Advice on sending gifts abroad

There are many reasons for sending gifts abroad: Christmas, birthdays, weddings and anniversaries, to name but a few. This can be a costly and time-consuming process, never mind the risks associated with breakable items and food for the expats who are missing their favourites. Here is a guide to sending items abroad.

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Sending food

The rule of thumb when sending food abroad is that you should not attempt to send anything perishable that may spoil in transit; instead, send food in a tin, jar or packet, making sure that it is unopened and in its original packaging. Other things to remember are to make sure the use-by date is at least six months away and to include a list of ingredients for customs to read if necessary. Check that the country allows the item in question to enter the country; for example, Kinder Eggs are prohibited in the US.


As alcohol is flammable, it is not something that a courier will transport. Other items containing flammable materials may also be restricted, such as perfume, batteries and lighter fluid. Check with your courier when arranging the delivery.

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Choose a courier

If you know what you are a sending and require a specific service, such as a man and van in Reading, the next step is to do some research. Look for someone who travels to the destination country, can offer an excellent service and meets your specific requirements, such as being able to deliver your parcel urgently or deal with bulk items that require a specialist service.

Check your dates

If your gift needs to arrive by a specific date, make sure the courier company has enough time to deliver. Your chosen courier, such as, should be able to provide information about how long the delivery will take. For holiday dates, anticipate an increased demand in services and plan accordingly.

Packaging and labelling

Where customs may need to check the package, you may not want to gift wrap the item you are sending; instead, place it in a box. It should not touch the sides, as it is a good idea to fill the box with packing chips to preserve the item. Fill in the customs label fully and honestly to avoid hold-ups at the other end, remembering to accurately value the items inside to avoid further taxation.

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