Canada Post International Shipping Guide for WooCommerce

Canada Post international shipping

This article is a guide on using Canada Post International Shipping. It covers the requirements for a Canada Post International Shipment as well as the compatibility with WooCommerce Canada Post plugin with Print Labels.

Whether you’re sending a regular parcel to a friend/family member overseas or a business owner who ships products overseas on a regular basis, Canada Post is one such service that caters to the needs of their customers. As a carrier, Canada Post international shipping services ship to more than 193 countries worldwide.

What services are available under Canada Post international shipping?

For a business owner, there would be 2 types of Canada Post international shipping services. They are US bound services and Internationally bound services. This can be classified further below:

U.S. bound services

Shipping Speed

Tracking

Delivery

Coverage (Insurance)

Signature

Scheduled Pick-up Service

Priority Worldwide

10:30 AM the next day

Provides tracking updates

On time delivery

Liability coverage upto $1000

Intl. Shipments only Signatory name is available

N/A

XpressPost U.S.A.

2-3 business days

Provides tracking updates

On time delivery

Liability coverage upto $1000

Intl. Shipments only Signatory name is available

At a surcharge

Expedited Parcel U.S.A.

4-7 business days

Provides tracking updates

N/A

Liability coverage upto $1000

N/A

At a surcharge

Tracked Packet U.S.A.

4-7 business days

Provides tracking updates

N/A

Liability coverage upto $1000

N/A

At a surcharge

Small Packet U.S.A.

5-8 business days

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

At a surcharge

 

International bound services

Shipping Speed

Tracking

Delivery

Coverage (Insurance)

Signature

Scheduled Pick-up Service

Priority Worldwide

2-3 business days

Provides tracking updates

On time delivery

Liability coverage upto $1000

Intl. Shipments only Signatory name is available, not an image of the signature.

N/A

XpressPost International

4-7 business days

Provides tracking updates

On time delivery

Liability coverage upto $1000

At a surcharge

At a surcharge

International Parcel

12+ days

N/A

N/A

Liability coverage upto $1000

N/A

At a surcharge

Tracked Packet International

6-10 business days

Provides tracking updates

N/A

Liability coverage upto $1000

N/A

At a surcharge

Small Packet International

6-10 business days

N/A

N/A

N/A

At a surcharge

Are there any restrictions to Canada Post international shipping?

Yes.

Canada Post does in fact have a few restrictions when it comes to International Shipments. Canada Post categorizes them into Non-Mailable Products and Controlled Products.

Non-Mailable Products are those products which are-
  • Prohibited by law.
  • Items that fail to meet basic standards or physical characteristics and requirements.
  • Items that could cause external damage to either those handling the mail or the postal equipment.
  • Sexually explicit material/ Adult Material.

Controlled Products are those items that can normally be mailed but however, would be properly prepared and should abide by Government regulations.

What Process does Canada Post follow when a Non-Mailable or Controlled product is found in an international Shipment?

Canada Post has the right to stop the flow of the mail stream if any non mailable item or controlled product has been found in an International Shipment. This item WILL NOT be returned to the sender. Rather, the item will be destroyed by the Legislative authority in Canada.  

Common allergen items such as peanuts, sesame seeds, tree nuts (e.g. almonds, walnuts) or eggs are to be packaged properly and labeled to minimize the potential for allergic reactions.

If a product contains low concentrations of dangerous goods then they may not be regulated as long as the dangerous goods are diluted to an extent that the product is not hazardous.

Examples of Dangerous Products as categorized by Canada Post.

Class 1 – Explosives
Ammunition
Fireworks
Grenades
Detonators
Blasting Caps
Class 2 – Compressed Gases
Aerosol
BBQ cylinders
Cigarette lighters
Cryogenic liquids
Mustard Gas
Class 3 –  Flammable liquids
Acetone
Adhesives
Camping Fuel
Gasoline
Essential Oils
Class 4 – Flammable Substances
Charcoal
Fire starters
Moth balls
Flammable metals
Oil impregnated fabrics
Class 5 – Oxidisers and Organic Peroxides
Nitrates
Bleaching Powders
Oxygen pellets
Chlorine/Bromine
Fiberglass repair kits
Class 6 – Toxic and Infectious substances
Arsenic
Chloroform
Drugs/Medicine
Fungicides
Herbicides
Class 7 – Radioactive Materials
Measuring Instruments
Medical isotopes
Smoke detectors
Class 8 – Corrosives
Acids
Caustic Soda
Disinfectants
Fire Extinguishers
Mercury
House-hold Bleach
Class 9 – Miscellaneous
Dry Ice
Asbestos
Powerful magnets
Devices powered by Petrol
Lithium batteries

 

Customs requirement for Canada Post international shipping

Canada Post international shipping is a stringent process and procedures and protocols must be followed. Each package that is shipped internationally is subject to the customs regulations of both countries (origin and destination) Any International parcels must have the appropriate customs documentation. The required documents depend on the kind of service used, the contents of the package and the destination to where the package is going.

If any of the relevant documents were not provided then this will result in the item being returned to the sender at his own expense. This can result in delays and non-delivery and also voids any and all delivery guarantees.

All postal items that are being shipped to foreign countries are subject to customs inspection. Based on the value of the items, some may even be exempt from customs duties.

The required customs document for International Shipments is the Commercial Invoice.

What is a Commercial Invoice?

A commercial invoice is an agreement between the seller and the buyer that describes the goods in transit and includes all pertinent information which may be required by the customs inspector.

The seller (exporter) can go ahead and submit the customs form online via Canada Post in order to speed up the process. Upon filling the form online, the seller is provided with a bar code that must be printed and carried to the post office on the day of the shipment being dropped off.

All shipments to international destinations will be accompanied by a commercial invoice if the package is over a certain value ($500) or if the destination the package is being shipped to requires a commercial invoice. While creating a shipping label, Canada Post determines if the commercial invoice is mandatory for that destination and includes it while creating a shipping label.

While completing a commercial invoice it is important to look into the following:

  • To provide a complete description of the items that are to be shipped.
  • Specifications of the materials used in the products. For instance, if you’re selling shirts, you might write ‘cotton plaid shirt’ or ‘silk and polyester shirt.’

The required details to be entered in a Commercial Invoice while filling up a Commercial Invoice it is ideal to have the following information entered in the form for a seamless shipment:

  • A brief description of the items to be shipped – A line or two describing the item that is being shipped. 
  • The corresponding Harmonized System (HS) Code – The International Tariff classification of the product being shipped.
  • The Country of origin – The country where the goods were made. 
  • Contact information – The contact information is to include details of the seller and the buyer.

What is H.S Tariff Code in the commercial invoice?

The HS code or the HS Tariff code used by customs organizations from around the world is an International Tariff Classification. These codes are standardized but the duties charged on specific goods will vary based on the destination as each country will set their own rate.

For International shipments, the HS code is not required as part of the postal delivery process.

How to obtain HS Tariff Code for your products?

Canada Post has a lookup tool embedded in their website that provides the sellers (exporters) with the relevant HS codes for the products they sell. Sellers can obtain the relevant HS Tariff codes for their products by utilizing the ‘Find HS Code Tool‘ in Canada Post. This tool is located here

Finding the HS Code

Using this tool, store owners are able to locate the HS Code for their products by following the steps listed below:

  • Access the tool, navigate to Destination and select the shipping destination.
  • In the second blank field, provide the name of the product (T-Shirt; Shirt; Shoes) depending on the product being shipped.
  • Click ‘Find
HS Code for Babies garments

Once the details of the product have been entered in the tool, the system provides the shipper with a Tariff schedule that consists of

  • HS Code (6111.20)
  • Country of Origin (Canada)

It’s important to have all forms and documents filled completely with the relevant information. This helps with the customs clearance process which in turn results in faster delivery of the goods and the consignee is not kept waiting.


Does WooCommerce support Canada Post international shipping?

No.

Unfortunately, WooCommerce does not support Canada Post International Shipping. However, with the use of the WooCommerce Canada Post plugin with Print Label you are able to receive real-time rates, ship internationally and print shipping labels along with commercial invoices. 

Overview:

  • Supports Domestic and International shipments and provides Real-Time rates
  • Track shipments from within WooCommerce and have notification emails sent to customers
  • Receive Email notifications for shipment tracking details
  • Schedule pickups for the shipments
  • Show the estimated delivery time
  • Works for both Contract and Non-Contract users
  • Supports Canada Post letter-mail services
  • Ability to print official Canada Post manifest for the orders along with labels and commercial invoices

Calculating Real-Time Rates using the WooCommerce Canada Post plugin

The WooCommerce Canada Post Shipping plugin provides you with the ability to ship Internationally using Canada Post. The list of supported services for International Orders are shown below

List of International services supported

 

Upon setting up the Plugin, you are able to retrieve Real-time rates in the cart/checkout page based on the address keyed into the WooCommerce shipping calculator. (shown below)

Rate calculation for an International destination

Now that the order has been successfully placed, the store owner is able to create shipments and can transmit shipments as shown in the images below. This enables the plugin to generate the Shipping Labels and the Shipping Manifest for International Orders.

Creating Shipments

 

Transmit Shipments

 

Print Label and Print Manifest

The Tracking number gets sent to the customer via an order confirmation email once the order has been placed. The tracking number auto-populates in the Canada Post Shipment Tracking field in the order page as shown below

Canada Post Shipment Tracking

Now that the label has been generated and the shipping manifest has been created you are able to successfully ship the package via Canada Post.

Sample Shipping Label

What is a Canada Post Shipping Manifest and what are its uses?

A Canada Post Shipping Manifest is a service that is available to Contract customers who deal with commercial shipping. It is a printed document that comprises of the Ship From and Ship To Address, the price/s of the items in the shipment (incl. base cost, tax breakup and even optional services/surcharges), the  products weight, quantity and service type and is used for verification upon handing over the package to either the Postal facility or an authorized Canada Post driver in case of pickups.

You can refer to the article on ‘An Insight into Canada Post Manifest for your WooCommerce Orders‘ for more information on Shipping Manifests.

Sample Shipping Manifest

Conclusion

This article covers the process of shipping packages internationally using Canada Post, the requirements for international shipments and the function of the WooCommerce Canada Post plugin. As discussed, using WooCommerce Canada Post Shipping Plugin, it is an easier and simpler process to print labels and generate manifests. Since the plugin uses the official Canada Post API to get the shipping labels, there can never be any discrepancies in terms of shipping details.
If you want to know more about other interesting features of the WooCommerce Canada Post Shipping Plugin, please visit the official product page. And for any query regarding the shipping labels feel free to share your views in the comment section below or you can reach out to our support team here.

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