How to Send Chocolates Abroad
Make sure your chocolate gets there safely!
A questions I often see asked on forums is "How do I send chocolates abroad?"
People often want to send a yummy treat to the chocolate lovers among their friends and family but don't how to make sure that the gift is received safely. And opening a box of chocolates that has been smashed in transit or even melted can be a very sad experience, so I thought I'd put this lens together.
I've been sending chocolates to friends and family around the world for many years. I also lived and worked abroad for 7 years and learned what worked well and what needs to be taken into consideration when sending chocolates safely.
I hope you find it here useful and if you've got any great tips of your own please let us know.
Mail Box, Letter Box or PO Box?
You really need to know if the chocolates you send will get delivered safely
I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this when you’ve been in another country, but the way people get their mail delivered varies from country to country. For example in the US, a lot of people have mailboxes and some use PO Boxes, whereas in the UK the majority have a letterbox in their front door. “
“Why does this matter to me” you may be asking?
If you’re going to send chocolates abroad it’s a great idea to know how mail is delivered in that area. Not knowing can present challenges for the recipient of your gift, for example:
1. Chocolates left in metal boxes heat up quickly and can melt in warm weather (check out my sad experiences with this one..)
2. Some chocolate delivery services will not deliver to PO Boxes
3. Some PO Boxes don’t allow parcels, or parcels over a certain size
4. Some PO Boxes will charge the recipient for holding the parcel for them or for forwarding it to them, so your friend could end up paying a fee to receive your gift
Check the temperature of your destination
It's very sad to open a yummy chocolate gift only to find that it's turned to liquid. Believe me I know, it happened to me on more than one occasion! When I used to live in California, kind friends from the UK would regularly send chocolates out to me in California, but unfortunately they were often melted by the time they reached me As well as sitting all day heating up in my metal mailbox, they had probably heated up in the delivery trucks en route as the temperatures inside these trucks are often higher than the surrounding air.
If you are sending chocolates somewhere warm, you may want to consider:
* Using one of the chocolate suppliers who will send chocolates for you in wrapping specially designed to insulate them from the heat.
* Mail the chocolates to an address where you know they will be taken inside to the cooler air quickly, for example a work address rather than a home one.
* As opposed to posting the chocolates yourself, buy chocolates online. Using a local chocolate delivery company will mean that the chocolates will spend a lot less time in transit.
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Will your chocolates still be in one piece?
Think about how long it will take the chocolates you send to reach your friend or family member. Parcels sent abroad can take much longer than domestic mail and it is best for chocolates if they spend as little time as possible in transit. Some types of chocolate need to be eaten shortly after being made, and spending time sitting in warm delivery trucks and being squashed in a pile of parcels doesn’t do any type of chocolate any good.
If you are mailing them yourself you many want to consider using a postal service which has an express delivery option, although this can be expensive when mailing abroad. Transit time is less of an issue if you send the chocolates online and use a chocolate delivery service local to the person you are buying the gift for. It may still be worth using an express chocolate delivery service if they have one.
Rules and Regulations
Make sure the chocolates you send don’t get caught up in red tape
There are a variety of import restrictions on food related items and the restrictions vary from one country to the next. If you want to send chocolates abroad here are some of the things to look for, but to ensure that they arrive safely at their destination do check what may apply to your parcel:
1. The country you are sending the chocolates to may impose some form of import or customs duty at the point of entry to the country.
a. I’ve found that this is most likely to happen if your parcel looks like a commercial import rather than a gift, but that may just be my experience.
2. The country may have restrictions on the type of food stuff you can send to the country.
a. A look at their customs website should tell you what you need to know.
3. Paperwork or an online form may need to be completed. An example here is the US which requires that prior notice is given when foodstuffs are sent into the country.
a. According to Parcelforce, one of the largest UK delivery services, this process is quick and simple but a failure to comply may result in the items being returned to the sender or even destroyed.
Worried about sending chocolate abroad? - What's your main concern?
What's your main concern about sending chocolates abroad?
Using a local chocolate supplier may be the solution
Quick delivery with local knowledge
Sometimes the best thing to do is to buy the chocolates online from a supplier in the country that you want to send the gift to. The chocolates will get delivered a lot more quickly, the supplier will know the local weather conditions, and you’ll avoid any potential problems with customs. You’ll also save considerably on the postage costs.