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DHL Express Accompanying Documentation

Preparing all documents for your shipment


For shipments to Italy or the European Union, simply fill in the waybill (AWB), indicating the shipper, the consignee and a description of the goods.

For shipments outside the EU, it is necessary to fill in and sign:

  • the waybill (AWB)
  • the invoice, in English
  • the Free Export Declaration

The Invoice must be completed in English, and must contain a full list and detailed description of contents, specifying the actual value of each item. Generic wording such as "gift" is not accepted.

A descriptor such as “Goods for personal use, not for sale” is recommended in the “Reasons for export” section of the invoice.

How to Prepare the Airwaybill (AWB)


All the information you need to properly complete your waybill, which is essential for tracking and researching.

How to Prepare the Invoice Accompanying the Shipment


Data to be specified in the invoice

1. Bank details
These are the bank details that will be used for the transaction between the seller and the buyer. These data are not required for non-commercial or proforma invoices.

2. Description
Generic or overly vague descriptions are no longer accepted as they may cause delays. Descriptions should contain details of the items, quantities, material of which they are made, and intended use.  For example, describing items as "samples," "parts," or "spare parts" is not acceptable due to customs classification needs and for security reasons. For example, instead of "electronic material" use a description such as "television".

3. Product identification code
This is the product identification code used by the exporting country to classify the goods intended for export. The identification code facilitates the customs clearance process and avoids delays.

4. Country of production/origin
This is the place where the goods are manufactured, not the country of export. If the goods are manufactured in more than one country, it is necessary to list the origins.

5. Total declared value
This is the total value of the transaction for customs purposes according to the selected Incoterm. The total declared value should include freight and insurance costs if these two elements are the responsibility of the seller.

6. Type of export
Options are: (1) Permanent; (2) Temporary; and (3) Repair and Return.

7. Incoterms
Enter the Incoterm that best describes the terms of the transaction. For example, DAP (Delivered At Place).

8. Reason for export
Options: Sale; Repair; After Repair; Free Gift; Sample; Personal Use Not For Resale; Replacement; Intercompany Transfer; or Personal Belongings. 

Documents for Exporting Outside the EU


For the export declaration to be correct, the invoice must be filled in in detail in all its parts and must contain, in particular, the following data:

  • The quantity of each item contained in the package,
  •  The value and currency of each item ($ or €)
  •  The correct INCOTERM code. Look at the list
  •  The reason for export (samples to be examined or analysed or goods on sale)
  •  Full address of the shipper and its VAT registration number
  •  Full address of the consignee including telephone number and email address

The Free Export Declaration must always be filled in (in the Italian or English language) and attached to the export invoice for all shipments outside the EU.

In addition, for shipments intended for countries outside the EU of a value of more than €150 or with commercial invoice, it is necessary to indicate the Tax Code (the VAT Number in the case of an undertaking) in the invoice. For non-EU private persons (with non-EU citizenship), the EORI Code* must also be indicated. For some countries, the EORI*/ Tax Code is always required, regardless of the value of the shipment. 

See the full list of countries.

*The EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) Code is used for the registration and identification of economic operators and other persons taking part in activities governed by the customs regulations of the Member States of the European Union. It is an alphanumeric code preceded by the ISO code of the Member State that makes it unequivocal throughout the EU (IT for Italy).

For those who ship to countries outside the European Union for the first time, we suggest contacting our Cutomer Support to check the documentation that is necessary.

Always attach the (commercial or proforma) Invoice.

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