Guide to Shipping Cosmetics Overseas

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The global cosmetics industry faced an enormous setback in the initial phase of the COVID-19 crisis. While offline store closures were one of the biggest problems many small business merchants had to face, online e-commerce shopping saw a big boom. 

According to Mckinsey, apart from skin moisturisers, creams, and perfumes, many beauty brands switched their manufacturing to produce more hand sanitizers and cleaning products for the frontline workers. This switch led the global cosmetics industry to become more diverse and is predicted to cross a market value of US$805.61 billion by 2023

This surplus of demand across the globe has made many cosmetic sellers open avenues for overseas shipping. Hence, it is important for shippers to understand the right method and rules for shipping cosmetics across international borders. Here’s what sellers need to know before they begin their shipping journey.


DHL courier

Steps to know before shipping cosmetics 

1. Understand destination country’s rules and regulations

Ensure that you are abreast with the destination country’s rules and regulations before sending your first shipment. Or else, you may risk incurring additional licensing fees, customer delays or even having your shipments returned at the border. For example, if you are shipping from Singapore to Malaysia, then the shipper must be a Cosmetic Notification Holder (CNH) and also have a registered company in Malaysia. 

2. Learn how to pack cosmetic products

Improper packaging can spell disaster and also compromise the product’s quality, leading to damaged products. Therefore you must:

  • Access the strength and durability of the packaging box.
  • Choose appropriate packaging materials like bubble wraps, corrugated inserts, or crumpled paper and pack the items separately by layering them three to four times.
  • Use pressure-sensitive tapes to offer extra protection from humidity, moisture, etc.
  • For perfumes and sprays, carefully pack them inside leak-proof boxes in an upright position.
  • Make sure to leave no empty space within the container to prevent the contents from colliding during transit.
  • Fill the void spaces with cushioning materials like foam peanuts, foam wraps, and bubble wraps.
  • Use the H-taping method to seal all the edges and any remaining seams.
  • Use arrows to indicate how to handle the shipment. 
  • Add appropriate labels clearly indicating the DG types and their potential hazards. This is because Dangerous goods are prone to volatility and can prove to be detrimental if handled incorrectly.
  • Moreover, shipping dangerous goods internationally carries a unique set of complications, i.e., complying with customs regulations and restrictions. This is why many cosmetics, nail polishes, and perfumes are considered hazardous and are thus classified in the category of Flammable Liquids.

3. Know what documents are required when shipping

Each shipment must have a dangerous goods declaration on the AWB and shipping invoice that gives a clear description of the DG commodity.

Once you are done packing the shipment, fill up a DHL Express cosmetics form to ship the goods internationally. Find the form here

4. Pick a door-to-door logistics service provider

When you choose to ship your goods to consumers in other countries, you need a trustworthy logistics partner that can help you with easy international door-to-door deliveries. 

With DHL Express, you can be assured that your goods will be delivered on time with complete visibility of its real-time status at every single step.

Our customs team is also well-versed with all the local rules and guidelines, making your goods clearance process quick and smooth. Moreover, we also provide an easy return process by helping you create a DHL return waybill for a hassle-free shipping process. We also have online shipping tools like MyDHL+ and ODD (On-Demand Delivery) making the shipping procedure easy and efficient.

5. Track your package

With DHL’s express tracking, you can stay up to date on the status of your package right from when it is handed over to us until it is signed for by your recipient. You can also share the 10-digit AWB number with your recipient to help them monitor the real-time status of the shipment and arrange for ideal delivery date.

So, if you are on your way to shipping cosmetics, adhere to this shipping guide for faster deliveries. Plus, if you need more information about the process, speak to DHL customer service agents at any time.