Whether you are sending a gift to a loved one or shipping a purchased item to a buyer in the United States, you must be up to date with the latest customs regulations and postage regulations of the USA. The world is a lot smaller now and with technology it is now easier than ever to seamlessly make contact with people the other side of the world, except when you need to send a physical item.
The lead times for delivery have reduced over the years and now it is possible to send a parcel to the USA and have it arrive the following day. What has not changed is the restrictions placed on goods entering countries. Every country has their own rules relating to imports so it is important to know exactly what you can send and what is forbidden. Make sure you stay on the right side of the regulations when you are sending your next parcel to the USA.
What you need to know about postage restrictions
A common gift to give to people for special occasions is money, however the USA is one of a number of countries that do not allow the sending of cash through their postal system. Whilst this does not rule out money as a gift, it would have to be sent electronically rather than through the post. You also are not allowed to send loose precious stones or postage stamps through the US Postal Service.
As well as the above there are a number of restrictions on a number of other products. The import of ammunition is prohibited and dangerous good, firearms and weapons are restricted to import on a contractual basis only. There are also restrictions on food and drink with all perishables, plants and seed subject to contractual import only and the import of alcohol prohibited.
The above is not a complete list of the restrictions on restricted items, for a full list you should visit the U.S Customs & Border Protection website (link to www.cbp.gov/trade/basic-import-export). Generally speaking if you plan ahead you should not receive any nasty surprises.
Top tips for a safe delivery
Following a few simple tips and ensuring you know what you can and cannot send is an easy way of making sure your parcel makes it to its final destination. Below are just a few handy hints to help.
- Package your parcel well. Couriers will generally have packing guidelines and if you follow these your parcel should arrive to its destination in a good condition. Couriers will look after your parcel as well as they can but it is always good to take precautions. Use good quality boxes, bubble wrap and packaging materials – ensure the whole box is packed to avoid any unwanted movement inside the box.
- Use the full, correct address. The way to write an address differs from country to country, so something that sounds simple can cause a few issues. If you get the wrong state or a ZIP code incorrect your parcel may get through the postal system but never arrive with its intended recipient. For the USA the address format is as follows:
CITY, STATE, ZIP CODE
123 MAIN ST
DETROIT, MI, 12345
- Fill out the customs form accurately. It may seem simple but not declaring an item that is on the restricted list can cause long delays. By filling out a customs form accurately it makes the US officials jobs much easier and less likely that your package would have any delays in reaching its destination.
- Use a tracked parcel service. There are a number of different postage options but it is always a good option to use one that offers tracking. This will ensure that you can keep up to date with its whereabouts and keep the recipient in the loop.
- Put your address somewhere on the parcel marked as Sender. This will ensure that if for one reason or another the parcel will at least be able find its way back to you.
Sending parcels to foreign countries can be a daunting prospect or just something that is done without thinking about any restrictions that may be in place. Make sure you check the lead times of delivery and any updates to the prohibited items list, doing this and following the above tips will help your parcel reach its awaiting receiver.
Article provided by www.randlogistics.com; a market leading online parcel broker offering a vast array of UK and International courier services.