Printable Version Commodity Description

The customs clearance process begins with the descriptions on the Air Waybill. By completing your Air Waybills carefully - and by taking special care to provide clear, accurate and detailed commodity descriptions - you will help us to reduce clearance and delivery times.

Unacceptably vague, ambiguous, inaccurate or incomplete descriptions may result in shipments being held in customs or rejected, leading to delays and possible penalties.

What is an acceptable description?

An acceptable description provides the precise information for customs to identify and verify the shapes, physical characteristics and packaging of each shipment. A good description needs to answer the following questions: What is it? How many? What is it made from? and What is its intended use?

Under customs regulations, general descriptions such as "electronics" are not detailed enough but descriptions of "CD players" or "computer monitors" are acceptable. Blank descriptions and vague, unhelpful expressions should be avoided, such as "general merchandise", "samples", "promotional materials", "parts" and "see commercial invoice". Look at the table below for examples.

Faster, easier shipping with FedEx

At FedEx we will do "whatever it takes" to ensure that your shipments are delivered on time. By completing your Air Waybills correctly and in line with customs regulations, you can help us to avoid any delays.

If you need assistance with completing your Air Waybills, or for any other information about our services please contact Customer Service.

As per customs request, please remember that the shipment descriptions on your Air Waybills must always be in English.
Poor description
(vague and unacceptable)
Good description
(specific and acceptable)
Caps Baseball caps
Bottle caps
Hub caps
Docs/ Documents Business Correspondence
Electronics Laptop computers
Mobile telephones
Flooring Ceramic tiles
Plastic flooring
Wood flooring
Rubber articles Rubber hoses
Rubber conveyor belts
Wires Electric wires
Automotive harness
Spare Parts / Parts / Spares Mechanical Parts for Printer, Drive Gear
Samples Heaters for Domestic Cookers
Return Items Scrap Circuit Boards Returned for Analysis
Sensors Car Tire Pressure Sensors
Cd-rom Internal PC Cd-Rom Unit
Charger Cell Phone Charger and Adapter
Promotional Material Pens, T-Shirt, PVC Shopping Bags
Dangerous Goods Paint, Corrosive Chemicals
Personal Items Peronal Use Only-Not for Resale100% Cotton Women's Shirt
See Invoice Detailed Description of Goods Required
Various Items Pens, Pencils, Post-Its, Paper Writing Tablets
Clothing Men's 100% Wool Pants

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