Five Challenging Countries for International Shipping

The ease, speed and cost of shipping internationally can vary considerably from country to country, and distance is far from the only factor. Local restrictions, changing political situations and bureaucracy can all play a part in determining the likelihood of a foreign package reaching its destination in good time.

Here are five notoriously challenging countries for international shipping, particularly for e-commerce companies. Shipping to these countries is by no means impossible, but you should bear in mind the potential for complications before you send out your items.


Russian compliance regulations for the receipt of imported goods are among the most stringent in the world, compounded by a highly changeable political situation and a lack of transparency. Shipment of commercial goods and electronics can be particularly difficult, and non-compliance can cause major delays or the confiscation of goods.


China is another country that maintains a strict and often lengthy clearance process for many goods. Again, electronics are particularly vulnerable to being confiscated or tied up indefinitely in red tape, and you may find communication with local authorities difficult in some situations.


Brazilian import tax policies can be confusing, to say the least, with high levels of corruption and a notoriously slow clearance process. To give your item the best chance of arriving safely, be mindful that a VAT or EIN Tax ID number is now required for shipping to Brazil, and high import duties should be anticipated and planned for.


Mexico is another country where high import taxes and lengthy delays are often regarded as par for the course. Using a secure courier service is highly recommended, as is ensuring that any potential invoicing and tax information is fully completed and available on request. You should also check with the local customs office for any potentially prohibited commodities.


Due to taking a very protective stance on their local economy, Chile heavily taxes almost all foreign products to discourage imports. This doesn’t just apply to common problem items such as electronics, but also textiles, gifts and medical items. The recipient will also be expected to provide their tax ID and customs documentation.

If you need to ship parcels or pallets to these countries, you might find it easier to use an e-commerce shipping solutions provider like us. At ParcelBroker, we’ll get your items where they need to go worldwide and on time, offering you peace of mind.