipments would be subjected to action apart from non-clearance.

Way bill

HAWBs must be addressed on a person to person basis, not from company to company. Description must show actual contents plus the phrase “Gift only”.


All gifts must have air worthy packaging. Food-stuff, chocolates, cookies, and such other edible items should have branded labels on the package mentioning the date of manufacturing, expiry date, manufacturer’s name and address, country of origin, veg / nonveg marking.

Multiple shipments

Multiple shipments from the same consignor to the same consignee in a limited period of time (e.g. 2 weeks) might be considered by customs authorities as an infringement to the informal guidelines. Local authorities may impose sanctions to the consignee and/or the carrier.

Points to note
  • Avoid shipping in bulk quantity. DTP is preferable to avoid delays.
  • Customs Duty free clearance us applicable for gifts having a CIF value below INR 5000/-. Gifts having a transaction value > INR 5000/- will incur duty, and Customs may charge duty if the value declared is not acceptable or they suspect the same to be of commercial nature.
  • Do not send highly perishable items.
  • The standard service directory guidelines must be followed.
  • Clearance will not be done in the absence of KYC documents & authorization being received from the consignee or where there is non-compliance to India restrictions. RTO will not be done in such cases.


There are no special treatment/guidelines/instructions for Indonesia during Christmas season. Please refer to ID ESD.



Effective 15th May 2008 and in compliance with DHL terms and conditions, the GMB, Global Management Board of DHL Express Global agreed to stop offering exceptional handling of shipments to Japan that require animal or plant quarantine. This message serves as a reminder that this rule remains valid and origin counties need to continue to prevent quarantine shipments entering the DHL Express network.

Any such shipments arriving at anu of the GTWs in Japan, NGO, OSA, TYO, will be returned to the shipper.


Below represents, but is not a complete list of commodities that are subject to animal or plant quarantine for your reference:

  • Fresh, cut, or dried flowers
  • Potpourri
  • Vegetables and fruits in an untreated state
  • Green coffee
  • Soybeans, all kinds of beans
  • Malt
  • Straws
  • Seeds
  • Fresh neat, frozen meat, beef jerky, ham, sausage
  • Bones and horns
  • Antibodies
  • Serum
  • Any blood of animals
  • Fur and feather that have not been processed
  • Bacteria / viruses

Further to the above, it is extremely important that descriptions on invoices must be clearly understood, to avoid any misunderstandings during clearance processing. E.g. “PERSONAL EFFECTS” or “GIFT”, do not make the contents of the shipment clear. In this case, ambiguous descriptions will lead to shipments being returned to origin. FRUIT – Dried fruit such as Apricot, Fig, Persimmon, Kiwi-fruit, Plum, Pear, Jujube, Date (plum), Pineapple, Banana, Papaya, Mango, and Peach are NON QUARANTINE. Please ensure these descriptions appear on the invoices.


‘Bottled Dried Fruit’ and ‘Canned Dried Fruit’ are acceptable. Please ensure these kinds of descriptions appear on the invoices.

TypeType of Descriptions
Botanical / AgricultureBeans, Coffee beans, Cocoa beans, Soya, Vanilla
Botanical / AgricultureGrains, Barley, Corn, Hops, Maize, Oats, Wheat, Malt, Cereal
Botanical / AgricultureLeaves, Tea leaves, Tobacco leaves, flowers
Botanical / AgricultureStraw, Natural wood, Saw dust, Bamboo
Botanical / AgricultureSeeds, Sesame
Botanical / AgricultureNuts, fruit, Coconuts, Walnuts
Botanical / AgricultureHerbs and spices, Pepper, Garlic, Ginseng, Ginger, Basil, Parsley, Chili
Botanical / AgricultureAny plants and vegetables / soil
Botanical / AgricultureAloe Vera
TypeType of Descriptions
Biological/Animal/Bone/TissueMeat, bacon, beef jerky, pork, sausage, ham
Biological/Animal/Bone/TissuePet food, dog chews, fish meal
Biological/Animal/Bone/TissueAnimal parts, feathers, bone, hoof, casing, organs
Biological/Animal/Bone/TissueBlood, DNA, excrement, sperm, urine
Biological/Animal/Bone/TissueBacteria, germs, viruses
TypeType of Descriptions
Food stuffSTARCH
Food stuffFLOUR
Food stuffGELATINE

Basically, the procedures are the same as in the case of drugs and quasi-drugs.


When IOR import personal cosmetics into Japan up to the amount described below, IOR does not have to apply for “Yakkan Shoumei”, instead the officers at customs check the amount of IOR import cosmetics, and then he/she can import them into Japan.


Up to 24 per one item (if exceeded, shipment will be RTO) (e.g. If you want to bring you lipsticks to Japan, you may have up to 24 pieces regardless of brand or color.)


Korea Customs requires strict compliance and accuracy on Customs entry. Please ensure that the consignee’s name, address and phone number appear correctly on AWBs, without which the shipments are subject for Formal Customs Clearance regardless of their value. It is also essential that specific commodity description and actual transaction value are clearly shown on the invoice even though they have no commercial value. The shipments with generic description or undervaluation are subject to physical inspection.

For all B2C & C2C shipments, PCCC (Personal Customs Clearance Code) is a requisite for customs clearance and shippers can provide the PCCC in advance by entering it into the Receiver/Consignee VAT field in DHL Express Electronic Shipping Solution for faster clearance processing.

  • As of November 4th, 2019, B2C & C2C de minimus shipments without PCCC will be held until they have PCCC and will then be re-submitted as de minimus after getting PCCC.
  • For foreigners, the date of birth (YYYYMMDD) can be used instead of PCCC.

Below are the most common occasions of clearance delay when importing gifts to individual consignees.

  • Raw or unprocessed food stuffs are subject to Plant or Animal Quarantine inspection.
  • Health supplements are limited to a total of six (6) bottles for an individual consignee a day. If over this amount, a Korean doctor’s prescription will be required.
  • More than one set of electronic device(s) for personal use us subject to approval/certification from relevant authorities.

For more information on shipping Christmas goods to KR, please refer to ISD.


Laos does not have any specific or special regulation for Christmas Gifts.


MM value limit for samples or gifts has increased from USD 50 to USD 500 effective 9th October 2013.

Although declarations under USD 500, shipment contents, quantity and weight should be reasonable. Otherwise, shipment can be rejected. If the shipment’s value exceeds that value limit, an import license is required. Incorrect declarations may result in duty penalty and delays in the clearance process.


Myanmar has a de minimus threshold for shipments valued up to USD 50; shipments under the said amount are not subject to duty and tax. However, customs officer can still reject if found unacceptable.


Shipments valued from USD 50.1 to USD 500 are considered as sample value and shipment value exceed limit value require license/permit.


For detailed information on commodities, please see in ISD.


Non-Restricted item

According to Macau Customs regulations, shipments with a declared value of over Mop 5000 for non-restricted items are allowed to import/export.

Import/export declaration form can be obtained from Imprensa Oficial



  1. G/F 162 R. do Campo, Macau
  2. Rua da Imprensa Nacional, s/n - Macau
Restricted item

For restricted items such as alcohol, tobacco, etc., import permit application is required and can be filed through the Economic Bureau (DSE) at (Address: Rua Dr. Pedro Jose Lobo, 1-3, Luso International Bank Building, 6/F, MACAO). Duties required to be paid directly to DSE to complete the import permit application.


Import/export declaration form can be obtained from Imprensa Oficial



  1. G/F 162 R. do Campo, Macau
  2. Rua da Imprensa Nacional, s/n - Macau

The detailed list of restricted items for importing to Macau is listed on TABELA B (tabela de importação) from the link below:


In order to check the restricted item name, please refer to the Macau custom code by the restricted item list above and search by DESC link below:



All gift items must be specifically declared, as the description “gift” is not acceptable for customs clearance. The actual item must be clearly stated and in full. There is no specific value.

All cosmetics and food supplements require approval from the Pharmacy Department. Importation of toys will require an import permit from the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives & Consumerism (KPDNKK).


Expect a delay of 24 to 48 hours in clearance due to the following requirements:

  1. Health Department Approval and sample viewing may be required.
  2. Shipment will be 100% Customs inspected.
  3. Any shipment exceeding 1 litre requires an import license from Customs issued to the importer.

Tax & Duties:
Incurs a 5% sales tax and excise duty (Depending on alcohol content).


Tariff Codes:
220510000 (White Wine) & 220421100 (Red Wine)


Note: Please ensure the packaging is sufficient and adequate to avoid damages.

Prohibited Commodities (Only as a reminder during peak season)
Country Commodity Restrictions

Precious metals & stones

– N/A
– Standard DHL prohibitions plus:
  1. All items offensive to Muslim culture, particularly publications, films and video tapes, are prohibited.
  2. All WPX to and from Israel must be approved by MITI (Malaysian International Trade & Industry) prior to export and import. However, there is no restriction for DOX shipments.


It should be read in conjunction with DHL’s Interactive Service Directory for any Import clearance query.

The major documents required to import customs clear in importing country are Bill of Lading or airway bill, commercial invoice, packing list, Cargo Arrival Notice, Freight certificate, purchase order or LC and other specific documents for your goods.


The documents below are required when the consignee wants DHL to clear their shipments under formal clearance:

  1. Company or Form Registration Certificate
  2. VAT Registration Certificate
  3. PAN Registration Certificate
  4. Banking Document for Payment
  5. Invoice
  6. Packing List
  7. Certificate of Origin
  8. Recommendation letter, Certificate or License (if necessary)
  9. Bill of Lading or Airway Bill (if importing from a third country)
  10. CTD (if importing from a third country)
  11. Delivery Order

Alcohol and Tobacco can be imported only by Companies registered to do so via special permits.

New Zealand

All shipments entering New Zealand must be declared in English and to include the following:

  • All documents imaged and must be available in GIA
  • AWB to include:
    • Full shipper details including contact phone number and email
    • Full importer details including contact phone number and email
    • Quantity and weight of goods
    • Proper descriptions. Avoid using terms like Samples/Gifts/Merchandise, etc.
    • Value of goods and currency
  • Invoice must state
    • Full shipper (consignor) details
    • Full importer (receiver) details include email and phone number
    • Clear description of goods. Avoid using terms like gift/samples/merchandise/part numbers
    • Country of origin or where the goods were made
    • Value of goods and currency

Important Note:

To avoid delays, ensure all information is declared and is true to the best of your knowledge as NZ Customs will often stop an item if they believe the goods to be undervalued.

GST/Duty Calculations for New Zealand CustomsPX

GST and Duty calculations are based on the value of goods purchased including shipping costs when purchasing in foreign currency, it is compulsory to use the NZ Customs exchange rate and not any banks or website links.


NZ Custom’s exchange rates update every two weeks refer to customs exchange rates.

Informal Clearance

If the GST and Duty calculate less than NZ$ 60.00, this is considered a low value and you will not be liable to GST/Duty charges with New Zealand Customs.


Important Note:

This will NOT apply to excisable goods such as tobacco; however, there is a small exception for alcohol (read notes under gifts).


Do refer to our New Zealand Customs link What’s my duty.

Formal Clearance

If the GST and Duty calculate NZ$ 60.00 or more, you will be liable to GST/Duty charges including an ITF fee charges with New Zealand Customs, along with a disbursement fee with DHL NZ if you do not have an account with NZ Customs,

  • GST of 15%
  • Duty can range from 3-10% depending on the type of item being shipped to NZ
  • New Zealand Customs Import Transaction Fee NZ$ 52.67

Do refer to our New Zealand Customs link What’s my duty.


Important Note:

Purchases over NZ$ 1000 will require a client code and supplier code with New Zealand Customs, this is compulsory and is unavoidable, still considered a Formal Clearance,


DHL NZ will assist the customer with the application process to NZ Customs.


If you are receiving an item and is a gift, you will not be liable for GST/Duty on items worth NZ$ 110.00 or less. Any gifts being sent to New Zealand must be declared as follows to avoid delays:

  • AWB to include:
    • Full shipper details including contact phone number and email
    • Full importer details including contact phone number and email
    • Proper Address details of receiver, avoid using PO Box numbers
    • Full description of item, including value, currency and country of origin
  • Invoice must include
    • Full details of goods – declare exactly what the goods are
    • If multiple items, ensure full descriptions are used
    • What are the goods or items made of? Wood, paper, metal
    • Avoid using “Gift”
    • Correct and true value of purchase
  • Declaration to include
    • All persons who the gift/gifts are for – full names required
    • What is the relationship between the shipper and receiver? I.e. Parent, Aunt, etc.
    • What is the gift celebrating? I.e. Birthday, wedding, Christmas, etc.
  • Alcohol
    • Type of Alcohol, i.e. white wine, red wine, whiskey
    • Size of bottle 750ml, 50cl
    • Percentage of Alcohol, i.e. 12%, 50% proof

Very Important Note:

In all cases, a correct declaration of gift received will still be subject to GST/Duty and Client code.


Refer to NZ Custom’s website for more information.

MPI Biosecurity

MPI Biosecurity prevents or manages risks from harmful organisms, like pests and disease. All goods sent to NZ – high risk items like food, spices, honey, wicker baskets, dried flowers, plant-based items, soil, seeds and jute will be subject to MPI Biosecurity screening at the receiver’s expense.


In all cases prior to MPI Bio inspection, our team will notify the receiver.


Any MPI Biosecurity risk items being sent to New Zealand must be declared correctly:

  • Decorations – What kind of decorations? What are they made of?
  • Honey – What is the percentage?
  • Food items – What kind of food? Do not use package names and stay with actual food item. I.e. noodles, etc.
  • Homemade food not commercially packed or labelled, will be subject to inspection


Important Note:

Any item that does not meet MPI Biosecurity standards will be destroyed or reshipped at the customer’s expense.

Non Compliance

Any shipment that does not comply will be delayed and may not reach the customer in time for Christmas.


This guideline is only valid for the Christmas period and is for internal use only.

Gift definition for NON DOC

A gift shipment must be from a named individual (who may be sending from a company address) to another named individual (who may be located at a company address).


Corporate gifts are those sent from company to company or company to individual (usually contain diaries, planners, calendars and other company giveaways). Diaries, planners and calendars must be sent as NON DOC regardless of quantity. Please validate in ISD the shipment classification of other company giveaways.


The shipper may request that the transport us carried out under DDP (Delivery Duty and VAT Paid) service.

  • All corporate and personal gifts above the current de minimus value of PHP 10,000 are subject to duty and tax.
  • Commodity description must be complete and specific. Description such as personal gifts or Christmas gifts is not acceptable.
  • Gifts’ declared value must be the actual cost of the item or Customs will hold the shipment for value upgrade which will only delay clearance processing. No Commercial Value (NVC) or Value for Customs purposes only is not acceptable.
  • Actual receiver must be stated in the paperwork fi addressed to a company:

Juan Dela Cruz
c/o ABC Company
2306 Chino Roces Ave., Kayamanan C, Makati City
1231 Philippines

Commodity restriction

Please refer to ISD for country-specific notes.

Paperwork Requirement for NON DOC:
  • Invoice
    Invoice with specific and accurate description of shipment content. Note that description such as “gift” or “present” is unacceptable. Actual description of the commodity must be provided. Invoice must state “Holiday Present / Gift Only”.
  • Waybill
    Description must state actual contents plus the phrase “Holiday Present / Gift Only” or similar.


Valuation, Duties & GST

All goods imported into Singapore are subjected to duties and/or Goods and Services Tax (GST) including GIFT shipments.

There four broad categories of dutiable goods in Singapore – intoxicating liquors, tobacco products, motor vehicles and petroleum products.

GST is applied on an ad valorem basis on all dutiable and non-dutiable goods. The GST taxable is calculated based on the CIF (Costs, Insurance and Freight) value plus all duties and other chargeable costs, whether or not shown on the invoice.

Formal Clearance

CIF value in SGD 400 and above requires import permit, 7% GST and Duty payment for shipment content dutiable goods.

CIF value in SGD 400 and above requires import permit and GST for shipment without dutiable goods.

Informal Clearance

CIF value in SGD 399.99 and below requires import permit, 7% GST and Duty payment for shipment content dutiable goods.

CIF value in SGD 399.99 and below does not require import permit and GST exempted for shipment without dutiable goods.

Clearance paperwork requirements
  • DHL shipment waybill
  • Commercial Invoice

Further to the above, it is critical that descriptions on invoices provide a clear description of the goods. A description consisting only of “PERSONAL EFFECTS” or “GIFT”, do not make the content of the shipment clear. For dutiable goods (liquors), the alcohol percentage, number of bottle(s), quantity/litres and brand name is required to be listed on the invoices. In this case, ambiguous descriptions will lead to shipments being held and clearance delayed.

Sri Lanka

  • Packages should be addressed personally to the consignee.
  • Wordings “Christmas Gift” should be added to the invoice product description (Ex: Toy Car – Christmas Gift)
  • Shipment will be detained for formal clearance if there are multiple items.
  • Formal Clearance may take 10-15 days. Hence it is advisable not to ship any perishables.
  • Explanation letter from shipper and consignee us required if there is no payment involved.
  • Duties and taxes will be imposed based on the amount declared in the invoice and HS codes when applicable.
  • Other regulatory approvals may be applicable. Please refer to the ISD.


Provide specific description, country of origin (country where the product was made), unit price of each item. Vague descriptions are not acceptable and will cause delay in customs clearance, e.g. “gift”, “parts”, “samples”, “food”, “personal effects”.

Value threshold & regulations
Duty Exemption Threshold:

De minims value is CIF TWD 2000. Import shipment under the threshold may enjoy the duty and tax exemption if the individual importer (2C shipment) does not exceed 6 times de minimus import in 6-months (Frequent Importer Control). For business entity (2B shipment), the de minimus samples shipment may exclude from frequent importer control by putting “samples” wording on invoice.


All goods that exceed de minimus values imported into Taiwan are subjected to Duties and Consumer Taxes including “GIFT” shipment.

Other common regulations:
  1. Equipment with wireless or Bluetooth function requires an import permit.
  2. Medical equipment and medicines require an import permit issued by the National Food and Drug Administration.
  3. Health food cannot exceed 12 bottles per item, or a total 36 bottles per shipment.
  4. Food cannot exceed 6kg per shipment (for 2C shipment). If this quantity is exceeded, an import license is required. Net weight and quantity of each item are required on the invoice. Meat products are prohibited.
  5. Toys exceeding 5 pieces or shipment value exceeds USD 1000 will require an import permit from BSMI. The related information can be found here:
  6. Alcohol (wine) imports cannot exceed 5L per person, or the importer needs to provide an import license. The “alcohol concentration” in percentage, number of bottle(s), quantity, liters of each bottle are required on the invoices.
  7. Tea that exceeds 6kg per shipment (for 2C shipment) requires a Certificate of Origin.
  8. Medical and Textile Face masks require import permits. The quantity and UOM are mandatory on the invoice.
  9. For individual receivers, registering on TW Customs RNA mobile platform can expedite the clearance process. The RNA can be found here:
Clearance paperwork requirements

Other than DHL Shipment waybill, the following documents are mandatory by regulation.

  1. Commercial invoice (pro-forma invoice is not acceptable)
  2. Packing list is required if there is more than one package per shipment
  3. Customs will reject declaration without the receiver’s valid phone number. Phone number is required on AWB.


The De minimus threshold is USD 30 CIF. In addition to the description of contents the term Christmas gift should be included.

Over this standard clearance procedures will apply per the service directory.


There is no special treatment / guidelines / instruction for East Timor during Christmas season. Please refer to TL ISD.


Gifts are to have full description of goods including brand name, model, part number… and the quantity and price. Ambiguous goods descriptions such as: “Gift”, “Present”, “Sample”, “textile”, “Garment” or “Part” are not accepted. All books, maps, CDs, calendars and catalogues will need censorship inspection. Foodstuffs are subject to quarantine inspection. To ensure gifts that require an import license or censure review gets delivered before Christmas, please import in advance as it takes between 3-5 business days to acquire the license or complete the censure review.

The purpose of import should be “Gift” which is shown clearly on shipping documents (AWB, Invoice).

The De minimus threshold is 1 million VND, CIF price. Gifts (except wine, beer, cigar, cigarette) given to a Vietnamese individual whose total Customs values (Including: Products Value, Freight and Insurance) do not exceed VND 200,000 shall be exempt from duties up to 04 times per year.