Shipping items can be relatively easy nowadays, although shipping goods to certain countries can come with particular challenges. If your business has to ship goods to the United States, the process is usually free from hassle and fast, but you still have to know how to do it right. Here, then, is your all-important guide to shipping goods and items to the US.
What you need to know about clearance with customs and paperwork, tax, and more
If you are planning to ship to the United States, know that all goods must go through Customs for clearance. This means that your shipment will require a Customs Invoice. The invoice will tell you how much duty and tax you have to settle as well. When you are completing the invoice form, you have to describe each and every item in the shipment or parcel as accurately as possible. So rather than merely saying that the package contains clothing, specify whether it’s clothing for men or women, t-shirts or dress shirts, etc. The more accurately you describe the products or objects inside, the faster the process of delivery as US Customs has long been known for its diligence.
There will be no taxes or duty applied if the value of the parcel falls below a specific threshold. For instance, the value of a gift parcel is $200. If you are planning to send a gift item, declare the parcel as a gift. On the other hand, if the value of your shipment is above $2,500, it may experience some delays as it may have to go through additional formal clearance.
Items which are prohibited in the US
There’s an extensive list of items which are prohibited in the US, so this means that these items cannot be imported into the country. The list of restricted or banned items include aerosols, furs, ivory, cash, nail varnish, perfume, plants, seeds, and tobacco. Other items such as fresh food and animals are restricted or prohibited as well.
There are also certain items which may be classified as toxic, such as ink, and if you are shipping this, you will need to have a Toxic Substance Control Act or TSCA form which includes a breakdown of the composition of the ink. Also, if you are sending photographic film, you will have to pay extra duty for this as well if you purchased it in a different country.
When it comes to the import of electronic items to the US, the bureau in charge is the FCC or the Federal Communications Commission. If you are planning to send electronic items to the US, you need to have an additional form from the FCC. In the form, you must confirm that the article you are sending follows the import standards of the FCC.
Of course, it pays to make sure that you are using the proper packing materials and boxes as well. The mailing boxes you choose should be sturdy and robust and able to withstand the transport across the Atlantic.
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