One of the key causes of delay in e-commerce delivery is the lack of documents needed for customs declaration and clearance, including invoices and proof of payment, as well as the slow process to receive those documents from e-buyers and e-retailers. High volumes of e-commerce items are blocked in postal warehouses awaiting documents for clearance. This delay impacts both consumer experience – as it interrupts the delivery process – and results in additional storage requirements and costs. The volumes and resulting delays are expected to increase. To address this issue, IPC has developed the Customs Document Solution: the solution allows inbound posts to quickly request and capture crucial information for customs clearance, process that information digitally and efficiently, and share it with the relevant stakeholders.

How does it work?

The IPC Customs Document Solution enables inbound posts to request the required documents from e-buyers when the item arrives at the inbound post’s facilities.

The IPC Document Solution API provides the following services:

  • Uploads documents (invoices and proof of payment) on item ID level which are received from the E-Seller. These documents are required by the destination post or customs to create the declaration or to accept goods into a country.
  • Provides an overview of the documents that are linked to an item ID.
  • Allows retrieval of specific documents (invoices and proof of payment) by the parties that require them.


  • Improved processing: postal items can be processed faster as delays caused by lack of availability of a proof of payment are avoided.
  • Cost reduction: a faster delivery time results in lower processing and warehousing costs.
  • Process optimisation through API: if documents are already uploaded by the e-seller via the API to the IPC Customs Document Solution, the inbound postal operator is informed and no request needs to be sent to the e-buyer. The necessary documents are available to the inbound immediately, which allows the inbound post to optimise the use of advance information in preparing customs declarations.
  • Auditing and document management: an audit trail of all activities is provided, while reports give a clear insight into how the process is progressing. Posts can easily keep track of document status updates as well as view the actual documents and review them.
  • Expandable: the IPC Customs Document Solution can be extended to request and store any additional type of documents.

More information

To find out more about this service, please contact [email protected].