Embarking on the journey of international shipping for the first time can feel like navigating uncharted waters. With various carriers to choose from, customs regulations to understand, and paperwork to fill out, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, fear not! This guide is designed to illuminate the path, ensuring that your international shipping experience is smooth and successful.

A bustling international shipping port at sunset, with containers being loaded onto a large cargo ship, cranes in operation

Understanding Carriers

When it comes to shipping internationally, one of the first decisions you'll need to make is choosing the right carrier. Major players in the industry include DHL, FedEx, UPS, and USPS, each offering a range of services tailored to different needs and budgets. Consider factors such as shipping speed, cost, and the specific requirements of your shipment. Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all solution; the best carrier depends on your unique circumstances.

Navigating Customs Clearance

Customs clearance is a critical step in the international shipping process. It involves the preparation and submission of documentation required to facilitate export or imports across international borders. Understanding and complying with the customs regulations of the destination country is paramount to avoid delays or penalties. Each country has its own set of rules and tariffs, so it’s essential to research these requirements or seek guidance from experienced shippers or customs brokers.

Preparing a Commercial Invoice: A Detailed Guide

Preparing a Commercial Invoice: A Detailed Guide
A commercial invoice is a vital document in the international shipping process, serving as a record of the transaction between the exporter and importer. When preparing this document, attention to detail is key—not only to ensure compliance with global customs regulations but also to facilitate a smooth transit of your shipment across borders. Here’s what you need to know:

An up-close view of a commercial invoice document on a desk, with a globe, shipping containers, and international shipping documents in the background
  • Detailed List of Items: The commercial invoice should include a comprehensive list of the items being shipped. Each item should be described accurately, including specific details that identify the goods clearly. This information helps customs authorities understand exactly what is being imported or exported, ensuring the correct handling and processing of your shipment.
  • Value of Items: It’s crucial to declare the correct value of the items on the commercial invoice. This value is not to be confused with the amount you may insure the items for; it represents the actual sale price or fair market value of the goods. Accurately declaring the value is essential for customs duties and taxes calculations. Understating the value of items can lead to penalties, while overstating it can cause unnecessary increases in customs fees.
  • Harmonized Codes: The Harmonized System (HS) code is a standardized numerical method of classifying traded products. These codes are used by customs authorities around the world to identify products for the application of duties and taxes. Including the correct HS code for each item on your commercial invoice is critical. It not only helps in determining the applicable tariffs but also in expediting the customs clearance process. If you’re unsure about the correct HS code for your items, you can seek guidance from the World Customs Organization’s Harmonized System or consult with a customs broker or shipping expert.

Incorporating these detailed elements into your commercial invoice can significantly enhance the efficiency and compliance of your international shipment. Remember, the goal is to provide clear, complete, and accurate information to avoid delays, inspections, or penalties during the customs clearance process.

At PostalAnnex of Azusa and Covina, we understand the intricacies of preparing commercial invoices and are equipped to assist you in accurately completing this document. Our expertise extends to understanding harmonized codes and ensuring that your shipment’s paperwork meets all international requirements. With our support, you can navigate the complexities of international shipping with confidence, knowing that your commercial invoice is correctly prepared and compliant with global customs regulations.

Your Trusted Partner in International Shipping

At PostalAnnex of Azusa and Covina, our primary focus is to demystify the international shipping process for you. We believe in empowering our customers with knowledge and tools to make informed decisions. With access to all major carriers and expertise in preparing essential shipping documents like commercial invoices, we're here to ensure that your shipment reaches its destination smoothly.

Understanding the nuances of international logistics, from selecting the right carrier to navigating customs clearance, can be challenging. That’s why we offer personalized guidance, drawing on our extensive experience and resources. Whether you're shipping for the first time or looking to streamline your business's international logistics, we're dedicated to supporting your journey every step of the way.

Shipping to over 200 countries, we’re committed to connecting our community to the world. It’s not just about offering services; it’s about fostering trust and building long-term relationships. By choosing PostalAnnex of Azusa and Covina, you’re not just sending a package; you’re partnering with a team that’s invested in your success.

Pack and Ship

Experience the ease of PostalAnnex’s Pack and Ship services. Our strategic partnerships ensure you get the fastest, most affordable shipping options. Trust us for a hassle-free, reliable experience every time you ship with us in Azusa and Covina.

Notary and Fingerprint

Effortlessly access our Notary and Live Scan Fingerprint services with no appointment needed at PostalAnnex. Open Mon-Fri 9-6 and Sat 9-3 in Azusa and Covina, we’re here to support your verification needs promptly and conveniently.

Mailbox Rental

Enhance your postal experience with PostalAnnex’s Mailbox Rentals, providing a real street address for comprehensive package reception from all carriers, not just USPS. Enjoy the flexibility and security of receiving mail and deliveries from both major and private carriers.

Office Services

Elevate your productivity with PostalAnnex’s Office Services. From high-quality printing, lamination, and shredding to convenient computer rental and faxing, we have everything you need to streamline your projects. Plus, with custom rubber stamps and a wide range of office supplies, we’re your one-stop shop for all business essentials.

Passport, Gifts, and Keys

Simplify your travel and gifting needs with PostalAnnex’s Passport, Gifts, and Keys services. Get passport photos, application assistance, and super expedited renewals, alongside thoughtful gifts and greeting cards. Plus, our key duplicating service adds that extra layer of convenience, all in one place.


Discover the convenience of PostalAnnex, strategically located in Azusa and Covina’s bustling shopping complexes. Easily access a wide array of services from shipping to key duplication, all while enjoying the variety of shops and amenities surrounding our stores. Your one-stop solution for efficiency and ease, right in the heart of your shopping journey.

Trust by our customers

Following reviews are extracted from Yelp/Google

I have used the Postal Annex on a number of occasions, and each time they have been courteous, professional, and helpful. Yesterday I was running late to complete a notarization, and they went out of their way to help me. I definitely recommend their services!”

Wesley Hall

Left a review on Google Business for PostalAnnex of Azusa

I have been getting my mail from this location now for over 10+ years, have seen seen 3 different managements with the current management being the 4th. I find that they have updated quite a few things all for the better, so I find that some of these one star reviews pretty funny based on they are complaining about.

Jinesh and Disha who run this location are great. They get to know their mailbox customers and I have witnessed the great customer service provided for the individuals that come in for some type of service (faxing, shipping, live scan, or notary.) There is always two sides to every negative feedback that is posted and I have posted my share of negative feedback on businesses and this one is far from being a bad business.

Mary L.

Left a review on Yelp for PostalAnnex of Covina

I have been coming here for years now, and the service is always great! I usually deal with the manager, Jinesh, and he is great! He is always willing to answer any questions I have and help me out since I am not very tech savvy. He is my go to guy for pretty much anything I need to do in there for both personal and business stuff!

Robin L.

Left a review on Yelp for PostalAnnex of Azusa

The owners and employees are all so helpful, knowledgeable and kind. They really go out of their way to help. I get emails know when I have mail, which is so handy to know.

They really go the extra mile. Can’t say enough good things about The Postal Annex.

Robin B.

Left a review on Yelp for PostalAnnex of Covina

Everyone there are very nice and helpful. Price is reasonable.

They recently upgrade the way to release package I think it is a plus to us as customer.

Rosing Mann

Left a review on Google Business for PostalAnnex of Covina

“postal annex helped me out with the FBI summary form finger printing for my background check through the state of California to become a certified massage therapist through the state California and with the help I became a certified massage therapist in the state of California and with FBI fingerprinting they helped me out in my situation in great way and all the instructions to them greeting me everything went fantastic this is a fantastic place for mailing and FBI fingerprinting and all the other services that they offer”

Israel G.

Left a review on Yelp for PostalAnnex of Azusa

Visit one of your convenient locations today

PostalAnnex of Azusa
1171 E Alosta Ave,
Azusa, CA 91702 Hours
Business Hours:
Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Phone # (626) 771-2340
PostalAnnex of Covina
964 E Badillo St,
Covina, CA 91724 Hours
Business Hours:
Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Phone # (626) 966-9300