International Shipping FAQ

For many of our customers, you’ll already be used to your film flying overseas in order for it to get to us, but since our move to Canada from the UK we are no doubt further away from some of you, yet closer to others! So for those who aren’t used to sending their film overseas we have compiled a list of questions that you may have. We’re actually no stranger to shipping our own film overseas, since before we set up UK Film Lab we used to ship our film from the UK to the USA, so some of the information here is from direct experience while other information is from our experience in dealing with film coming into the lab from all over the world, as well as information from our networking with other labs, and of course research of the shipping systems and processes.

How do you recommend I send my film to you?

There are a number of options, but we recommend our expedited courier service. We have partnered with DHL, one of the world’s leading international express mail services, to offer a fast and cost-effective delivery service. Please click here to find out more, and to book your shipment using our quick and simple online tool. We take care of all the rest, and we also offer a shipping discount for using this service. This service will be particularly cost effective for medium to large size orders.

You may also use your own country’s national post service or a courier of your choice. If using your own courier you must provide them with our email address hello@canadianfilmlab.com so that we receive notification of your order. For your customs declaration please describe the contents of your package as ‘Exposed film’. In terms of value, used photographic film has a nominal value of around 5 cents per roll, so a value of $10 or less should be entered. Please note you should not declare a higher value, such as that you would place on your film for insurance purposes. This is not the intended purpose of the customs declaration, and it will result in duty and tax being applied to your order. If you have any questions please email hello@canadianfilmlab.com

Clients who worked with us as UK Film Lab, prior to our move to Canada, may also use our ‘film forwarding’ service. We have trusted team members based at a UK address. They will receive your film, package it securely and send it on to us as part of a weekly shipment (every Thursday) via our DHL express service at no extra cost to you. This is likely to be a more cost-effective option for smaller orders. If demand for this service proves popular then we will be increasing the frequency of the onward shipments, and due to the ultra fast transit time of 2 – 3 days* from the UK on to Canada, shipping time will be fast! Please send your film along with an order form to our UK address: Jackie Ward, Unit 1 Centremark House, Sheepbridge Lane, Chesterfield, S41 9RX, United Kingdom

If I use your DHL partnered shipping service, how long will it take for my film to get to you in Canada?

The target shipping time is 2 to 3 working days*. 

How expensive is it to ship film with your DHL partnered service?

We have worked closely with DHL to secure excellent rates. Please look up your country in our zone table, and you’ll find shipping rates.

What about the Customs process, is it complicated?

It’s actually very simple, provided that you declare your film properly. If you choose to use our partnered DHL service we will actually prepare the Waybill (shipping label) for you, and ensure it’s declared appropriately.

If you choose to use your own country’s national post service or your own courier please describe the contents of your package as ‘Exposed film’. In terms of value, used photographic film has a nominal value of around 5 cents per roll, so a value of $10 or less should be entered. Please note you should not declare a higher value, such as that you would place on your film for insurance purposes. This is not the intended purpose of the customs declaration, and it will result in duty and tax being applied to your order. 

I have heard things about x-rays that worry me. What can you tell me about x-raying of film?

Any x-raying of your film during the shipping process will NOT affect your film. X-ray issues caused during shipping are unheard of, and this ties in with our experience from UK Film Lab where we received film from all over the world. We NEVER saw x-ray damage caused during shipping, and we have never known any other lab around the world to see x-ray damage from shipping either. Neither did we experience any issues during the time we were shipping our own film to North America for lab processing. Also remember – much of the film you shoot has already travelled from overseas in order to get to you! Lastly, please do not confuse x-raying of mail/parcels with the x-raying of luggage that travels in the hold of an airplane: the x-rays for domestic hold luggage are vastly stronger and WILL affect your film, so always carry film (unexposed and exposed) with you in your carry-on bags.

*How can I learn more about the DHL service?

*The DHL shipping service option is made available for the convenience of our customers through DHL Express and is not directly affiliated with Canadian Film Lab. The information we provide about this service is intended as a guide, based on information provided by DHL to us. For more information about DHL Express including their shipping terms & conditions please visit their website http://international.dhl.ca/en.html