FAQs

Got questions? We've got answers.

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Getting Started

Forward.me provides international shoppers with a US shipping address you can use when placing orders with US online stores. The store ships your purchases to Forward.me, we ship it to you, and you save BIG on international shipping costs.

Why is Forward.me rated #1 in the international shipping industry?

Forward.me international shipping rates are the lowest in our industry, and we specialize in express shipping worldwide in 1 to 4 days.

A Team of Experts

We are experts in international shipping. Our packing team is skilled at preparing your items properly for international transit, our customer service team is adept at handling any international shipping issues, and our trade compliance team ensures your shipments comply with all export regulations.

Free Forward.me Premium Package Consolidation

If you are planning on shopping from multiple stores, our free consolidation will maximize your savings, versus shipping each order separately from the merchant.

Shipment Protection and Tracking

Forward.me provides insurance and tracking for all your shipments.

Forward.me is consistently 'h1' rated higher than other international shippers, with over thousands of satisfied members around the world.

Forward.me regular business hours are as follows:

Customer Service:

We are dedicated to making our members happy, with online account management tools available 24/7. If you need further assistance, there are two ways to contact Forward.me:

  • Chat: Available 24/7 on our Contact Us page. It is our goal to minimize your hold time, however, response times may be longer during peak shipping periods. If you experience hold times beyond 4 minutes, we recommend contacting us via email instead.
  • Email: Send an email from our Contact Us page, and we will respond shortly, typically within 24 hours. Response times may be longer during peak shipping periods.

Receiving:

Forward.me receives packages seven days a week. Your package will show as delivered, then it is cataloged before being placed into your suite. You will receive an email as each package is placed into your suite.

Processing time after delivery is typically 24-48 hours. The receiving department works Monday-Friday so packages received on Saturday or Sunday will show in your Suite the following Monday.

Shipping:

Our shipping team works Monday through Saturday 09:00 to 17:00 ET. Urgent shipment requests placed before 15:00 ET are processed the same business day. Regular processing of shipments takes place the following business day after the request is made. Shipments prepared on Saturdays may not show movement in tracking until the following Monday.

We understand our members' concerns regarding confidentiality, and it is our policy never to sell or give away any member information. The privacy of our members is of utmost importance to us. Details can be found in our Privacy Policy.

Your Account

Click here to apply for membership. You will immediately receive a US address you can use to shop US online stores.

View and compare our membership options to decide which is best for you. Forward.me Premium membership offers the best value, with discounted shipping costs, free package consolidation and 45 days of free storage.

Forward.me offers Free, Premium and VIP membership options:

Click here for more details about Forward.me memberships.

Yes. Once you receive your membership confirmation, you are ready to start shopping! Forward.me will immediately begin accepting your merchandise shipments.

Please ensure all your shipments include the Forward.me facility address and your unique suite number. Any packages shipped to Forward.me with an incomplete or inaccurate address will cause delays and require special handling at an additional $5 fee per package.

Membership Fees:Forward.me offers the following memberships, some with fees that can be paid on a monthly or annual basis:

You can use your US sales tax-free Forward.me address as the "Shipping Address" whenever you buy from US online stores.

If you are having difficulty registering for a Forward.me membership, please follow these steps:

  1. Clear the cookies on your Web browser.
  2. Make sure you are entering a credit card that has an expiration date of next month or later. Credit cards expiring this month cannot be accepted.
  3. Make sure your Web browser is up to date. Out of date browsers may have functionality issues.

If you continue to experience problems, please send us an email from our Contact Us page, and include the following information:

  1. Your full name
  2. Type of Web browser are you using
  3. Country you are applying from

If you are unable to login to your Forward.me account, first:

  • Make sure your Caps Lock button is not turned on.
  • Make sure your Web browser is updated to Internet Explorer version 11+, Mozilla Firefox version 39+, Google Chrome 43+, or Safari version 8+.

If you are still unable to login, use the "I forgot my email address"

Payment Information

Forward.me accepts the following payment methods for membership fees and shipping costs:

  • Any major credit card, including American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Diner’s Club, JCB, Discover and Union Pay
  • Debit cards, providing your card provider supports online international transactions.
  • PayPal for most countries. Please contact us to confirm PayPal is available for your country.

If you do not have a credit card, Forward.me also accepts PayPal, wire transfers and money orders.

Yes. Forward.me accepts a variety of payment methods, including wire transfers.

All Forward.me pricing is displayed in US Dollars (USD) by default.

Package Receiving & Storage

Premium and VIP members receive 30 days of free package storage. Packages stored past the free storage period will incur storage fees at the rates shown below. Storage fees continue to accrue until your package is shipped, discarded or returned to the sender. You will see storage charges itemized on your invoice when the package is shipped or discarded.

No. Neither Forward.me, nor our couriers, provide any form of temperature-controlled storage or transportation.

Common items that require refrigeration include frozen foods, perishable foodstuffs, temperature-sensitive medications, dry ice and chocolate.

Restricted Merchandise

We can ship just about every item for you, including clothing, cosmetics, toys, cell phones, laptops, and much more.

The types of items that we cannot ship are restricted by the US government and/or prohibited for import into your country. For example, we cannot ship any items that require a license to export or require a license exception to be filed.

Please review the following link to verify your item(s) can be exported:

Restricted/Prohibited item list

We are happy to ship any items that do not conflict with our compliance policy. If you would like Forward.me to review the item you wish to ship, please contact us with the following information:

  • Link to the item you wish to purchase
  • Address you are shipping to
  • Weight and dimensions of the product

Prohibited Items: If an item is prohibited in your country or for export from the United States, we cannot ship it to you. If you are not sure if an item is prohibited, please contact us before ordering. If we receive an item we cannot ship to you, Forward.me may be unable to ship it to any address, including back to the sender. In some cases, we may be required to dispose of it in a US disposal facility.

Restricted Items: Some restricted items can be shipped, but only after the Forward.me compliance team reviews the item to ensure it complies with both US laws in and laws in your country. The compliance review usually takes less than 24 hours, but it may take one to three business days before your package is available to ship. If you have questions about shipping a restricted item, please contact us before shipping the item to your Forward.me suite.

Please review our list of prohibited and restricted items before you shop.

Dangerous goods/hazardous materials are items that require special handling, additional packaging, and labeling to be transported internationally.

These items may or may not be allowed to ship to your country. Shipping dangerous goods is country-specific, and may also depend on the courier you choose. USPS or UPS cannot ship dangerous goods. Even if your country allows the import of an item, the carrier may not be licensed to handle and transport dangerous goods.

Items considered to be dangerous goods include: flammable items or items under pressure (e.g., hairspray, spray paint, lighters, nail polish and perfume). Dangerous goods items may be required to ship separately from non-dangerous goods items.

Please view our restricted and prohibited items list for more information, or contact us for specific information regarding your country and the items you wish to ship.

Yes, Forward.me can ship Dangerous Goods to certain countries.

Forward.me ships Class 9 Dangerous Goods, including perfume, nail polish, hairspray, spray on sunscreen, and spray-on tan. We may also be able to ship lithium-ion batteries, depending on your country and our carrier’s ability to courier these goods to your area.

Special Handling

To properly package and label Dangerous Goods, the per-shipment handling fee is 7% of the total cost of the Dangerous Goods with a minimum cost of $18.50 when shipping with DHL or Fedex. This fee also applies to uninstalled lithium batteries.

If the lithium-ion battery is installed in the device it powers, there is a $2 handling fee per shipment to properly label and package the battery.

Some types of Dangerous Goods require Performance Oriented Packaging, which is generally required for higher-volume items like paint, and is not required for lower-volume items like nail polish or perfume. We provide the boxes needed for this service at $24 to $50 per box, depending on the item.

Please contact us with the following information to determine if Forward.me can ship your product.

  • Link to the item on the website from which you are purchasing
  • Safety Data Sheet (SDS or MSDS) which can be obtained from the manufacturer or merchant
  • Shipping address where you would like to send these item(s)

Yes, there is a per-shipment handling fee to properly package and label dangerous goods. The fee is 7% of the total value of the dangerous goods, with a minimum cost of $18.50 when shipping with DHL or FedEx, and also applies to uninstalled lithium batteries.

If a lithium battery is installed, there is a $2 handling fee to properly label and package the shipment.

Some types of dangerous goods require Performance Oriented Packaging. We provide boxes needed for this service at $24 to $50 per box, depending on the item. Performance Oriented Packing is generally required for high-volume items (e.g., paint) and is not required for lower volume items (e.g., nail polish or perfume).

Please note: Dangerous goods may need to to ship separately from non-dangerous goods.

Common dangerous goods include perfume, nail polish, glue, paint and batteries. Some countries do not allow the import of these items. Please click here to see if your country allows import of dangerous goods.

Forward.me cannot export counterfeit, bootleg or knockoff items.

Yes. However, lithium batteries may be subject to additional regulations, and we may be unable to export them to certain countries. In some cases, lithium metal and lithium-ion batteries may be subject to a Dangerous Goods handling fee.

Due to the potential fire danger, lithium ion and lithium metal batteries are heavily regulated for air transport. The regulations are extremely complex and can vary by country, and even by courier. The size of the battery, how it is packaged, and if it is pre-installed in an electronic device also play a role in the regulations and restrictions.

Our team of trained specialists can arrange for export of most lithium batteries and electronic devices containing these batteries. For assistance determining if Forward.me can export lithium batteries and electronic devices containing these batteries to your country, please contact us.

Forward.me is allowed to export perfume to certain countries. There is a handling fee of 7% of the total value of the perfume, with a minimum fee of $18.50 when shipping with DHL or FedEx. Perfumes may need to ship separately from other items.

Yes. Mother-of-pearl is protected by the Endangered Species Act and governed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Department of Interior. Forward.me is licensed to export mother-of-pearl at an additional fee of $180 per shipment. We cannot export items containing mother-of-pearl without payment of this fee.

Mother-of-pearl is commonly found on watches, keys of musical instruments and as decoration on guitars, kitchenware and other home decor. If you have any questions, please contact us before placing an order with a merchant.

Forward.me can ship agricultural items for you if they meet US export requirements, and your country’s customs office allows them to be imported. Please make sure your agricultural products are properly labeled, including their genus, species and country of origin. The labeling requirement also applies to individual seed packets. We cannot ship or store any items we cannot identify, or are not properly labeled.

We are unable to export agricultural items if:

  • Your country prohibits these items
  • Your country requires a pre-shipment inspection
  • A phytosanitary certificate must be provided by the shipper to import the product

Forward.me also cannot accept foreign seeds or plants that are not properly imported into the US. These items will be removed from your account upon receipt and properly discarded.

We are unable to store or export live plants or loose soil. We will automatically return any live plants to the sender, providing they are within the US.

Please contact your customs office to inquire about local import regulations, and contact us with a link to the item to determine if Forward.me can export the items for you.

Forward.me cannot export any food items that are perishable (require refrigeration), labeled in a foreign language, or restricted for export by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We also suggest that you contact your local customs office to inquire if food can be imported to your country, as it is often restricted.

Food must meet all US FDA export regulations

All food packaging must include the following:

  • Name of the product
  • Ingredient list in English
  • Nutrition facts in English

If the food product arrives with a merchant invoice, we will attempt to locate the required information to meet US FDA regulations for export. If the required information is not available, Forward.me will not be able to export it, and in some cases, we may not be able to ship it domestically.

Forward.me can export most over-the-counter medications, providing they arrive in original packaging and may be distributed within the United States. To comply with US Food and Drug Administration guidelines, our compliance team must review all medications and verify they can be distributed.

Please Note: US government regulations prohibit Forward.me from exporting any non-prescription or over-the-counter medication that originated from a merchant outside the United States.

No. Forward.me cannot export prescription medications.

No. Forward.me cannot export controlled substances or any item that contains controlled substances. Please do not ship controlled substances to your Forward.me suite.

A controlled substance is any drug that is illegal or restricted for sale in the United States, even if it is readily available in your own country. Examples of controlled substances include Sudafed and Hoodia.

No. Forward.me will not export any product that appears to be a weapon, weapon part or accessory to a weapon. This includes, but is not limited to, items restricted by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Common gun and weapon accessories include, but are not limited to:

  • Scopes or sights
  • Ammunition clips or magazines
  • Pistol grips
  • Rifle butt stocks
  • Items equipped with night-vision
  • Bayonets
  • Items equipped with lasers

Please see our list of prohibited items for more information. If you are unsure whether a product is considered a weapon or accessory, please contact us for assistance.

No. Forward.me will not export any product that appears to be related to police, government or military activity. Common items include, but are not limited to:

  • Badges
  • Body armor
  • Protective clothing containing body armor
  • Police batons
  • Handcuffs
  • Surveillance equipment

Please see our list of prohibited items for more information. If you are unsure whether a product is considered a weapon or accessory, please contact us for assistance.

No. Forward.me cannot export any motorized vehicle that requires a license to operate. Common examples include cars, trucks and motorcycles.

No. Forward.me cannot export human growth hormones (hGH) of any kind. Common examples of human growth hormones include Norditropin, Nutropin, Omnitrope, Saizen and Genotropin. Supplements and vitamins legally purchased for bodybuilding purposes, include Creatine, are not considered human growth hormones.

No. Forward.me cannot export prescription medications, controlled substances or human growth hormones of any kind, for any reason.

Forward.me cannot export assays, peptides, biological media and animal, veterinary or human vaccines.

Shopping US Stores

No, you do not need to pay US sales tax when purchasing items from US websites and shipping them to your Forward.me address. Simply sign up and use the tax-free Forward.me zip code at check out, and you can save 7% sales tax on every order!

Shipping & Consolidation

You can estimate your shipping costs before you purchase an item by asking the merchant for the weight and dimensions of the package they will ship to us. You can then enter that information into our shipping rate calculator.

There's more than one way to save on international shipping rates with Forward.me!

Saving through Consolidation:

You can save the most on international shipping by placing orders at multiple US stores, and letting Forward.me send them together in one shipment. Consolidating your packages is the easiest way to save up to 80% on international shipping, and is far more cost-effective than shipping directly from multiple stores. Premium and Business memberships offer FREE consolidation on every shipment.

Refer a Friend and get a shipping credit:

Members can earn shipping credits by referring friends to Forward.me.

Shipping multiple packages overseas direct from online stores can be very costly. With Forward.me consolidation (package bundling), our expert packers combine your purchases into a single package, saving you up to 80% on international shipping rates.

Premium and VIP members receive FREE package consolidation. As per-pound shipping rates decrease as the box weight increases, it is almost always to your benefit to ship one large box instead of several small boxes.

Many stores pack your items in boxes that are too large or not properly prepared for global shipping. Forward.me takes extra time to ensure all your merchandise is properly packaged for international shipping. Our repackaging service is FREE with a Premium or Business membership, will save you money in shipping costs, and also helps ensure your purchases are not damaged during transport.

Forward.me partners with DHL, FedEx, and UPS to deliver your shipments. In some areas, some cost-effective options are available, which may be provided by other local carriers.

Your carrier options will vary, depending on the country you are shipping to and the weight and size of your shipment.

Items that require special handling, like dangerous goods and televisions, can influence the carrier options available for your shipment.

Forward.me includes duties and taxes with shipping costs ONLY on Budget Economy and Budget Express shipments to Austria, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom.

Forward.me will only charge duties and taxes on shipments that are within a certain weight range. For shipments outside of this weight range, duties and taxes are collected by the carrier that delivers the shipment.

For all other countries and shipping methods, duties and taxes are collected by the carrier that delivers the shipment. In some cases, couriers may also charge a brokerage fee to clear the package through local customs. These fees vary, and are not paid by Forward.me

Please contact your local customs office for more information on duties or import fees.

Shipping insurance can be purchased for $2.99 per $100 of insured merchandise value. All shipments are automatically insured for the declared value of the item(s) unless the member opts out of insurance.

Insurance covers loss or damage to the items in your shipment. Claims can be filed for the declared value plus international shipping costs, if applicable. Insurance does NOT cover import duties and taxes, domestic shipping costs or damage to the manufacturer’s box/packaging.

Couriers may carry limited liability or no liability for antique or vintage items, jewelry, TVs, electronics, manufacturer’s box/packaging and prohibited goods. Please check with the courier for a complete list of prohibited items.

Yes. Most Forward.me carrier partners provide door-to-door tracking information that can be accessed from your Forward.me account.

All international carriers base their shipping rates on the greater of actual weight and dimensional weight (also known as volumetric weight).

Actual weight is the weight of the package when put on a scale.Dimensional weight is based on the size and weight of the package. Large items that have a low actual weight, like pillows and lampshades, will result in a higher dimensional weight.

Dimensional weight is calculated by multiplying the dimensions of an item and dividing by the industry-standard "DIM Factor" of 139:

Dimensional Weight (chargeable pounds) = Length x Width x Height (inches) / 139

Fortunately, Forward.me members do not have to worry about complex dimensional weight calculations. Forward.me gives you guaranteed upfront pricing based only on the package weight (excludes oversized and pallet shipments).

Oversized packages, crates and pallets:

Oversized packages are packages or pallets with linear dimensions (total Length + Width + Height) greater than 80 inches (203 cm). Items requiring some types of special packaging (e.g. crates).

Yes. We can send your packages to you anywhere in the world. Shipping charges are based on the destination country.

Yes, Forward.me can ship to P.O. boxes via the following carriers to these countries:

DHL Express: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Mariana Islands, Costa Rica, India, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papa New Guinea, The Philippines, Qatar, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, UAE, Vanuatu and Venezuela

USPS EMI (United States Postal Service): Argentina, Brazil, China, Greece, Honduras, Indonesia, Nauru, Russia, Tunisia and Turkey

FedEx and UPS cannot be used to ship to P.O. Boxes in any country.

Country Specific

When you import goods into Australia, a 10% goods and services tax (GST) is charged by Australian customs. In the past, Australian customs has collected GST on goods and services valued over 1,000 AUD, and as of 1 July 2018, GST will also be charged on shipments equal or less than 1,000 AUD.

How is GST calculated?

GST is based on the value of the items you ship, plus any service and shipping charges. Australian customs collects GST on individual merchant shipments over 1,000 AUD, and Forward.me is responsible for collecting GST on shipments equal or less than 1,000 AUD. Any GST charges will appear on your ship request.

GST is valued and charged for each individual store (e.g., if you ship a consolidated package with Forward.me with a $200 item from Store A and $1,200 item from Store B, Forward.me will collect the GST for Store A, and Australian customs will collect the GST for Store B.)Learn More

Yes. Due to Australian Customs regulations, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind when shipping to Australia:

  1. Forward.me must have record of the seller’s name and address before we can export any package to Australia.
  2. Forward.me can ship Dangerous Goods to Australia via FedEx and DHL. Each carrier has specifications regarding the delivery area, quantity and type of commodity.
  3. Australian customs charges a 10% goods and services tax (GST) on merchandise, services and shipping costs for packages imported into Australia.

Beginning 1 December 2019, a 15% goods and services tax (GST) will be applied to any shipments being imported to New Zealand. Most goods and services you purchase locally already include GST, but as of December 1, companies importing goods and services from around the world are required to collect this tax directly from New Zealand shoppers as well.

How is GST calculated?

GST is calculated based on the total cost of a shipment. This means you are taxed on the value of what you ship, as well as on the cost of shipping services, including insurance, if selected.

For example, if you purchase a guitar from the US for $600 USD ($942 NZD) with shipping for $50 USD ($79 NZD), you would pay 15% GST on the total cost of the guitar and shipping, USD $97.50 ($154 NZD). This would make your total cost to purchase and ship the guitar $600 + $50 + $97.50 = $747.50 USD ($1174 NZD).

Please note: While Forward.me will be collecting GST on total shipment costs to New Zealand, other governmental fees may apply to your shipments, including additional GST on those governmental fees. Those fees will not be collected by Forward.me, but if they apply, you will be responsible to pay them upon arrival in New Zealand.

Yes, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind when shipping to Russia. Forward.me cannot ship the following:

  • Dangerous goods
  • Loose lithium batteries

If shipping via USPS, restrictions include:

  • Express Mail International (EMI): 60 inches maximum length, 108 inches maximum girth, 70 lbs, US$2,499 Value
  • Priority Mail International (PMI): 42 inches maximum length, 79 inches maximum girth, 44 lbs, US$2,499 Value
  • USPS First Class: 24 inches maximum length, 36 inches maximum L+W+H, 4 lbs, US$400 Value, no consolidation
  • Single piece shipments only (all packages must be able to be consolidated into one outgoing box)

You may need a permit when importing some items into Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Food and Drug Authority requires permits for certain drugs, supplements and pharmaceutical products. You can learn more about Saudi permit requirements here.

Argentinian customs requires a Unique Tax Identification Code (CUIT)/Unified Labor Identification Code (CUIL) to be provided with each shipment. Argentinian customs will not allow the import if this information is missing.

Argentina Customs: http://www.afip.gov.ar/home/index.html

Covid-19 Help

Yes! Regular business operations continue at Forward.me. As a shipping and logistics company, Forward.me has been deemed an “essential service” by our state and federal governments. US online shopping is open for business, and our shipping partners and carriers are still operating and able to deliver packages.

Yes! While some physical stores and borders may be closed, online shopping is still open for business, and can be a great way to safely access everything your family needs.

Most US stores are still open for business online, but if you can’t find an item, or a store you like is closed, check out the thousands of other store options available to you as a Forward.me member

Yes! Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirm that it's safe to handle and receive packages, as catching the COVID-19 virus from shipping materials is unlikely.

Yes, in most cases. Most countries have categorized shipping and logistics as “essential services” and these businesses are allowed to continue operating throughout any other bans or restrictions.Travel bans and border closures generally do not apply to cargo shipments or commercial shipping operations, which is what Forward.me uses to ship and deliver your packages. However, there is a small group of countries that have banned cargo transit and deliveries.

Yes. Delays can be expected from stores, shipping carriers, or both. Some stores may take longer to fulfill and ship orders to your Forward.me suite, due to decreased operations or increased online orders.

Forward.me is taking extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of its employees, which may contribute to delays in processing orders and responding to customer service inquiries.

Once your package leaves the Forward.me warehouse, some shipping carriers are reporting delays of up to a few days for delivery to certain countries or areas.

In most countries, all shipping carriers are maintaining their normal service levels and operations. However, some carriers may be suspending service to certain countries and areas based on government restrictions, logistical issues, or transit challenges.

View shipping options available to your country here. Generally, if your preferred carrier is not available, we have other affordable, reliable service options.

Forward.me will take care of your items! If your country restricts the delivery of cargo, or no shipping carriers are able to deliver to your country, all packages will be stored safely, and free of charge, at our warehouse. You may continue to ship purchases to your Forward.me suite, but we will not be able to ship them to you until restrictions are lifted.