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[UPS] How do I set up customs with no commercial value?

Occasional Contributor

tl;dr: Need to make customs value = $0 on ShipStation to qualify for the cheap UPS Letter Rate. 


My company ships UPS Letter Envelopes to many international clients. The rate for a UPS envelope is significantly less than just using a same sized envelope. However, we keep getting adjustments from UPS charging us for a non-UPS Letter envelope giving us unexpected prices. 


ShipStation support meticulously investigated the issue and their response was that I needed to live with it and move on, maybe charge my clients more. Digging through the UPS handbooks and rate PDFs, there was an * next to UPS Letter that said that UPS Letter Rate may only be used for documents with no commercial value and weighing less than 8oz. I meet all of those qualifications but on ShipStation when filing out the customs form, it asks me to enter a value and I always put $25. My theory is that this is causing the price to increase because $25>no commercial value and as a result the package is not valid for the discounted UPS Letter Rate.


So I try to go on ShipStation and enter $0 on package customs value but it insists that customs value cannot be $0. So I need to find a way to make this $0 or let UPS know that this particular package has no commercial value. How can I do this?   


Super User
Super User

If it has no commercial value then maybe you should declare it as "sample" or "gift". Then customs should be free. Take that with a grain of salt though, I don't fully know your situation or what you are shipping.

Occasional Contributor

Unfortunately sample or gift also requires to enter a value >0. 😕

Occasional Contributor

It wouldn't hurt to try it. Hopefully it'll work. Thanks


Is there an answer for this? We use the same UPS letter service.