Parcel Direct Blog

Helpful Tips for Sending Food Via Courier

Thinking of sending some Irish made food to your friends and family abroad? Nothing cures homesickness like a bunch of your favourite foods from home, so we have put together list of ‘do’s and don’ts’ to help you ship your food safely and hassle-free.

When it comes to sending food abroad via courier, it is pretty straight forward, just remember the golden rule:

You can’t send any food items that are perishables (things that can go off or that can spoil during transit).

As long as you remember this you should be fine!

Things to Remember when Shipping Store Bought Food

  • Foods must be in the original packaging.
  • Foods must have a shelf life of longer than 6 months from the date of shipping.
  • Food labels must list all ingredients.
  • Food packaging must be sealed.
  • Any foods with a shelf life of less than 6 months will be deemed as perishables, and can’t be sent through our couriers, even if you bought it in a store.

Shipping Food Items

  • Don’t send food items that must be kept in specific temperatures as the couriers can’t provide temperature-controlled shipping and they will spoil by the time they reach their destination.
  • Make sure that the labels clearly display the ingredients and the “Best Before Date” because customs may need to check these when they arrive at the customs office.
  • Always package your food items so that they can survive the parcel being placed upside down during transit, and always wrap each individual item with bubble wrap to ensure the best protection.
  • Check which foods are restricted or prohibited from being imported into the delivery country.

Christmas Hampers

It is getting to that time of the year… again! Every year, more and more people send Christmas hampers to their loved ones. And at ParcelDirect we can see why! There’s nothing better than a taste of home to warm you up at Christmas.

As long as you remember the golden rule, sending Christmas Hampers should be simple! Alcohol and flammable liquids are prohibited items but give us a call before booking your parcel and we can assist.

Shipping Christmas Hampers

  • Don’t forget that chocolates can be affected by hot weather. Chocolate has a tendency to turn white if exposed to heat, so bear that in mind when shipping chocolates to hot countries.
  • Make sure to put plenty of layers of protection on the inside of the box too, this will ensure that the items don’t move around during transit.
  • Make sure to declare each individual item on your customs details. If you don’t do this, customs may have to open your parcel to see exactly what you shipped.
  • Feel free to gift wrap the hamper, but we can’t guarantee they will save the wrapping paper if they need to open the parcel for any reason.
  • Make sure all items inside the hamper are wrapped individually and cannot move around in the box, there should be no noise from the parcel if you shake it.
  • Once you have wrapped each item in bubble wrap, also wrap the hamper itself in bubble wrap, this will provide even more protection from any minor knocks or bumps that the parcel may take in transit.
  • Check if any of the goods you are sending are restricted or prohibited at the destination country, ParcelDirect.ie provides a list of these which you can access when you are filling out your order or just click the link below.

https://www.parceldirect.ie/resources/restricted-items

  • Be specific on your customs information when filling out your order.

Home-made Goods

A lot of the time, home-made and baked goods are classed as perishables as they do not contain the preservatives to stop them from spoiling in transit.

Any food items considered as perishables cannot be transported via courier, but we have still made a list of tips to help you get your loved one’s favourite home-made treats delivered to them.

Shipping Home-made Food:

  • Do not try to pass off your home-made food as store bought food as these will be stopped and disposed of, you may also face some penalties for attempting this.
  • As we have previously mentioned, make sure that you are able to send your goods by checking if any of the ingredients are restricted or prohibited at the destination country.
  • Although it is hard to send home-made food via courier, you could send them your recipe and they can try and re-create your masterpiece in their own kitchen.
  • You could send them any store-bought cake mixes and utensils to help them with their re-creation.
  • Any store bought sweets like chocolates, crisps, jellies etc can still be sent, so maybe you could send things from home that they cannot obtain where they are.

Customs Clearance for your Parcel

If your parcel is being shipped to a country within the EU, you will not have to worry about customs clearance, your parcel will go right through to delivery.

If you are sending your parcel to a country outside the EU, your parcel will be subjected to customs clearance and it will need a customs invoice to be cleared. When completing your order on ParcelDirect, we ask for the information so that we can generate the customs invoice for you and it will be sent to you with your shipping labels.

How to Make Sure You Have the Correct Information for Customs:

  • Remember to make sure you are very specific when declaring the contents of your parcel and try to refrain from using any “Slang” names that we may use here in Ireland as the customs officer may not use the same word. Our advice would be to use the name that is on the packaging.
  • Make sure to declare the true value of each item when filling out this information, this will help your parcel to breeze through the customs process.
  • When listing each item, make sure to include the manufacturer/brand name, this will help to describe exactly what you have sent.
  • Make sure your description is as detailed as possible Example: instead of simply saying “Chocolate bar” say “Dairy Milk Golden Crisp Chocolate bar”.
  • Customs may need to get in touch with the receiver in the destination country to get more information, make sure they are aware of this and make sure the delivery contact details are correct when filling out your order.
  • The receiver may be asked to provide an import license or may be asked to pay import tax to get this cleared, unfortunately, ParcelDirect cannot interfere with this and any charges will need to be paid to get your parcel cleared and delivered.