The difference is the type of label that is printed and if any additional forms are necessary, like Customs Declarations, Commercial Invoices, or Certificates of Origin. Whether any additional forms are required will depend on which carrier you are using to ship the package, where it is going, and the value of the goods it contains.
Fortunately, you won't need to worry about making these decisions in most cases, since ShipStation takes care of it all for you! ShipStation sends all the shipment and customs details to the postage provider when you create the label. The provider then determines which form must be used and automatically sends back the correct form (or electronically submits the correct form).
A Customs Form declares all the items contained within a shipment when that shipment crosses international borders. Customs agencies require customs forms to help them regulate the flow of goods in and out of each country.
The most common types of customs form are the CN22, CN23, and CP72. These are the forms you would typically get from your local post office.
Private carriers, like FedEx, UPS, or DHL Express, include customs declarations on a Commercial Invoice. A commercial invoice is the official transaction record between a shipper and a recipient and is often used by customs offices in the same way as CN22/23 and CP72 forms.
Customs forms typically include the following information:
Package contents (like merchandise or documents)
Item quantity and value
Country of Origin
The shipper's signature
All of these details can be added to your international orders in ShipStation. ShipStation then sends the details to the carrier when you create the label.
ShipStation provides the ability to print any forms returned by the postage providers that send them, and will also electronically submit customs forms for FedEx, DHL Express, DPD (UK only), and UPS (for international UPS shipments, you must contact UPS to enable this feature before ShipStation can submit forms electronically).
Review the Print Customs Forms article in this section for details on how to print these forms, when available.
Customs Forms & Commercial Invoices Do Not Auto-Print
For postage providers that return forms that require printing, these forms will not automatically print when you print the label. You must print them separately.
ShipStation automatically adds customs declarations to orders with international shipping addresses and submits these details to the carrier when you click the Create Label button.
The information that appears in the customs declarations is determined by ShipStation's International Settings. By default, the information added to the customs declarations is based on the product information included in each order.
Review the International Settings article for details about these settings and how to use them.
Review the Customs Declarations article for details about viewing and editing customs declarations on your orders