Shipping Gifts Across Borders: Making Special Occasions Memorable

Cross-border gifts are perhaps necessitated by long-distance relationships. They can take the form of couples living apart due to work responsibilities, daughters and sons schooling abroad or parents working abroad gifting their kids back at home. Whatever the case, gifts are the simplest yet thoughtful gestures of appreciation. They can turn a simple occasion into a memorable one.

Gifts can take the form of cash transfers, anniversary gifts, Christmas celebration gifts, birthday gifts, food donations, Valentine’s day gifts, wedding gifts, fresh flower bouquets, and bereavement gifts.

Cash transfers gifts

Perhaps this is the easiest way of gifting. it can take the form of dressing(currency) them in a card or money holder, currency bills frozen inside giant ice cubes to cash-filled chocolate candy boxes. They have the advantage of being simple and straightforward however, care should be taken not to exceed the taxable limit.

Other forms of cash transfers include:

Gift cards are where you buy a prepaid cash card to be used to treat him/her to something you know they love most. You can also pair it with a heartfelt note to show how much you care.

Certificate of deposits (CDs) or savings accounts transfer. This has the advantage of creating a savings culture for the recipient since it will also earn future interest. In addition to that it will also create financial discipline.

Stocks. This is where a share of stock is given to an employee it helps him to have a sense of ownership of the company. It can also be given to a minor but a custodial account managed by an adult must be created until he reaches the majority age.

Charitable contributions. This is where you donate money to a charity or a cause as a great way of showing that you care. This may include pledged gifts over a certain period designated to their area of interest.


Bequests. This is where an individual expresses a certain philanthropic wish upon his death. It can take the form of property or cash.

Wrapping gifts internationally for shipping

Shipping of wrapped goods with papers and ribbons requires much care because of procedures and the many hands they have to pass through. However, this can be solved by keeping papers and ribbons inside the package:

  • Select a strong cardboard box (preferably a new one) of suitable size and form.
  • Wrap the item in protective material by using bubble wrap, foam wrap, or kraft paper, especially on fragile items.
  • Fill any space in the box with cushioning material.
  • Securely tape up the lids and sides.
  • Attach all relevant documentation to the outside of the box.
  • Consider paying insurance for the gifts especially if they are of high value.

If you are sending a parcel to the US, or any other country, make sure that you comply with the rules and regulations of the destination country. Each country has a list of restricted and prohibited items.

Tax implications

Ensure that the gift does not exceed the tax-free limit in some jurisdictions. They must also be wary of currency exchange rates, and international duties besides taxes.

Some countries permit gifts to be imported free of duties and taxes, in the USA for example, the annual exclusion limit is $17,000. They often have strict criteria which must be followed. This includes:

  • All goods must be itemized with their full description and value.
  • The sender is a private individual and the recipient accepts the delivery at a private address.
  • The gift must be sent free of charge and an “occasional nature”.
  • The word ‘gift’ must be marked on the airway bill and commercial invoice along with the actual detailed description of what the gift is

Not all countries permit gifts, so check the rules and regulations on the customs website of the country you’re shipping to.

Please note that items containing alcohol will incur excise duty. Items containing food or other controlled items may need additional documentation and be subject to further checks, potentially resulting in additional charges.

Memorable and customized gifts

Some institutions provide memorable and customized gift services. You are only required to provide them with your budget and requirements.

Such gifts include (and not limited to) bereavement gifts, keepsake and memory boxes, clothing keepsakes, and Outdoor Memorials.

Choose the gift, deliver it and add a personal touch by providing for example a birthday song and the rest will follow.


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