If you’re sending goods to the USA, whether it’s for personal purposes or for business, you need to take note of the following things.
What kind of goods will you be shipping? If you are shipping unused items, it is likely that they will be taxed once they reach the USA’s ports. You might also have to pay exportation fees from your home port, depending on your government’s rules and regulations. Make sure you read up on taxed and duty free items before shipping anything to the USA.
Forbidden and restricted items
Not all items are allowed entry into the USA. Some items are called “forbidden” or “prohibited” which means that they are in no way to be shipped into the USA. The list for these items is pretty long. They could be anything from narcotics to ammunition or even documents which could threaten the security of the USA. All items will be checked by the customs authorities of the American government so don’t try to sneak anything into the country.
There are also restricted items. There are two types of restrictions: by volume or by permit. Some items may be allowed without documentation as long as they don’t exceed the number of allowable items per kind per shipment. There are also items which cannot be allowed entry into the country without certificates and/or permits.
To get a list of prohibited items and items with restrictions, you may visit the USA Embassy in your country personally. You may also check out the website of the Embassy. This is updated regularly.
Do you have ample packaging for the goods you are shipping? While shipping companies provide default boxes, you still need to make sure that fragile items are indeed packaged well before they are put into the parcel or box. Breakables like vases and other porcelain figurines need to be wrapped in bubble wrap.
You also have to make sure that the items in the parcel or box are compactly packaged. This means you’ll have to purchase packaging tissue to fill in the gaps between items. Gaps are quite dangerous because these spaces can allow your items to collide. Collisions while in transit are usually the causes of damages.
You have to fill up you packing list as thoroughly as possible. Make sure you’re specific in your list. The shipping company will provide this form. If you generalize your packing list too much, you will have little claim of missing items because you don’t have proof that they’re there. Usually, the filling up of packing lists are facilitated by shipping company representatives to make sure you’re not putting anything in the list which isn’t really in the parcel.
Marine Cargo Insurance
Some people hesitate about insuring their packages because the cargo insurance rates are sometimes so stringent especially for international transfers. However, if you’re shipping something valuable to the USA, you should declare its real value, if not the closest value to it you can think of. You need to remember that your box or parcel will be crossing the seas, and that is as high risk as you can get in traveling. The ship might sink, it could get damaged, or the shipment could just get lost at customs. Marine Insurance fees are always worth it.