Customs declarations & consignment notes

  • If you’re sending documents or parcels internationally, you need to complete Customs documentation. Items travelling across international borders are subject to international standards of Customs clearance. In each country, the Customs department – often jointly with the appropriate agricultural/quarantine authority – is responsible for monitoring international borders and implementing its country’s regulations.
  • The purpose of these regulations is to stop prohibited items from entering the country and to collect taxes on other items. While present in all nations, Customs regulations and requirements vary from country to country.

Country specific requirements

  • Most overseas countries have restrictions and prohibitions on the contents of mail. It is your responsibility to ensure that your item is not prohibited or restricted and you should check with the Customs and/or agricultural/quarantine authority of the country concerned. Information about the Customs requirements for specific countries can be obtained by:
    • contacting the local Consulate or Embassy representatives, or
    • visiting the Tonga Customs website to check for any destination country restrictions.
  • The only items that do not need Customs documentation are letters with no declarable value sent by one of our international postal services. For the definition of a letter, please refer to the information below.
  • All other items sent internationally require some form of Customs documentation. This means that:
    • all items, regardless of type, that are sent by courier via either International Express Courier or International Courier require Customs documentation.
    • all items, excluding aerogrammes, postcards, and letters sent by post using International Air require Customs documentation.
  • To be defined as a letter, items must meet all of the following criteria:
    • maximum weight of 200g
    • maximum thickness of 10mm
    • maximum height x length of 260mm x 385mm for medium & large letters.

What documentation do I need?

  • The type of Customs documentation and the detail required depends on what international service you choose, what you are sending and the weight and value of your item.

International Air parcels

Maximum size restrictions

    • Parcel 2kg or less: maximum length + height + thickness = 900mm; maximum length of any side = 600mm. If your parcel is under 2kg but exceeds the maximum dimensions for parcels under 2kg, use the over 2kg parcel instructions.
    • Roll or tube: maximum length + (diameter x 2) = 1040mm; maximum length of any side = 900mm.

Maximum size restrictions

    • Parcel over 2kg: maximum length + girth = 2m, maximum length of any side = 1.05m.

International parcels weighing up to two kilograms*

    • A customs declaration (CN22) must be completed and attached to each parcel.
    • To complete this declaration, list each item and its commercial value, and then sign the form.
    • * If your parcel is under 2kg in weight, but valued at more than TOP$400, it must be sent as if it is a parcel over 2kg.
    • International parcels weighing over two kilograms or with contents valued over TOP$400
    • A consignment note (CP72) must be completed and attached to each parcel.
    • If your item is part of a commercial transaction, you need to complete an Export Invoice or attach a copy of the commercial invoice.
    • If your parcel is valued over TOP$1,000, you also need to complete an Export Entry for Tonga Customs purposes.

International Fast Post documents and parcels

    • A consignment note (CN22/23 or CP72)must be completed and attached to each item.
    • If your item is part of a commercial transaction, you need to complete an Export Invoice or attach a copy of the commercial invoice.
    • If your item is valued over TOP$1,000 you also need to complete an Export Entry for Tonga Customs purposes.

Export Invoice 

  • An Export Invoice or a copy of the commercial invoice is required if your items are part of a commercial transaction.
  • An Export Invoice allows overseas Customs officials to determine if your item can enter the destination country, whether it is subject to regulatory fees or duties and, if applicable, the value of those fees.
  • All Customs duties, sales taxes and other regulatory charges are payable by the receiver on delivery.
  • When completing an Export Invoice you will need to include:
    • a full description of the contents of your package
    • the quantity of items in your package
    • the total value of your package
    • the country of origin of all items in your package
    • the reason for export of your item
    • the harmonised tariff code(s) of the contents (if known).
    • If the item is being sent for commercial purposes, the Export Invoice should be printed on company letterhead.
    • You then need to sign and date the declaration.

Export Entry

  • An export entry is a formal declaration made to Tonga Customs about what goods are being exported. The declaration is made under the Customs and Excise Act 1996 and in this context, the term “entry” means making an entry into the Tonga Customs database, not entry of goods into a country.
  • The Tonga Customs definition of the value of goods is the amount that the goods are being sold for, excluding international postage.
  • The Tonga Customs Service screens all items to identify any security risk.
  • Exemptions from lodging an export entry. For more information visit the Tonga Customs website.


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