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Everything Sellers Need to Know About International Shipping

Receiving an order from a country you’ve only seen in postcards is a thrill that never gets old! However, as global taxation continues to evolve, so have the responsibilities of Discogs’ sellers who ship internationally. This includes providing evidence that import tax has been collected on applicable shipments.

Learn more below about these responsibilities and the actions you need to take when shipping internationally.

How Global Tax Affects International Shipping

Discogs is now required to collect many types of import taxes on orders when the buyer is located in a different country to the seller, including UK VAT, EU VAT, and New Zealand GST, and Australian GST. Discogs’ Commercial Receipt indicates who is responsible for taxes. If Discogs is responsible, you will see tax charges on the Commercial Receipt. When the buyer is responsible for taxes, Discogs’ Commercial Receipt will not include any tax charges.

Sellers on Discogs are responsible for packaging and shipping their buyers’ orders. International shipments are particularly tricky because there are additional shipping requirements to ensure the buyer receives their order as quickly as possible. As a seller who ships items internationally, it is your responsibility to ensure tax information is clearly accessible to couriers, postal services, customs, and other officials on all of your cross-border shipments.

Best Practices for International Shipping

Submit tax information digitally when purchasing an international shipping label.

Many countries around the world now require digital submission of import tax information. Examples of information that must be submitted digitally when Discogs charges tax on an order include:

Country Shipped To Information Required
European Union
  • Discogs’ iOSS number and EORI number for orders totaling €150 and below, except where buyer is VAT-registered and provides a valid EU VAT ID.
  • The HS tariff code for the items in the order.
United Kingdom
  • Discogs’ UK VAT number and EORI number for orders totaling £135 and below, except where buyer is VAT-registered and provides a valid UK VAT ID.
  • The HS tariff code for the items in the order.
  • Discogs’ Australia GST number for all orders, except where buyer is GST-registered and provides a valid AUS GST ID.
  • The HS tariff code for the items in the order.
New Zealand
  • Discogs’ NZ GST number for all orders, except where buyer is GST-registered and provides a valid NZ GST ID.
  • The HS tariff code for the items in the order.

Postal services and customs agencies increasingly rely on digitally submitted tax information to verify that tax has been paid, especially tax charged by marketplace facilitators like Discogs. Without this digital information, they may charge VAT to the buyer again, or hold the shipment until the buyer is able to prove that the appropriate tax has already been paid.

When purchasing a shipping label from your courier or postal service, ensure that you fill all fields related to the HS tariff codes, tax information, and Discogs’ tax number. For example, if you’re shipping an item into the EU, there may be a field to enter an iOSS number. If Discogs has charged supply of goods VAT on the order as evidenced by our Commercial Receipt, Discogs’ iOSS number should be entered in this field. If Discogs has not charged supply of goods VAT on the order, leave the iOSS field blank because the buyer is responsible for paying the supply of goods VAT at import.

Discogs’ own shipping label service for US-based sellers does not yet have the ability to send an iOSS or EORI number electronically. We will be adding this capability before the end of 2021. Until then, you can add the information to the description field and it will print on the label itself. Please note that this may not be a suitable replacement in destination countries where the number must be submitted electronically.

As noted in the example above, please refer to our Commercial Receipt to determine whether or not you need to enter Discogs’ tax information when you purchase your label. If Discogs charged VAT or GST on the order, you should enter the appropriate Discogs’ tax ID number when you purchase your shipping label. Please use the Discogs’ tax ID number that is associated with the country where you intend to ship your package. Do not use Discogs’ tax ID numbers if no tax is charged on the Commercial Receipt.

The wording regarding tax information in shipping label purchase forms may differ between platforms. If it’s unclear to you if or where you need to digitally submit tax information, please contact your courier or postal service for further guidance. You can find Discogs’ tax numbers on the Commercial Receipt.

Print the Commercial Receipt from the order page and attach it to the outside of the package.

  • Use a clear packing envelope to attach the Commercial Receipt to the outside of the package. These can usually be found at your local postal service or office supply store.
  • For smaller packages, use your print settings to shrink the size of the Commercial Receipt to fit on the outside of the package. Alternatively, you can fold the Commercial Receipt to fit on the package. Be sure that the buyer’s shipping address and Discogs’ tax number (such as Discogs’ iOSS, OSS, UK EORI, or GST, number) are clearly visible.

Write tax information on the package in black marker. 

This is an optional additional measure. If tax was collected by Discogs at the time of purchase, you can indicate this by writing “Tax Collected” and “Commercial Receipt attached,” as well as the appropriate Discogs’ tax number on the front of the packaging.

Best practices apply any time the buyer is located in a country different from the country you ship from, including within regions like the European Union. Ensuring this information is accessible allows officials to easily assess when tax has already been collected and keep the shipment moving to its destination.

These practices ensure your buyer receives their order quickly and securely with no unwelcome surprises along the way, increasing satisfaction and the likelihood that they’ll be back for more from your Discogs store.

You can also find related guides on packaging and shipping on the blog:

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