Marking Your Package "Gift" on the Customs Form

Occasionally you’ll have an international buyer request that a package be sent with the “gift” box checked on the customs form, rather than “documents”, “commercial samples”, or “other items”. If the package isn’t a gift, I won’t mark it as one.

First off, marking your package as a gift will not automatically make it exempt from customs fees, from the site:

“Items declared as gifts may still be subject to duty and taxes.”…

Secondly, I prefer to run our business as legally as possible, which means not taking part in activities for which I could end up in legal trouble. In each section of the Postal Service Employee’s Acceptance rules for international packages it has the following info:

123.712 Postal Service Employee’s Acceptance of PS Form 2976
The Postal Service acceptance employee must do the following when accepting PS Form 2976 from the sender:
a. Instruct the sender how to complete, legibly and accurately, PS Form 2976, as required. The sender’s failure to complete the form properly can delay delivery of the item or inconvenience the sender and addressee. Moreover, a false, misleading, or incomplete declaration can result in the seizure or return of the item and/or in criminal or civil penalties. The Postal Service assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information that the sender enters on PS Form 2976.


So rather than risk criminal or civil penalties, we’ll be checking the appropriate box for the order. How about you?

For more shipping tips see our main “Shipping” page–see the gold links on the right or click here:
Shipping Basics

One thought on “Marking Your Package "Gift" on the Customs Form”

  1. Want to know something funny? The place I get my photos printed up always marks their customs forms as “Gift” and they are a HUGE printing lab based in Hong Kong.

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