Cross-Border Delivery Service (CBDS) FAQs

Parent Topic: All FAQs

See also:

What charges apply to CBDS shipments?

CBDS is a post-paid service. When you create a CBDS shipment, the API response returns estimated charges. The charges for a CBDS shipment include the transportation cost and, if applicable, the importation costs. The terms of delivery associated with the shipment’s service class determine whether the merchant or the buyer pays the importation costs. Importation costs include the duties and taxes charged at the destination country’s border and might include a disbursement fee.

What are terms of delivery?

Each CBDS service class has a terms of delivery that determines whether the merchant or the buyer pays the importation costs. A service class uses either DDP or DDU for the terms of delivery.

  • DDP (Delivered Duty Paid)

    If a service class uses DDP, the merchant pays both the transportation cost and the importation costs. The importation costs are the duties and taxes charged at the destination country’s border and, if applicable, any disbursement fee owed to Pitney Bowes. When a merchant creates a shipment that uses DDP, the Create Shipment API returns estimates for both the transportation and importation costs. The merchant receives an invoice for the actual transportation cost after the parcel ships and receives an invoice for the actual importation costs after the parcel is cleared at customs in the destination country.

  • DDU (Delivery Duty Unpaid)

    If a service class uses DDU, the merchant pays only the transportation cost and is not charged the importation costs. Instead, the buyer is responsible for the importation costs and might have to pay these upon receipt of the parcel. Importation costs include the duties and taxes charged at the destination country’s border. When a merchant creates a shipment that uses DDU, the Create Shipment API returns an estimate only for the transportation cost, not the importation costs. After the parcel ships, the merchant receives only one invoice, the invoice for the actual transportation cost.

How does Pitney Bowes issue invoices for CBDS?

The PB Cross-Border Delivery Service (CBDS) issues separate invoices for the transportation and importation costs:

  • The transportation invoice includes the shipping charges and, if applicable, any accessorial charges. The shipping charges are based on the actual billable weight of the parcel.
  • The importation invoice, if applicable, includes the actual duties and taxes paid at the destination country’s border and any disbursement fees.

How does CBDS calculate billable weight?

CBDS calculates billable weight as the higher of the scale weight or the volumetric weight.

Volumetric weight is calculated as:

L x W x H / 166

Does CBDS have accessorial charges?

Yes. You might need to pay accessorial charges if a parcel exception occurs at the CBDS consolidation center. Examples of parcel exceptions include the following:

  • Open Box handling fees
  • Dangerous Goods handling fees
  • Oversized Parcel handling fees
  • HS Classification fees

How does CBDS ensure compliance?

When a parcel arrives at a CBDS consolidation center, Pitney Bowes performs compliance checks to prepare the shipment for international transit.

  • Pitney Bowes performs a denied-party screening on the buyer’s details. If the buyer is denied, Pitney Bowes is obligated to return the parcel to you.

  • Pitney Bowes performs a keywords-based export-and-import-restrictions check to make sure the commodities are cleared by the United States and the destination country. If this check fails, Pitney Bowes is obligated to return the parcel.

    Pitney Bowes checks for export-restrictions keywords based on ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) and BIS (Bureau of Industry and Security) rules. This is mandatory for any United States company.

    Pitney Bowes checks for import-restrictions keywords based on the destination country’s regulations on what is permitted, restricted, and prohibited.

How can I expedite compliance checks?

To help make compliance checks efficient, set up a category tree with Pitney Bowes before creating shipments. When creating a shipment, provide the following commodity information in the customs.customsItems object:

  • In the description field, provide a highly detailed description of the commodity.
  • In the url field, provide the URL for the commodity on the merchant’s site. Make sure the URL is a working URL.
  • In the hSTariffCode field, provide the HS Code.
  • In the categories array, provide commodity information based on the category tree you provided Pitney Bowes in advance. Do not use the categories array if you have not set up a category tree .

What items are restricted for import in Canada?

Please see Items Restricted for Import in Canada.

What items are restricted globally?

As of this writing, the following products are restricted from global trade:

  • Bulletproof Vests
  • Handcuffs of iron & steel
  • Infrared Security Cameras & Scanners
  • Pepper Spray & Stunguns
  • Tactical & Ballistic Goggles
  • Radar Detectors
  • Folding Knives | parts - handles of base metal
  • Electronic Cigarette Nicotine Cartridges & Liquid
  • Ammunition | air gun pellets
  • Archery Sights
  • Ammunition | pistol cartridges
  • Ammunition | rifle cartridges
  • Ammunition | shotgun cartridges
  • Ammunition | shotshell wads
  • Barrels for Assault Rifles
  • Gun Sights | parts
  • Gun Sights | telescopic rifle sights
  • Gun Sights | telescopic rifle sights with infrared
  • Gun Sights | telescopic rifle sights with laser
  • Hunting Rifles
  • Knives with folding blades | other (including parts)
  • Knives with folding blades | pen knives & pocket knives
  • Magazines for Assault Rifles
  • Pistol | semiautomatic
  • Revolvers
  • Shotguns | single-barrel
  • All Perishable goods (fruits, meats, eggs, fish, seafood, vegetables, dairy, flowers)
  • Corrosive material
  • Radioactive material
  • Any item that contains environmentally hazardous material

Does CBDS support shipping Dangerous Goods (DG)?

The Pitney Bowes Cross-Border Delivery Service (CBDS) supports shipping the following batteries. The batteries must be packaged in a manufacturer packaging with a strong rigid outer carton:

  • Lithium Ion (UN3481) batteries/cells contained in equipment (PI967/PI970)
  • Lithium Ion (UN3481) batteries/cells contained with equipment (PI966/PI969)
  • Metal (UN3091) batteries/cells contained in equipment (PI967/PI970)
  • Metal (UN3091) batteries/cells contained with equipment (PI966/PI969)

CBDS does not support the shipping of Lithium Metal ALONE (UN3090) or Lithium Ion ALONE (UN3480) batteries.

How does CBDS handle the Australia Goods and Services Tax (GST)?

For shipments up to and including AUD 1,000, the merchant must pay the GST directly to the Australian Tax Office. This is known as the Vendor Collection Model.

Shipments up to and including AUD 1,000 do not incur duties. For shipments above AUD 1,000, Pitney Bowes bills the merchant for the duties and taxes that were applied. For more information on the GST, please refer to the Australian Tax Office’s website:

How do I identify a HAZMAT-flagged item?

When you quote or ship a HAZMAT-flagged item, enter the applicable HAZMAT classifications in the hazmats array in the customs.customsItems object. Enter any of the following that apply:

  • hazmat: Item contains hazardous materials that are fully regulated by the D.O.T.
  • ormd: Other Regulated Materials for Domestic Transport only (ORM-D), meaning that the item contains hazardous material in a limited quantity that presents a limited hazard during transportation as defined by D.O.T. regulations.
  • chemicalindicator: Any product that contains a powder, gel, paste, or liquid that is not intended for human consumption.
  • pesticideindicator: Any chemical that is advertised or labeled to kill, repel or prevent growth of any living organism.
  • aerosolindicator: Any product that contains a compressed gas or propellant.
  • rppcindicator: Rigid plastic packaging container.
  • batterytype-{X}: The battery-type indicator, where {X} is one of the following:
    • alkaline
    • carbon zinc
    • lead acid
    • lithium
    • primary
    • lithium ion
    • magnesium mercury
    • nickel cadmium
    • silver
    • thermal
    • multiple types of nickel metal hydride
    • other
  • nonspillablebattery: Item contains a D.O.T. regulated battery that must be indicated on the shipping box with non-spillable battery text.
  • fuelrestriction: Product is an empty container that may be filled with fluids such as fuel, CO2, propane, etc.

How do I track a parcel?

You can track parcels through either the Tracking API or through

Does CBDS support returns?

At this time CBDS does not support returns.