As of lately, quite a lot of countries are updating their customs policies, which can make shopping on sites like Shein a particular experience. That’s why in this article we’ll tell you everything you need to know when it comes to customs and Shein orders.
Order held in customs
You should keep in mind that all orders go through customs, which doesn’t mean that there’s an issue with your order specifically. Your package will go through customs in the country of origin to check that it is not prohibited or dangerous items and then through customs in your country.
You will know when your package is in customs because this will be indicated by the status of your order, which you can check with the tracking number. Shein has an excellent tracking system on their website, but you can also see where your order is through external applications, such as Aftership or Postal Ninja.
Since all packages go through customs, it’s normal that at some point the order status will indicate that it’s there. In that case, the status will appear as “Held in Customs”, “Pending Documentation” or something similar.
Customs will only hold your purchase if it doesn’t comply with customs laws. This is most often the case for very large packages. If this is the case, customs will contact you via SMS or email to ask for documentation or give you more information.
Remember, you will know that your order is in customs when the tracking shows “Held in Customs”, “Pending Documentation” or a similar message indicating that customs is handling it.
Is your order being held in Holland?
Some users have noticed that their package is being held in Holland, which has set off alarm bells among buyers.
If this is the case, don’t worry, your order has not been shipped to the wrong address. Shein uses its Holland center as a base to send packages to the rest of Europe.
The order may stay a couple of days in the Netherlands center, as this is where the documentation is checked. Once checked that everything is in order, your order will leave for your country, where it won’t go through customs because there is a free trade agreement between Holland and other European countries.
When will you have to pay customs?
Apparently, if you pay customs and then let Shein know, the platform will reimburse you the customs fee, or part of it. We recommend that you contact Shein in this case, as the regulations are a bit confusing.
Whether you will have to pay customs or not when shopping at Shein will depend on the value of your order. By law, all packages entering Europe from a country outside the European Union will have to pay customs, there is a difference in orders valued at less than €150 and more than €150.
Orders valued at less than €150
According to the customs laws in Europe, we must pay the VAT corresponding to your country on orders of less than €150. Thanks to the IOSS system, the payment can be made directly from the site: when you make the purchase, you pay the VAT to the seller, and it’s the seller who is responsible for making the payment to the Treasury.
For this reason, when shopping on Shein you won’t have to make any extra payment if you buy something worth less than €150, although please note that this doesn’t prevent the order from being retained. Generally, these packages are small and usually go through without a problem, but if your package is held, you will only need to present documentation to prove that it’s valued at less than €150.
Orders valued at more than €150
If your order exceeds €150, by law you will pay duties and other taxes, in addition to VAT. Another difference with respect to the previous case is that you will not be able to pay it from the store’s website, and you will have to make the payment to customs yourself when the order arrives in your country, presenting the necessary documentation.
To avoid paying more for purchases over €150, we recommend splitting your order into several purchases. This is something Shein usually does to avoid paying customs.
If you have any problems with customs, Shein’s customer service center is available to help you resolve them.
How do you have to pay customs?
If your order is held in customs, there’s usually a company in charge of handling the customs clearance. They will ask you for certain information, such as your ID or national identity card, a screenshot from Shein showing your order, and proof of payment.
If you don’t have to pay customs, your order will be released once you present all the documentation. Otherwise, the company will tell you how much and how to pay.
Before paying, we recommend that you contact Shein, as the platform handles customs costs. You can do so from this link, and you will usually receive a refund, so we recommend you keep the proof of payment.
Request a refund if you’ve already made a payment
Thanks to Shein’s refund policy, you can request a refund from the customer service center. The money will be refunded to your credit card, PayPal account (we recommend using this payment method, as it’s one of the safest), or wallet, as requested.
Are customs fees a problem when buying on Shein?
When the new customs legislation was announced, online sales platforms went a bit crazy, but the truth is that both Shein and AliExpress have found a way to make this regulation impact as little as possible on their customers and have found ways to avoid unnecessary customs payments, such as splitting orders or shipping from a local warehouse.
Thanks to Shein’s good customer service, you won’t have any problems when buying from that page, and they will be willing to solve them when it happens.