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Shipping Internationally? Dot your I’s and Cross your T’s

By Last updated on: March 1, 2023

Shipping internationally means you must have accurate and complete documentation. From ever-changing government regulations and treaty arrangements to customs issues delaying or preventing a shipment from reaching its destination, many variables are in play, and good documentation is one of your best defenses. To help you, we compiled a list of links and forms to complete a proper International Air Waybill and a Commercial Invoice, two critical documents for international packages. We also have these items in PDF format for your convenience.

International Packages are Guaranteed

Incidentally, when shipping internationally, you can’t afford to be without Refund Retriever’s auditing services. Let us monitor your packages with our refund technology, and we’ll help you stop losing money in unclaimed refunds for late packages as well as other billing mistakes. By FedEx’s and UPS’s guarantees, late packages are entitled to a refund of shipping charges – even expensive international packages. Our parcel auditing software gives you a direct recovery of these refunds. Click the button below to create an account with us today. 

FedEx International Air Waybill

  1. Sender: include name, phone, your FedEx account number, and address
  2. Recipient: include name, phone, and address, and if applicable their tax / VAT or similar ID
  3. Shipment: be specific and detailed (the link below provides more details for each of the individual fields)
  4. Service: choose at your discretion; International Priority is the default if left blank
  5. Packaging: mark “other” if using your own
  6. Special Handling: choose special options as desired
  7. Payment: select and complete
  8. Internal Billing: include invoice/shipping data; FedEx carries over the first 24 characters to your FedEx invoice
  9. Signature

Note: FedEx® International Next Flight and FedEx International MailService® use their own special airwaybills

UPS International Air Waybill

  1. Sender: include name, phone, your UPS account number, and address
  2. Recipient: include name, phone, and address, and if applicable their tax / VAT or similar ID
  3. Payment: select and complete
  4. Service: choose your desired service
  5. Shipment: be specific and detailed (the PDF below provides more details for each of the individual fields)
  6. Country of Origin: indicate where the goods were manufactured
  7. Signature & Date

Page 3 of this PDF gives full detail of the instructions.

FedEx Commercial Invoice


UPS requires a commercial invoice when using these services:

  • FedEx International Priority®
  • FedEx International Economy®
  • FedEx® International Next Flight
  • FedEx International First®
  • FedEx Express® international (Canada)
  • FedEx International Ground® (Canada)
  • FedEx Express® international (Puerto Rico)

UPS Commercial Invoice


FedEx requires a commercial invoice when using these services:

  • UPS Express Critical
  • UPS Worldwide Express Plus
  • UPS Worldwide Express
  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight
  • UPS Worldwide Saver
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited
  • UPS Standard
  • UPS Worldwide Express NA1
  • UPS 3 Day Select from Canada

FedEx Shipping Resources

You can order pre-printed air waybills online or by calling 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (say “order shipping supplies”). In addition, you can prepare documents online using FedEx Ship Manager® at You can also prepare customs documentation using FedEx International Document Assistance®.

International Shipping – how it works and full details of services.

UPS Shipping Resources

The online MyUPS site can help determine which forms are required for a given shipment. Login, enter your start and destination countries in the “Forms for Export” box, and the proper forms will appear with the option to complete them online.

International Shipping How-To Guide

International Shipping Rates

Shipping internationally is expensive. There is no getting around this. Lowering your companies shipping costs through FedEx, UPS, USPS, or DHL is a consideration that should be evaluated every year. Rate rise each year. Your company needs to stay informed. Contact Refund Retriever to evaluate your international shipping costs. In summary, our international shipping reports will reduce your logistics costs.

Refund Retriever is not affiliated with FedEx or UPS. The PDF files above are copyright by FedEx and UPS and solely for your convenience.

Brian Gibbs

Author Brian Gibbs

More posts by Brian Gibbs

Brian Gibbs | President of Refund Retriever

Brian Gibbs founded Refund Retriever in 2006 while running his first eBay-based business and seeing the shortcomings of other shipment auditing companies. Refund Retriever's primary focus is FedEx and UPS parcel invoice auditing. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 2001, he graduated from the University of Houston in 2004 with a JD and MBA. Gibbs has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and other publications discussing parcel auditing, shipping, e-commerce, and more. Learn more at or call (800) 441-8085 for more information.

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