Additional Fees to Be Aware of When Shipping Internationally, fine print

Hidden carrier fees can turn international profits into loss.

Additional Fees to Be Aware of When Shipping Internationally

Additional fees can easily be overlooked when you decide to ship internationally or when you’re still fairly new to shipping your products worldwide. Like any business, your goal is to make a profit; not to discover that you are losing money after it’s too late. By the time you receive your international shipping bill, your customer has likely paid for and received their product, at which point you no longer have the option to resolve the issues that may have arisen.

Be aware of the following when preparing to ship internationally with these common couriers:


  1. Change of Address Fee: Make sure you have taken down the correct address. International addresses are more complicated to perfect on shipping documents than domestic addresses, so repeating the address back to the customer, getting the address in writing, and even searching for the address online are all things you can do to ensure you are not charged this fee.
  2. Certificate of Origin : Make sure you have all of the necessary documents to ship a product internationally before it leaves. If UPS has to prepare this document for you, you will see this additional charge on your bill.
  3. Over Maximum Limits Charge : Know the actual weight and dimensions of the box that will be used to ship an item before charging the customer for shipping. You will want to include the Over Maximum Limit Charge in your shipping quote if: One of the packages has an actual weight of more than 150 lbs.One of the packages exceeds 108 inchesOne of the packages exceeds 165 inches in length and girth (2x width + 2x height) combined. “Over Maximum Limits Rule”
  4. Special Handling of Undeliverable Packages : Make sure to follow up on your international shipments. The tracking will indicate if address verification is needed, contact information for the receiver, etc. These holdups are time sensitive in that they will result in the shipment being abandoned or returned by the courier if the problem is not resolved promptly.

For complete information on each of UPS’s additional charges, visit their Additional Charges page.



  1. Remote Area Service Fee: Use the receiver’s postal code to determine whether or not they should be charged a remote area delivery fee using their Remote Area page. If the delivery address is considered to be a remote area, encourage the customer to have their shipment delivered elsewhere, or include this fee in their shipping cost.
  2. Over Weight Piece: If any box has an actual weight exceeding 70kg.
  3. Over Sized Piece: If one side of the box exceeds 120cm, or if a pallet has a base dimension exceeding 120 cm.

For full details on each of DHL’s additional charges, visit their surcharges page.



  1. Missing or invalid account number: Make sure your account number is displayed clearly and correctly on all of your shipping documents to avoid this fee.
  2. Reroute Shipment: Ensure you have the receiver’s correct address, and be aware of this fee if the receiver asks to reroute their shipment to a different address.
  3. Residential Delivery Charge (FedEx Express Freight Services only): Include this fee in the receiver’s shipping cost if the freight shipment is not going to a business address.

For full details on each of FedEx’s additional charges, visit their surcharge page.

Setting up all of the rules and logic to catch and/or avoid each of the conditions above can be extremely time consuming and costly. Not only does it involve a great deal of research and programming but it also involves many man hours of customer service and order follow-up. For an international checkout that does all this and so much more, contact iGlobal today.


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