Shipping·Jan 19, 2023

Shipping to Italy: Benefits, Restrictions & Customs Guide

mini robot stands in front of the colosseum, in the style of made of cardboardArticle updated on Apr 16, 2024

Did you know that over 90% of businesses shipping to Italy face unexpected delays and challenges in their logistics process? Navigating the intricacies of international shipping can be a daunting task, especially. From customs regulations to varying delivery times, there are numerous factors that can impact the smooth transit of your shipments.

When sending packages abroad, understanding the specific requirements for shipping to Italy is crucial. Whether you're an e-commerce entrepreneur or a seasoned importer/exporter, mastering the art of shipping to Italy can elevate your business operations and customer satisfaction levels significantly.

Benefits of Shopping from US Stores

Variety of Products

Shopping from US stores when shipping to Italy offers a wide range of products that may not be available locally. This means you can access unique items, trendy goods, and a diverse selection that might not be found in Italian stores. For example, popular American brands or niche products can easily be purchased and shipped to your doorstep in Italy.

US online stores often offer lower prices compared to local Italian retailers due to various factors like exchange rates, cost of living differences, and competition. By taking advantage of these lower prices when shipping to Italy, you can save money while still getting high-quality products. Some US stores may have sales or promotions that further reduce the overall cost of your purchases.

Exclusive Deals and Discounts

One major benefit of shopping from US stores for shipping to Italy is the access to exclusive deals and discounts. Many American retailers provide special promotions such as seasonal sales, clearance events, or coupon codes that can significantly lower the price of your order. By keeping an eye out for these deals and taking advantage of them when making your purchases, you can enjoy significant savings on a wide range of items.

  • Wide variety: Access unique items not available locally
  • Lower prices: Save money by purchasing from US stores
  • Exclusive deals: Enjoy special promotions like sales and discounts

Prohibited and Restricted Items for Shipping to Italy

A signboard with the restricted and prohibited items to be shipped at Italy from the US.

Firearms and Ammunition

Firearms and ammunition are prohibited items when shipping to Italy. This means you cannot send any guns, bullets, or related items through the mail. It's crucial to check the regulations before attempting to ship such items.

Italy has strict laws regarding firearms, so it's important not to attempt sending these items internationally. The consequences of trying to ship firearms or ammunition can be severe, including legal repercussions.

Food Items

Certain food items may be restricted when shipping to Italy due to import regulations. For example, perishable goods like fresh fruits and vegetables might not be allowed into the country. It's essential to research which food products are permitted before sending them.

When shipping food items internationally, especially perishables, always check with the destination country's customs regulations first. Failure to comply with these restrictions can lead to delays in delivery or even confiscation of the package.

Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs require special documentation for shipping to Italy. It is crucial that you have all the necessary paperwork in place before sending medications abroad. Make sure you follow all guidelines provided by both your home country and Italy.

Understanding Customs Duties and Taxes in Italy

A customs officer inspecting a package that has been delivered to Italy.

Import Duties

Import duties for shipping to Italy are calculated based on the value of the goods being shipped. This means that the cost of bringing items into the country can vary depending on how much those items are worth. For example, if you're sending a package with expensive electronics, you may have to pay higher import duties compared to a package containing clothing.

Italy has specific rules regarding customs declaration, ensuring that all goods entering the country are properly documented. Failure to provide accurate information on your customs declaration can lead to delays or even fines.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

In addition to import duties, Value Added Tax (VAT) is applicable on most imported goods when shipping to Italy. VAT is a consumption tax placed on products whenever value is added at each stage of the supply chain. This means that as your item moves through different stages - from production to distribution - VAT will be applied accordingly.

  • Import duties depend on shipment value
  • Proper customs declaration needed for accuracy
  • VAT applies at various supply chain stages

Customs Clearance Fees

When shipping packages internationally, including those bound for Italy, it's essential to consider potential customs clearance fees. These fees may apply based on factors such as shipment value and type of goods being imported. Ensuring all necessary documentation is provided can help streamline this process and prevent unexpected costs down the line.

  • Customs clearance fees vary by shipment value
  • Documentation crucial for smooth process
  • Prevent unexpected costs with proper preparation

Air Shipments to Italy from the US: What You Need to Know

Cargo planes on a clear sky.

Faster Delivery Times

Air shipments to Italy from the US offer faster delivery times compared to other modes of transportation. This means your package will reach its destination in Italy quicker than if you were to use sea or land transport. The speed of air shipping can be crucial when sending time-sensitive items or perishable goods that need to arrive promptly.

Proper packaging is essential for international shipments, especially when shipping to Italy via air. Ensuring that your goods are securely packaged can prevent damage during transit. Fragile items should be carefully wrapped and cushioned with appropriate materials like bubble wrap or packing peanuts. Using sturdy boxes and sealing them properly can safeguard your shipment against any mishandling during the journey.

Tracking Services

One significant advantage of air shipments is the availability of tracking services that allow you to monitor the progress of your package as it makes its way from the US to Italy. Tracking provides real-time updates on the location and status of your shipment, giving you peace of mind knowing where your package is at all times. This feature also enables you to anticipate any delays or issues that may arise during transit, allowing you to take proactive measures if necessary.

  • Proper packaging ensures safe delivery
  • Tracking services provide real-time updates

Comparing Courier Services: UPS, FedEx, DHL, and USPS

UPS, DHL and FedEx trucks side by side for comparison.

UPS Services

UPS offers a variety of delivery methods for shipping to Italy, including express and ground options. With UPS, you can choose the most suitable service based on your needs. For urgent shipments that require quick delivery, their express services are ideal. On the other hand, if time is not a constraint, their ground shipping services can be a cost-effective choice.


  • Wide range of services available
  • Options for both express and ground shipping


  • Cost may vary depending on the chosen service
  • Transit times might differ based on the selected option

FedEx International Shipping

FedEx is renowned for its reliable international delivery network with advanced tracking features. When sending parcels to Italy from the USA through FedEx, you benefit from accurate real-time tracking updates throughout the journey of your package. This allows you to monitor your shipment's progress closely until it reaches its destination in Italy.


  • Advanced tracking capabilities
  • Reliable international shipping services


  • Costs may be higher compared to standard postage options
  • Delivery times could vary based on factors like weight and size

DHL Global Logistics Solutions

DHL specializes in providing comprehensive global logistics solutions with extensive coverage in Italy. If you have frequent shipments or run a business requiring regular deliveries to various parts of Italy, DHL's network can offer tailored solutions that suit your specific requirements efficiently.


  • Extensive coverage in Italy

Pros and Cons of Different Couriers for Shipping to Italy

Courier trucks side by side for comparison.

UPS Coverage in Remote Areas

UPS offers competitive rates for shipping to Italy. However, it may have limited coverage in remote areas. This means that if you are sending a package to a rural part of Italy, UPS might not be the most reliable option.

When considering shipping to Italy with UPS, make sure to check if your recipient is located in an area that falls within their service network. If not, you might need to explore other courier options like FedEx or DHL.

FedEx Pricing and Service Quality

FedEx provides excellent customer service. However, it can be more expensive than other couriers for certain shipments. For example, FedEx Priority service guarantees fast delivery but at a premium price.

If your priority is timely delivery and top-notch customer support when sending parcels to Italy, FedEx could be the ideal choice for you. Just keep in mind that expedited services often come with a higher price tag compared to standard shipping options.

DHL Speed and Customs Procedures

DHL is known for its fast and efficient delivery services worldwide. When shipping items to Italy via DHL, you can expect quick transit times from pick-up to drop-off. On the flip side, DHL may have stricter customs procedures compared to other couriers.

Before selecting DHL as your preferred courier for delivering goods to Italy, ensure that you are familiar with the customs regulations specific to Italian imports. Being aware of any potential delays or additional documentation requirements can help smoothen the shipping process.

Overview of Forwardme Services for Shipping to Italy

Packages are being shipped to Italy from US with Forwardme.

US Address for Package Forwarding

Forwardme offers a unique service where they provide customers with two US addresses that can be used for shipping items to Italy. This means that individuals or businesses in Italy can purchase products from US-based stores that would typically not offer international shipping. For example, if you want to buy a specific item from an American online store but they don't ship directly to Italy, you can use the US address provided by Forwardme.

Forwardme acts as an intermediary, receiving your packages at their US address and then forwarding them on to your Italian address. This service is particularly advantageous when dealing with retailers who do not ship internationally. By using Forwardme's US address, you can access a wider range of products and brands that may not be available locally.

  • Access to products from US-based stores
  • Overcome restrictions on international shipping

Consolidation Services for Cost Savings

One of the key benefits of using Forwardme for shipping to Italy is our consolidation services. Instead of sending multiple packages separately, which can result in higher shipping costs due to individual package fees, Forwardme allows customers to consolidate their purchases into one shipment. This consolidation reduces the number of packages being shipped individually and ultimately saves on overall shipping expenses.

For instance, if you have made several purchases from different online retailers in the USA and want them shipped together to Italy, instead of paying separate shipping fees for each parcel, Forwardme will combine all your items into one shipment before forwarding it overseas. This way, you only pay one consolidated shipping fee instead of multiple charges.

  • Save on shipping costs through consolidation
  • Combine multiple packages into one shipment

How Forwardme Enhances Your Shipping Experience

A package being prepared to be shipped internationally to Italy with Forwardme.
CourierWeightPostageInsurance *Tracking
Forwardme Economy1 lbs$23.77$3 (optional)Yes
DHL Express1 lbs$44.48$3 (optional)Yes
FedEx Economy1 lbs$47.38$3 (optional)Yes
USPS First-Class Package International1 lbs$60.75$3 (optional)Yes
FedEx Priority1 lbs$74.73$3 (optional)Yes

$3 insurance per every $100 declared value.

Discounted Shipping Rates

Forwardme collaborates with partner couriers to offer discounted shipping rates for sending packages to Italy. These reduced rates can help you save money on your shipments, making it more cost-effective to send items internationally. For example, if you need to ship a package containing Italian goods back home, utilizing Forwardme's discounted shipping rates can make the process more affordable.

One advantage of these discounted shipping rates is that they enable individuals and businesses to expand their reach globally without breaking the bank. By taking advantage of lower costs, you can increase your international shipping frequency or send larger packages while staying within budget.

User-Friendly Online Platform

Forwardme provides a convenient and user-friendly online platform for managing all aspects of your shipments to Italy. This platform allows you to easily track your packages, estimate delivery times using the shipping calculator, and monitor any updates regarding your shipment status in real-time.

The online platform also streamlines the process of arranging shipments by providing step-by-step guidance on how to prepare and send packages effectively. Whether you are new to international shipping or a seasoned pro, having an intuitive online tool at your disposal can simplify the entire experience.

Packing Tips for Efficient Shipping to Italy

A package being packed to be shipped internationally with Forwardme to Italy.

Sturdy Boxes and Proper Cushioning Materials

When shipping items to Italy, it is crucial to use sturdy boxes. These boxes should be able to withstand the journey without getting damaged. Make sure to utilize proper cushioning materials such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts inside the box. This will help protect fragile items from breaking during transit.

Using sturdy boxes and proper cushioning materials ensures that your items arrive in Italy intact. For example, if you are sending delicate ceramics or glassware, wrapping each item individually with bubble wrap before placing them in a box can prevent breakage during transportation.


  • Protects fragile items
  • Prevents damage during transit


  • May increase overall package weight

Clear Labeling and Consideration of Weight Restrictions

Another essential tip for efficient shipping to Italy is ensuring that your packages are clearly labeled with the recipient's address and contact information. This step helps avoid any delays or mix-ups during delivery. Moreover, it is vital to consider any weight restrictions imposed by the shipping carrier when preparing your shipment.

Clear labeling on packages reduces the risk of misdelivery or lost packages along the way. Including both the sender's and recipient's details can also assist in case there are any issues with customs clearance upon arrival in Italy.

  1. Ensure all shipments have clear labels with complete addresses.
  2. Check weight restrictions set by carriers like UPS or FedEx before sending parcels internationally.
  3. Avoid additional charges by staying within allowable dimensional weight limits specified by carriers.

You've now got a solid grasp of shipping to Italy. From the benefits of shopping from US stores to understanding customs duties and taxes in Italy, you're well-equipped. Remember the prohibited items and the ins and outs of air shipments. Plus, don't forget courier comparisons and packing tips for smooth sailing. With Forwardme services enhancing your shipping experience, you're all set for hassle-free deliveries.

Ready to ship to Italy like a pro? Dive into these tips and tricks we've covered, and make your international shipping a breeze. Happy shipping!

Some questions you might have for shipping packages to Italy

Article written by

Ayberk Onat

Ayberk Onat
Ayberk is always eager to dive into new and intriguing subjects that catch his attention. That's how his current passions entered his life: rock climbing, photography, playing the guitar, digital art, and traveling. The last two are what he's focused on at Forwardme.More links