Essential Guidelines for Shipping To USA

Essential Guidelines for Shipping To USA

USA Customs Clearance & Documentation

When shipping to USA all cargo must be cleared by customs. You will therefore need a Customs Invoice for your delivery. This will identify the amount of tax and duties you will have to pay, so make sure that you complete its thoroughly and clearly.

For example, a cargo of women’s clothing is far better tagged as ‘Clothing – Shirts, Women's, Sizes 8-16,’ rather than ‘Clothing’. US Customs is infamous for being diligent.

Zero duties or taxes will be applied if the consignment value is under specific thresholds. For illustration, the Gift value limit is $200. If you're shipping a gift to the USA then mark the item as an "unsolicited gift" on the invoice, its total description and value. Ensure that you send the gift to a domestic address and not a US company address, otherwise you will charged duty and tax. If your consignment is valued over $2,500, it will be subject to delays as it has to go through "formal clearance".

If your goods have duty or tax applied, the recipient will be contacted by customs to validate their Tax ID. They'll then have to pay the added costs applied to your package. You're able to pay the costs personally by contacting customer support before booking and organising for the costs to be dispatched to you, instead. A few items need an import license so they can enter the US legally. If you're uncertain if you require one, visit the official US Customs website

Restricted & Disallowed Items

The US has a list of prohibited items that can be imported. To view them, please visit the official US Customs site 

These things are amongst those restricted from being transported by courier.

  • Aerosols
  • Dairy
  • Furs
  • Ivory
  • Fresh Food
  • Animals
  • Money
  • Nail varnish
  • Perfume
  • Plants
  • Tobacco
  • Seeds

Other things are particularly controlled from entering in the United states by customs. A few of these include ink and other toxic items. If you'd like to import merchandise like this, you must have a TSCA (Toxic Substance Control Act) declaration, with a description of the ink composition. We also recommend consumers who are importing photo film that you'll be billed duty on it, if it was bought in a different country. If you bought it in the USA, and you are coming back to the USA, you'll not be charged.

Electronics Items

The import of electronic items is overseen by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). When shipping electronics to US, the FCC demands an extra form for customs approval. This needs to be completed by the sender and verifies that the goods being shipped follow the FCC standards of import. The document must be completed and affixed with the customs invoice for the goods.

Sending Food Items to the US

Food imported to the US is supervised by the FDA and is consequently intensely controlled, as is shipping food with a courier.

  • Food has to be in the authentic manufacturer’s packing.
  • Food packing has to be sealed and not interfered with in any way.
  • Food labelling should identify all ingredients.
  • Foods has to have a shelf life of greater than six months from the date of sending.
  • All foods with a shelf life of lower than six months will be categorized as perishable and can't be delivered via courier, even when store bought.
  • All food imported into the USA has to be cleared by the FDA, that may add several days to Customs clearance. The FDA additionally require advance notice for any food imports and failing to do so could result in your goods being detained or destroyed.

Sending Personal Items to the USA

Whilst personal items and gifts are usually exempt from customs duties, they must satisfy specific standards.

Clothing is required to be owned and personally worn by the sender for a minimum of 6 months. There are no value exceptions, but commonly, items valued under $200 ought to be exempt provided that they are proclaimed as personal items.

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