When you begin shipping international orders, there is no additional step when it comes to processing orders within the workflow, but there are considerations you need to take into account before doing so, since international orders require information which local shipments don't on the order level (SKUs, etc) and settings on the Billing Accounts depending on the carrier.
These considerations are the following:
1) Make sure your order has the required shipment destination, weight, format and service information
While domestic orders do not require packaging information other than for calculating shipping charges, enabling you, for example, to ship without SKUs information, international shipments are required several extra elements, among which could be:
- Full Ship-To Address (including phone)
- Box weight
Box dimensions (preferably)
Country of origin
HST (preferably, strongly recommended)
Missing that information will prevent you from shipping until you correct it.
You can see where to handle that information, and examples related to these issues and how to solve them in this set of articles:
- There is no international destination for this shipment destination, weight, format and service [Solution]
- Operation returned an invalid status code (...) Must have at least one shipping content block [Solution]
- Error "SKU Price information is required for international shipments" [Solution]
2) Verify that the addresses you're shipping to are correct in every sense
Typos and incorrect placing of cities, states and postal codes can prevent you from shipping international orders. Make sure that the information provided is correct, and if doubtful, avoid using public online services to verify addresses (Google or Bing Maps), and resort to the carriers' official validation tools.
You can see an example and how to solve that type of issue in this article: 3425 International importer of record – Postal-State Mismatch [Solution]
3) The Reason for Export needs to be set for the Billing Account on the Client level prior to processing
To ship international orders, you will have to set the Reason for Export (and sometimes additional information related to it depending on the carrier) for Customs purposes. If those values are not complete, you will face errors when processing until you correct them.
You can see an example and how to solve that type of issue in this article: Operation Returned an invalid status code (...) Parcels customs data content type can’t be blank [Solution]
4) Make sure you use international services instead of local services
A common mistake is trying to use local services for international shipments, giving errors when processing, for example, trying to ship an order from Canada to the UK using a local-only service, or shipping an order from the USA to Canada using a local Ground service.
You can see an example and how to solve that type of issue in this article: 8336 Service is not allowed [Solution]
5) Make sure you're filling out APO, FPO and/or DPO addresses correctly
It is quite usual to see errors when processing orders shipped to APO, FPO and DPO addresses. Since not all the carriers handle this information the same way (for example, some consider US territories as countries instead of regions or territories), there is not a guide appliable to all of the cases, but measures can be taken to prevent these issues.
Depending on the carrier you will use, make sure that the address you're providing complies with the carrier requirements.
You can see an example and how to solve that type of issue in this article: How to ship to APO, FPO or DPO orders [Solution]
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