From America to Russia: how to send gifts to relatives according to all the rules and not overpay
Sending a package from the USA to Russia is much easier. Despite the new customs rules and tax laws that are regularly introduced in both countries, there are alternative services created to make life easier for senders. I want to tell you how I favorably arranged the delivery of the parcel to Moscow. Perhaps someone will need my experience.
Sales began in America in November, and I wanted to please my family with branded things on the eve of the New Year holidays. I managed to buy them profitably, but the prices for international delivery bite. My package turned out to be quite large, about 7 kg, and I began to study all the available options for sending to Russia. Below for clarity, I will publish screenshots with current prices.
USPS suggested I send the parcel for $ 102. The traditional method is considered more reliable. I could calmly entrust my parcel to a trusted carrier. But knowing firsthand about the peculiarities of the Russian post office and queues at the branches, it seemed to me risky to send in the pre-holiday period. And with additional insurance, delivery would cost me half of the entire contents of the package.
Express courier service UPS
Fast and comfortable, this method turned out to be more expensive than traditional times 2, or even 3 times. Dates, of course, are fabulous. Perhaps this is the most suitable option for urgent and valuable shipments, but such companies are not always taken to work with individuals. And for me, price was one of the most important selection criteria.
Mail forwarders or email intermediaries
Mail forwarders provide a personal cell address in their warehouse, which can be specified as the delivery address when buying in an online store. They help in filling out declarations, but also request a lot of supporting documentation. Inexpensive option for light packages; heavy most often in the Russian Federation are transported by the same mail. This option did not suit me.
The way I chose
Recently found out about the company BoxMustGo. A new and modern service offers individuals to independently arrange and transfer parcels for delivery from the USA to Russia. I was interested in a fairly simple action algorithm. To send, you need to fill out an online form, print a label for the parcel and take it to the nearest post office. The service cooperates with USPS, but the tariffs differ favorably.
On the subject: Three holiday gifts for a new generation that can save America
The calculator on the website calculated the price for me: $ 90 - for a parcel weighing 7 kg and delivery time to Moscow (9-12 working days). On the same site, just in case, I looked at the list of goods prohibited for import. Looking ahead, I’ll say that you need to specify the cost of the product and the current link to the store page where this product was purchased.
How to fill out an online form
Surprisingly quickly, I coped with filling out the form directly on the site. BoxMustGo. At the first stage, standard data is requested: sender's index (state and city were determined automatically), recipient's index, parcel weight in pounds. Further, data on the contents of the parcel and links to the goods from the store’s website are requested. This is a mandatory item; you cannot send a parcel without it.
If you bought the product for a long time or at a discount, as I for example, and at the time of sending the price became higher, it is better to indicate the current price. The price on the link and the one you specified in the form must match, otherwise the shipment may be delayed at customs. It must also be remembered that parcels with a total value of over € 500 or $ 553 (total per month) are brought into duty for import into Russia, so look for a suitable price tag. You can look at the sites of other stores or marketplaces.
Otherwise, get ready to pay a fee of 30% of the difference. I will say more: from January 1, 2020, the duty-free import rate drops to 200 €, which means that it is necessary to keep a record of your shipments for the month more carefully.
What other data is needed
Next, I indicated the manufacturer. If one is not known, then no name is allowed.
The next step was to enter my personal data and recipient data.
And then the payment. 2 options to choose from - card or PayPal. I paid my $ 90, that's all! I immediately downloaded a ready-made shortcut for sending. And then he also came to my email. I printed it myself, because there is definitely no such service in USPS post offices.
By the way, I was a little surprised that the label did not indicate the recipient’s Russian address, but some American one. Immediately on the site I asked a question in the chat. They replied that this is the address of the warehouse BoxMustGo. The final recipient data is pasted later.
How to send a package
Filling out the form, I packed a gift. Since the size is small, I used a standard box. I pasted a label and took it to the nearest USPS office. There, the operator scanned the barcode of the label, found information about my package in the database and picked up the box.
The brother could not be surprised because he also received a letter from BoxMustGo. From him, he needed passport data and TIN (individual tax number) for customs clearance of the parcel in Russia. This is the law, and without them, the parcel will not be allowed to be imported into Russia.
In a separate letter I received a number for tracking the package. Honestly, I did not really follow the deadlines, I assumed that the parcel would take a long time to get. But in the end, SMS about delivery arrived in 10 working days.
As a result, I sent the parcel to Russia myself, without overpaying to intermediaries. I designed everything online without filling out any papers in the mail and handed over the package near the house.
I am satisfied and the recipient is happy.
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