U.S.A. Customs and documentation, what is required?
When sending goods to the U.S.A. regulations governing the import of goods are bound.
- Each parcel do not require a physical customs declaration form as the customs process will be performed via IT systems.
- Each parcel do not require a commercial invoice if below the threshold of $800 per receiver though we advise you to attach it to the parcel to facilitate the customs process.
- Multiples are not permitted under 321 clearance if the value of all the items combined to the same receiver is above $800.
- Value HS Code requirements.
Please note that the exporter of goods is responsible for supplying all of the right content, documentation and HS Code classification if required.
Import duties and taxes
U.S.A charges tax and import duties that are applicable on the majority of imports. However the amount of duties and tax depend on the value of the goods shipped. A Section 321 is a U.S. Shipment Type for goods to clear through U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It is a type of Informal Entry that allows for the release at the border of shipments valued at 800 U.S. dollars or less.
To qualify for Section 321 release a shipment must not exceed 800 U.S. dollars in value and must not be one of several lots covered by a single order or contract, the value of which would exceed $800. CBP may also refuse to release a shipment as Section 321 when taking into account risk considerations that may vary for different classes or kinds of merchandise.
As of March 7, 2016 Section 321 informal entry limits increased from $200.00 USD to $800.00 USD. Shipments released as Section 321 are free of duty and tax.
What can you send?
Certain goods may not be imported in the U.S.A. and certainly not under 321 clearance. These goods should be imported via other means.
The following goods may not be sent by mail under any circumstance:
- Explosive objects and substances
- Gases which have been made liquid, have been compressed, or which were dissolved under pressure
- Flammable liquids and flammable solids
- Any substances which are spontaneously combustible
- Substances which may produce flammable gases when coming into contact with water
- Substances that are conducive to combustion
- Organic peroxides
- Toxic substances
- Substances that can cause infections
- Corrosive substances
- Narcotics and substances with a psychological effect
- Live animals
- Radioactive material
- Goods that infringe on copyright or other intellectual property rights
- (Replica) weapons and ammunition
- Pornographic material
- Any other substances that pose a threat to humans or to the environment
In addition, it is prohibited to send the following goods to the United States:
- Alcoholic drinks
- Lottery shipments
- Narcotics, with the exception of permitted ‘controlled substances’. You can find further information on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) website.
- Tobacco products such as cigarettes, tobacco and snuff
The following goods may only enter the United States under certain conditions:
- Shipments containing foodstuffs, including food supplements and alcohol. These must be digitally registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before shipping. To register these items, you must first register through the Registrar Corp. Once you have been given a registration number, clearly indicate this ‘Prior Notice number’ on the parcel’s shipping document. Please note: gift shipments with foodstuffs going from consumer to consumer do not have to be registered.
- Shipments with lithium batteries. For more information, please refer to the conditions for shipping lithium as air freight.
Please note! We do our best to keep this information up to date, but as the sender you are ultimately responsible for the contents of your shipment. Spring may not be held responsible for any damages to or confiscation of the shipment. Therefore, we ask that you refer to the website of your local postal company, customs department, or embassy of the country to which you are sending your shipment for the most recent information.