Tips for creating a customs declaration (CN 22/CN23) with Shipcloud

How to create a customs declaration for your dutiable shipments

Ina Kahl avatar
Written by Ina Kahl
Updated over a week ago

With Shipcloud you can create a customs declaration (CN22/CN23) together with the shipping label for different carriers.

In this article, you will learn how to create a customs declaration with Shipcloud and receive further information for your dutiable shipment.

In this article 👇

Customs declaration (CN22/CN23) with Shipcloud

You can currently create the customs declaration (CN22/CN23) for the carriers DHL, Deutsche Post and PARCEL.ONE.

With Shipcloud, you can also create the corresponding customs declaration for your shipment via the Shipcloud WebUI or via API together with the shipping label. You can find out which parameters you need to transmit in your API request in our Developer Portal on the page of the corresponding carrier: DHL, Deutsche Post and PARCEL.ONE.

You can find out directly from the manufacturer/developer of your system whether you can create a customs declaration in your plug-in/integration.

Once the shipment and the customs declaration have been created, you can download the shipping label and the customs document as PDF files. The shipping label is output in the format that you created for the shipment, while the customs declaration CN23 is always output in DIN A4 format for DHL and PARCEL.ONE.

For international shipments from Deutsche Post, you can also create the necessary customs declaration CN22 together with the shipping label. The output takes place via the so-called "Harmonized Label" in which the customs declaration is integrated directly on the shipping label.

📌 To clear your shipment through customs, the customs authorities in the country of destination must know the exact contents. Therefore, you must fill out the customs content declaration completely. Missing or incomplete customs documents can lead to delays in shipment, cause additional costs and bring other disadvantages for the recipient. In case of false or unclear information, there is a risk of a fine or seizure of the shipment.

📌 Please note that in addition to the customs declaration, other documents may also be required for shipping across customs borders. You will find more information below in the supplementary customs information.

How to create a customs declaration CN23 via the Shipcloud WebUI

For shipping DHL Paket or PARCEL.ONE to countries outside the EU, a customs declaration CN23 has to be filled out.

In the the Shipcloud WebUI, go to the menu item "Shipping" and select DHL or PARCEL.ONE as the carrier. After selecting the carrier and entering the recipient and packaging data, you can click on "Add customs declaration" to provide the necessary information for your dutiable shipments.

1. Category of item

Select the applicable type of your shipment. You can choose from commercial goods, commercial samples, documents, gifts and returned goods.

2. Contents explanation

If you have previously selected "commercial goods" as the type of shipment, this field is mandatory. Enter a general description of the content here (e.g. "goods for sale"). A maximum of 256 characters is allowed.

3. Drop off location

Enter the place of drop off (e.g. "post office, 20099 Hamburg, GERMANY) and the date of your posting.

4. Exporter reference

If you already have a customs number, you can enter it here.

5. Importer reference

If you know the tax number/sales tax identification number/customs number of the recipient, you can enter it here.

6. Invoice number

All commercial shipments must be accompanied by a commercial invoice. Please enter the corresponding invoice number here.

7. Items description

When shipping commercial goods, you must provide a detailed content description for each item included in the shipment.

Description: provide a detailed description for each item contained in the shipment (e.g. "T-Shirt, blue, 100% cotton, size L"). Collective descriptions such as "spare parts", "samples", "food", etc. are not allowed.

Quantity: enter the exact quantity of each item and the unit of measure used.

Net weight: indicate the net weight (in kg) of each item. If you are sending several identical products in your shipment, it is sufficient to specify one product here.

Value: enter the (customs) value of each item in EUR.

HS tariff number: enter the customs tariff number (6, 8 or 10 digits) here. This must be based on the "Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System" (HS). More information can also be found at

Origin of goods: this refers to the country from which the goods originate, i.e. where they were manufactured, produced or assembled. Further information can also be found at customs.

8. Total value

Enter the total value of goods in your shipment here. Please note that additional customs documents must be applied for if the value of the goods exceeds 1000 EUR.

9. Additional fees

Enter the fee paid for the carriage of the shipment. You must fill in this field if you charge the recipient for the shipping costs (mandatory field for DHL).

After you have entered your shipment and customs data and created the shipment, the shipping label and the customs declaration are available for download in the shipment detail view. If the documents are not yet available for download, simply reload the page.

📌 Please note the following:

  • Fill out this document completely to avoid shipping delays and problems as well as additional costs.

  • Provide all information in English or the language of the destination country.

  • Attach the required customs documents so that they are easily accessible from the outside, preferably in a self-adhesive, transparent envelope/shipping bag.

  • If you place the customs documents inside the package, attach a self-adhesive label on the outside of the package indicating the presence of the customs declaration inside the package.

ℹ️ Supplementary customs information

When are shipments subject to customs duty?

As a rule, shipments are subject to customs duty if you send goods to a country outside the European Union (EU) or import goods from such a country. Although the so-called EU-exceptional territories are geographically part of Europe, they do not belong to the territory of the EU under customs law. Thus, shipments to or from these countries are subject to the same customs requirements as exports from non-EU countries.

📌 Before creating a foreign shipment, please inform yourself directly at customs for which countries you have to enclose customs documents with your shipment.

Export restrictions

Some goods may be subject to restrictions or may not be exportable. These restrictions may apply to specific goods (e.g. animals and plants, narcotics, weapons, etc.), persons or countries. Please inform yourself in advance which restrictions are to be observed. All necessary information is available directly from customs.

Required customs documents

When shipping to a country subject to customs duties, certain documents must be attached to a shipment of goods by the sender, which depend on the content of the shipment, the value of the goods and the destination country. With shipcloud you can create the customs declaration (CN22/CN23) in addition to the shipping label.

Value of goods and/or weight up to 1000 EUR / 1000 kg

For shipments below 1000 EUR value of goods / 1000 kg weight, no electronic export declaration is required and the documents listed in the overview are sufficient. However, the number of accompanying documents may differ depending on the content and the recipient country.

Value of goods and weight/or weight over 1000 EUR / 1000 kg

For shipments over 1000 EUR value of goods / 1000 kg weight additional customs documents as well as an export declaration at customs are required. Please inform yourself directly at the carrie or customs about the further necessary export documents.

📌 Splitting into several shipments does not exempt from the electronic export declaration.

📌 The export declaration and commercial or pro forma invoice cannot be created via shipcloud.

Required customs documents for a simplified customs clearance for a goods value and/or weight up to 1000 EUR / 1000 kg using the example of DHL*

The following information applies to the shipping service provider DHL. Current information can always be found directly at DHL.

Shipment of free sample goods or goods not intended for resale

  • Customs declaration

  • Proforma invoice (original + 3 copies)

Shipment of goods that have a commercial value and/or are intended for resale

  • Customs declaration

  • Commercial invoice (original + 3 copies)

📌 The type and number of required customs documents may differ depending on the carrier.

* All information without warranty

Information on the preparation of a commercial invoice

When shipping commercial goods, you must always include a commercial invoice, regardless of the value of the goods.

Many carriers offer sample templates or examples for creating a commercial invoice specifically for this purpose. With Shipcloud, you can create the commercial invoice for UPS in addition to the shipping label. You can find more information here.

Commercial invoices contain the following information, among others:

  • Address of the sender, telephone and fax number desirable

  • VAT identification number of the sender and, if applicable, of the recipient

  • Invoice number and date of the commercial invoice

  • Complete recipient address; telephone and fax number desirable

  • Exact description of goods including description and quantity

  • Customs tariff number

  • Country of origin of the goods

  • Value of goods: individual prices and total value as well as currency unit, if necessary separately the packaging, insurance and transport costs

  • Terms of delivery (INCOTERMS)

  • Reason for export, e.g. samples, flyers for advertising purposes

Good to know: You should have already specified your terms of delivery (incoterms) in your offer to your customers. The incoterms regulate, for example, for which transport costs the seller and for which the buyer has to pay and who bears the financial risk in case of loss or damage of the goods.

📌 Please note the following:

  • The number for the enclosed copies of the commercial invoice may differ depending on the carrier. Please check with the relevant carrier in advance.

  • We also recommend that you prepare the commercial invoice in English.

Any further questions? We are happy to help you.

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