Import and shipping charges for third-party logistics (TPL)
If you are a TPL customer and want to import goods from countries outside the EU, it is good to assess and plan your imports in advance to avoid problems.
We have made a list of things that TPL customers may need to think about before starting import operations.
1. Apply for an EORI number
To import goods within the EU, you need an EORI number. You can apply for an EORI number from the Swedish Customs Agency.
2. Classify your product
Importers are responsible for ensuring that their products are correctly classified. If your product is difficult to classify, you can make an application for a binding classification decision. This is a legally binding decision about which commodity code the product is allocated. It is the commodity code that determines the duty that you pay on your product.
3. Check the specific regulations
Check if your product is subject to import restrictions that require permission from a certain authority. Check the customs duties as well, so that they can be included in your financial calculations. Note that a certificate of origin may result in preferential treatment, depending on the origin of the product.
4. Decide whether or not you require deferred payment
If you intend to import regularly, it is advisable to apply for deferred payment. The Swedish Customs Agency will then send an invoice for duty and import VAT directly to you. If you do not have deferred payment, the forwarder will have to pay duty and then bill it to you; you will then incur a payment handling charge. If you have deferred payment, you avoid having to pay these charges.
5. Specify who is to pay the shipping charges
It is good to give some thought to how you want the shipping charges to be paid. Do you want to pay the shipping charges for the entire journey or should the supplier pay part of the costs in the country of dispatch, such as pick-up, terminal fee and remuneration fee? Having the shipping charges arranged for the entire transport journey can be practical. On the other hand, you have less control over the method of transport, the logistics supplier that is used and how long it will take to get the goods to you. It is also not guaranteed that the supplier chooses the method that is most cost-efficient for you. Give some thought to which solution suits you best and create clear delivery terms in the contract with the supplier of the products you are going to import.
6. Decide how the goods are to be packed
Regardless of whether the goods are to be shipped within the country or to the other side of the world, good packaging is crucial. For example, in the case of sea transport, it is important to check whether the goods are sensitive to moisture, as this may mean that dehumidifying measures are required in the crates. It is good if you have the opportunity to discuss such matters with your suppliers and can specify in the agreement how you want your goods to be packaged.
7. Obtain quotes from logistics suppliers
The choice of transport method is based entirely on the size and value of the consignment and the lead time that your shipment allows. Different goods are also suitable for different types of shipping; some have to go by air, while others can go by sea and arrive a month later. In many cases, a good solution is a combination of different modes of transport. When you obtain a quote from a logistics supplier, it is important to ask what is included and what other costs may be incurred.
8. Consider a goods insurance policy
Check whether you have, or need, goods insurance. Insurance is not mandatory, but note that all carriers and forwarders only bear limited liability for your goods (pursuant to NSAB 2015, the General Conditions of the Nordic Association of Freight Forwarders). According to these conditions, the financial liability of the forwarder is calculated solely by weight, not value. The most common solution is to take out goods insurance as a supplement to business insurance. The logistics supplier may also sell goods insurance for a particular delivery or for all deliveries under its auspices.
9. How are the goods handled once they arrive in the country?
When your goods enter the country, they need to be handled, provided with addresses and distributed further. You can either do this yourself or assign a third-party logistics (TPL) supplier the task of doing it for you. If you don’t want to pay duty and import VAT before the goods leave the warehouse, you can engage a logistics supplier with its own customs warehouse. A customs warehouse requires a special license, so the simplest approach may be to procure this as a service.
Shipping documents in your own printing system
You can create shipping documents and electronic transport instructions via EDI in your own system.
Send electronic transport instructions (EDI)
By creating EDI for parcels and pallets, you get faster and more straightforward service. This also contributes to higher quality and delivery reliability for all our services. We offer EDI in the XML and EDIFACT formats. The transport instruction has to be sent to us before the goods are picked up. It contains all the information about the shipment. You can send several files in one day but not one file per shipment. We are happy to help you if you have any questions or feel uncertain.
Approved off-the-shelf printing systems
These companies sell printing solutions that are approved by PostNord.
Specifications for shipping documents and transport instructions
More information about how you can order our specifications for Shipping Documents and Transport Instructions (only available in English)
Route code database
Download the route code database (zip in Swedish 8 MB)