When shipping your products internationally, some carrier services require some additional information so that these products can make it through customs with no issues. The information that is required is listed below.

Required Commodity Information

  • Commodity HS Tariff Code (Supported by default in Shopify)
  • Country of Manufacturer  (Supported by default in Shopify)
  • Commodity Description  (Requires metafields)
  • Commodity Composition  (Requires metafields)
  • Commodity HS Tariff Code (Requires metafields, optional)

Shopify has limited functionality for which commodity fields are supported out of the box, to set up your Shiptheory account to work with out of the box commodity data available in Shopify (which is currently commodity code and commodity country of manufacture/origin), refer to the section titled "Automatic Download of Country of Manufacture" below. 

For complete commodity data coverage, we recommend developing your Shopify store further with third-party extensions that use Metafields, many of which can be connected to Shiptheory.

It is possible to download this additional commodity data to Shiptheory from Shopify when Shiptheory picks up your orders. This is done by creating custom fields within Shopify known as metafields. Your products Commodity Code is already setup within Shopify but the rest of these custom fields have not. You are able to find many metafield apps for Shopify within the Shopify App Store. Two examples of these are Metafeild Guru, and Metafield Editor.

The Commodity HS Tariff Code supported by Shopify does have a limit on the number of characters it supports.  However, if you add a metafield for the Tariff Code, this will override the value set in the default Shopify and allow you to specify more than the 6 characters limited by Shopify.  This override field for the Tariff Code is setup in exactly the same way as any of the other metafields. If you have not setup a metafield for the Tariff, then the default field in Spotify will be used automatically. 

A metafield is made up of 3 sections, a 'namespace', a 'key' and a 'value' I'll explain below what these mean and how they would be used using an analogy.

Let's assume you're setting up your commodity metafields for your products:

Namespace - The namespace differentiates metadata from one another and in this case you would call your namespace for this metadata, 'Commodity Information'. A general description that's going to contain more in-depth information within it.

Key - A key is the name of the metafield, using the previous example of the Namespace being 'Commodity Information', your key would be 'Commodity Description' and 'Country Of Manufacture'

Value - As you'd expect, this is the value of the key, for the key 'Commodity description' it would have a value like 'trousers', 'shirt' or 'notepad'.

I've included a visual representation of how these values work with each other to give you a better idea of how it actually functions. This also showcases why it's important to be consistent, if you tell Shiptheory that all your Commodity Descriptions are in the 'Commodity Description' key and then you go and create one in a new key called 'customs', we won't look in that new customs key because we weren't told to look there.

It's extremely important when setting up metadata that you remain consistent, all of your commodity information should all be set to the same namespace, 'Commodity Information' in my case. All of your Commodity descriptions would have to be assigned to the Commodity description key. This is because we will look at the exact namespace and keys you set within Shopify and nowhere else.

Below is the Shopify metafield within Shiptheory all filled in using the example above, you can find these by clicking on the little cog in the bottom left-hand corner your Shopify settings screen.

Please note that if you use product variants you must set the metafields at the variant level as well.

Automatic Download of Country of Manufacture

It's now possible to tell Shiptheory to automatically fetch the Country of Manufacture commodity data for orders. Note that the Commodity Description and Commodity Composition metafields still need to be set as detailed above.

To tell Shiptheory to automatically download the Country of Manufacture for your orders you will need to do the following.

From the Shopify settings page, access Advanced Settings and select the Yes, collect customs info option from the Download Customs Information menu in the Customs Information section.

You will also need to set the Country / Region of origin within your Shopify store for all relevant products and product variants.

If you have any queries about this integration our support team would be happy to help you out.