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International shipping guide to Italy

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Whether you are sending packages to Italy on a regular basis, or wish to import goods by the full container load, Shipa Freight makes it easy for you to obtain competitive quotes online. We also give you access to a vast network of logistics resources to ship your goods quickly and efficiently.

The information on this page may be helpful to you if your business is shipping to Italy for the first time. It includes some of the things you should know about shipping standards and import/export formalities, and a comprehensive listing of regular shipping routes with approximate transit times.

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International Shipping to Italy: Import/Export Standards

Italy is a member state of the European Union (EU), so imports and exports must comply with EU standards and tariffs. Tariffs can change without notice, so it’s important to be up to speed with current requirements before you begin shipping freight to Italy.

The European Commission’s TARIC website should contain up-to-date information on duties and tariffs. You can also ask for help from our team, since we manage international shipments to Italy on a regular basis and have the contacts necessary to update you.

Packaging and Labeling Requirements

In addition to understanding tariffs and duties, you might wish to familiarize yourself with EU and Italian requirements for packaging and labeling, which you must comply with when shipping packages to Italy. You can find details of all the EU requirements by visiting the European Union website.

However, Italy has its own specific set of requirements, which specify that you must display the following details on package labels:

  • The product name
  • Names and addresses of manufacturers, packers, sellers, or importers
  • The product’s country of origin
  • Product ingredients with weights in descending order
  • The metric volume and weight of the package and its contents
  • Category names of any product additives (if applicable)
  • Details of any special storage requirements
  • Best before, use by, or expiry dates

In most cases, information on package labels must be printed in Italian, but if you are an exporter sending packages to Italy, your local Italian consignee should be able to advise you of the precise requirements for labeling.

Documentation Requirements

The details we provide in this section are purely for your information. As a Shipa Freight customer, you will not have to worry unduly about the obligations described here, as we take care of most border

Formalities. This includes the preparation and submission of documents on your behalf. As with packaging and labeling, the documentation requirements for shippers sending freight to Italy are largely in line with those specified by the EU. The key documents you will need to provide are as follows:

The Commercial Invoice: You will normally be required to have three copies of a commercial invoice for the goods in your shipment. There are no stipulations as to the format of this invoice, but it must contain the following information:

  • The date of issue
  • The name and address of the seller and the buyer
  • The payment terms agreed for the sale
  • The country of origin of the goods
  • An exact description of the goods, including the six-digit HS codes
  • Details of the packaging type and material
  • Quantity of each product or material in the shipment
  • Gross and net weights
  • The value of the goods covered by the invoice

The Bill of Lading: The details you must include in the bill of lading are as follows:

  • Description of the goods being shipped
  • The shipper’s name
  • The name of the vessel carrying the goods
  • The goods’ country of origin
  • The name of the port at which the goods will be loaded
  • The name of the port at which the goods will be unloaded
  • Description of any identifying marks on the goods
  • The name of the person who will claim the goods at the destination port

Aside from providing the two documents described above, you will also need to lodge a customs declaration. This can be done online or through the submission of paper documents. However, many businesses involved in shipping packages to Italy, engage a freight forwarder or customs broker to take care of the declaration process.

These services can make the process of shipping to Italy cost a little more. Keep in mind that unless you have experienced logistics professionals, are familiar with customs clearance, or working in your business, the services of a skilled external agency are well worth the small expense.

Shipping to Italy: Restricted Goods and Materials

The EU applies restrictions and prohibitions on the importation of certain goods and materials into all member states, with Italy being no exception.

While it’s not practical to provide full details of restrictions and prohibitions here, the following examples highlight some of the goods that you should not ship to Italy without first checking what specific controls, restrictions, or regulations may be in place:

  • Coffee
  • Cosmetics
  • Foodstuffs of any type
  • Leather goods
  • Medical equipment and medicines
  • Vitamin products
  • Plants
  • Shoes
  • USB sticks
  • Animal products (whether for food or non-food use)
  • Music, movies, or similar media on DVDs or CDs

The list above is not exhaustive, and the items were selected especially to highlight the fact that restrictions and controls can apply to any type of goods. This includes even those that might seem innocuous—like USB sticks, for example.

You will find all the relevant information about restricted imports if you visit the EU’s TARIC website , but the database is not necessarily simple to navigate and interrogate. If in doubt, a logical first step will be to contact your freight forwarder or customs broker for shipment advice relating to your goods.

Trade Lane Information: Ocean Freight to Italy

The following information will help you to familiarize yourself with some of the main ocean freight routes for shipping to Italy. While the information here only covers port-to-port shipping legs, Shipa Freight also offers port-to-door and door-to-door transportation to destinations anywhere inside Italian borders.

5 Most Popular Routes for Shipping to Italy

The busiest ocean freight routes to Italy bring imports from oriental Singapore and the much closer ports of North Africa. Five of the most-used routes, for example, are:

  • Singapore to Naples
  • Singapore to Genoa
  • Tanger Med (Morocco) to Genoa
  • Port Said (Egypt) to Venice
  • Port Said (Egypt) to Genoa

This doesn’t mean that other parts of the world are short of ocean-freight routes to Italy. Indeed, the major ports of Venice, Trieste, Livorno, and Genoa are some of the busiest in Europe, with freight continually arriving from every continent.

Longest/Shortest Transit Times to Italy for Ocean Freight

The longest ocean routes to Italy are those bringing cargo vessels in from East Asia and the American continent. Transit times for ocean freight from Chinese ports like Xiamen and Qingdao can be up to 40 days or even more.

Of course, a lot depends on how many ports a vessel will call at en route between China and Italy, but if you will be moving cargo between these two countries, you should expect it to spend a minimum of 25 to 30 days at sea.

Shipping from the US to Italy meanwhile, can be quite fast, especially if the port of origin is one of those in the East Coast states. However, for businesses shipping from South America, transit times can be considerably longer. One of the longest routes, from Buenos Aires to Genoa, takes 30 days from port to port.

The shortest trade lanes connect Italy to the Middle Eastern and North African markets. Some of these routes, such as Casablanca (Morocco) to Genoa, take just three days to traverse.

Ocean Routes List for Freight to Italy

From America

Country of Origin Port of Origin Destination Port Duration
Argentina Buenos Aires Genoa 30 Days
Brazil Itajai Genoa 22 Days
Brazil Itapoa Genoa 21 Days
Brazil Itaguai Genoa 18 Days
Brazil Rio Grande Genoa 27 Days
Brazil Santos Genoa 19 days
Mexico Altamira Naples 24 Days
Mexico Veracruz Naples 25 Days
United States Baltimore Naples 18 Days
United States Baltimore Genoa 21 Days
United States Miami Naples 15 Days
United States New Orleans Naples 18 Days
United States New York Genoa 25 Days
United States New York Naples 23 Days
United States Norfolk Genoa 21 Days
United States Norfolk Naples 17 Days
United States Savannah Genoa 20 Days
United States Savannah Naples 16 Days
United States Houston Naples 20 Days

From Africa and the Middle East

Country of Origin Port of Origin Destination Port Duration
Argentina Buenos Aires Genoa 30 Days
Brazil Itajai Genoa 22 Days
Brazil Itapoa Genoa 21 Days
Brazil Itaguai Genoa 18 Days
Brazil Rio Grande Genoa 27 Days
Brazil Santos Genoa 19 days
Mexico Altamira Naples 24 Days
Mexico Veracruz Naples 25 Days
United States Baltimore Naples 18 Days
United States Baltimore Genoa 21 Days
United States Miami Naples 15 Days
United States New Orleans Naples 18 Days
United States New York Genoa 25 Days
United States New York Naples 23 Days
United States Norfolk Genoa 21 Days
United States Norfolk Naples 17 Days
United States Savannah Genoa 20 Days
United States Savannah Naples 16 Days
United States Houston Naples 20 Days

From Asia

Country of Origin Port of Origin Destination Port Duration
China Ningbo La Spezia 27 Days
China Shanghai La Spezia 29 Days
China Shanghai Genoa 33 Days
China Shanghai Naples 32 Days
China Ningbo Genoa 31 Days
China Ningbo Naples 31 Days
China Shenzhen Genoa 25 Days
China Shenzhen Naples 29 Days
China Guangzhou Genoa 32 Days
China Guangzhou Naples 31 Days
China Qingdao Genoa 40 Days
China Qingdao Naples 40 Days
China Dalian Genoa 41 Days
China Dalian Naples 41 Days
China Xiamen Genoa 44 Days
China Xiamen Naples 43 Days
China Lianyungang Genoa 45 Days
China Lianyungang Naples 44 Days
China Nanjing Genoa 40 Days
China Nanjing Naples 40 Days
Hong Kong Hong Kong La Spezia 23 Days
Hong Kong Hong Kong Genoa 25 Days
Hong Kong Hong Kong Naples 33 Days
Indonesia Jakarta Naples 31 Days
Indonesia Jakarta Genoa 31 Days
Indonesia Surabaya Genoa 31 Days
Indonesia Surabaya Naples 31 Days
Japan Yokohama Genoa 30 Days
Japan Kobe Genoa 37 Days
Japan Kobe Naples 37 Days
Malaysia Port Klang Naples 30 Days
Malaysia Port Klang Genoa 30 Days
Malaysia Tanjung Pelepas Naples 29 Days
Malaysia Tanjung Pelepas Genoa 29 Days
Philippines Manila Genoa 36 Days
Philippines Manila Naples 36 Days
Singapore Singapore Genoa 22 Days
Singapore Singapore La Spezia 17 Days
Singapore Singapore Venice 22 Days
Singapore Singapore Naples 21 Days
South Korea Busan Genoa 39 Days
South Korea Busan Naples 39 Days
Taiwan Kaohsiung Genoa 27 Days
Taiwan Kaohsiung La Spezia 25 Days
Taiwan Kaohsiung Naples 27 Days
Thailand Laem Chabang Genoa 32 Days
Thailand Laem Chabang Naples 32 Days
Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City Naples 30 Days
Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City Genoa 30 Days
Vietnam Hai Phong Naples 34 Days
Vietnam Hai Phong Genoa 34 Days

International Shipping to Italy by Air

The following information covers some of the main air freight routes for shipping to Italy. While the details here relate purely to airport-to-airport shipping legs, Shipa Freight also offers port-to-door and door-to-door transportation to any location within Italy’s borders.

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When you are shipping smaller quantities of goods, or sending packages to Italy on a tight schedule, air freight can often be the best mode of transportation. Air freight services for shipping to Italy cost more than ocean transportation though. As such, you should consider the impact on profit margins for your business.

For high-value goods however, air freight may not only be affordable, but can also present less risk, due to the high levels of security applied to air transportation. Add to that the fact that your goods are in transit for a minimal period of time.

Air Freight to Italy: Busiest Routes

The five busiest routes bringing freight into the hands of Italian enterprises are…

  • Paris(France) to Rome
  • Madrid (Spain) to Rome
  • Vienna (Austria) to Milan
  • Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Rome
  • Munich (Germany) to Milan

Air Freight Transit Times to Italy: The Longest and Shortest

Nowhere is far away when you are sending packages to Italy via air freight. However, the routes from South America and Asia involve the longest transit times. It takes around 13 hours to complete the route from Buenos Aires in Argentina, to Rome, and a similar length of time for freight shipped from Tokyo to Rome.

Intra-European routes are the shortest of course. In fact, some carriers offer services from Zurich and Geneva to Milan, with flights taking just 30 to 40 minutes end-to-end.

Trade Lanes and Transit Times for Air Freight to Italy

From America

Country of Origin Airport of Origin Destination Airport Duration(Approx.)
Argentina Buenos Aires Rome 13 Hours
Brazil Sao Paulo Milan 12 Hours
Canada Toronto Milan 7 Hours
United States Charlotte Rome 9 Hours
United States Dallas Rome 10 Hours
United States New York Rome 8 Hours
United States New York Milan 7 Hours
United States Miami Milan 9 Hours
United States Philadelphia Rome 8 Hours
United States Chicago Rome 9 Hours
United States Chicago Milan 8 Hours
United States Los Angeles Milan 10 Hours

From Europe

Country of Origin Airport of Origin Destination Airport Duration(Approx.)
Austria Vienna Rome 1 Hour
Austria Vienna Milan 1 Hour
Belgium Brussels Milan 2 Hours
Belgium Brussels Rome 2 Hours
Denmark Copenhagen Milan 2 Hours
Denmark Copenhagen Rome 2 Hours
France Paris Rome 2 Hours
Germany Dusseldorf Milan 1 Hour
Germany Munich Rome 1 Hour
Germany Munich Milan 1 Hour
Germany Munich Milan 1 Hour
Germany Frankfurt Rome 2 Hours
Germany Frankfurt Milan 1 Hour
Netherlands Amsterdam Rome 2 Hours
Netherlands Amsterdam Milan 2 Hours
Russia Moscow Milan 3 Hours
Spain Madrid Rome 2 Hours
Spain Barcelona Milan 2 Hours
Switzerland Geneva Milan <1 Hour
Switzerland Zurich Milan <1 Hour
United Kingdom London Heathrow Milan 2 Hours

From Asia

Country of Origin Airport of Origin Destination Airport Duration(Approx.)
China Shanghai Rome 12 Hours
China Beijing Rome 10 Hours
China Beijing Milan 11 Hours
China Shanghai Milan 12 Hours
China Nanjing Milan 11 Hours
Hong Kong Hong Kong Rome 12 Hours
Hong Kong Hong Kong Milan 12 Hours
Japan Tokyo Rome 13 Hours
Japan Tokyo Milan 13 Hours
Singapore Singapore Rome 12 Hours
Singapore Singapore Milan 12 Hours
South Korea Seoul Milan 11 Hours
Thailand Bangkok Milan 11 Hours

Shipping to Italy with Shipa Freight

The routes on this page represent just a few of the options available through our extensive logistics and transportation network, covering 100 countries worldwide.

Unless your consignments are very small, (in which case you might wish to ship them by courier to Italy) the Shipa Freight platform, and the skilled, experienced logistics team behind it, is the perfect solution for your occasional or regular international freight shipments.

Our advanced technology helps to keep the shipping process simple and affordable for your business, while our support agents and specialists deliver the highest levels of customer care and support.Rather than take our word for it though, it’s easy to put our services to the test. Why not get started right now, by requesting your first Shipa Freight quote online?

“With Shipa Freight, I could do everything from quotation to booking with just a click”.

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