Goodwill gestures grease the flow of international trade and companies will want to send gifts to important customers from time to time. The height of the gift season is, of course, Christmas, when it is possible to hand the whole job over to a specialised gift distributor which will have its own shipping arrangements. Another easy option is to select a gift which can be sent through the post.

The main disadvantage of sending a gift abroad is the possibility that the recipient might have to pay customs duty and local taxes before receiving the item. Whatever the sum involved, this devalues the gesture and can cause embarrassment.

Documentation

There are no special documentation requirements for gifts over and above standard procedures. Almost every country operates a variable value limit, and goods under this amount do not incur duty or taxes.

The key points for sending gifts abroad:

(a) allow sufficient time for delivery;

(b) check the customs regulations in the country of destination to ensure the customer does not pay more in duty than the value of the item – freight forwarders and integrated operators can provide this information.

More information on this topic and a wealth of other practical information for international traders can be found in Irish Exporters: Essential Facts. Email maura.smyth@roundhall.ie for more information or a FREE 14 days online trial.

Irish Exporters: Essential Facts

is published by Round Hall Professional Publishing and written and edited by the Irish Exporters Association

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