Are you thinking about sending a box of goodies to the USA? Perhaps your reason is for business and is not personal? No matter what your purpose might be, you need to know the basics of shipping goods to the USA. Below are a few guidelines to help you out.
Determine your purpose
What are you sending the goods to the USA for? Are you sending a package because someone bought them from you online? Are you sending gifts? You need to know the purpose of your shipment because you must determine if the investment is worth it. Certain goods will be taxed while others won’t be. Some goods will be completely prohibited by the USA government and they should not be in your parcel. Some goods may be restricted, and you need to get proper documentation or permits for them before you can ship them.
Burden of knowing regulations
The burden of knowing customs regulations is up to the shipper (you) and not the shipping company. Some very good shipping companies have information about forbidden, restricted, taxed, and tax free goods. Sometimes, though, they won’t provide you with this list and you will have to find out for yourself.
The list is updated every once in a while so it would be helpful to visit the USA Embassy’s website for customs regulations before you ship out your goods. Some goods which may need approval from the FDA will be prohibited from shipment for obvious reasons. Do not attempt to break this law because you will be wasting lot of money.
Restricted items, on the other hand, are items which you can ship to the USA without any legal repercussions provided that you acquire a permit for them. Sometimes, the restriction is in the volume of quantity of the item you’re shipping, so be careful about shipping too many restricted items. They might just be forfeited at customs.
Packing & Wrapping
If your item can fit into the default boxes provided by the shipping company, you will be asked to put them there. You may also provide your own packaging but the shipment fees will be based on the measurement and the weight of the parcel. Whatever the case may be, you will be asked to package your items well inside the box. This means that you can’t just throw in random things inside the box and hope that they will reach the USA safely.
You will need to bubble wrap very fragile items like electronics, breakables, and other valuables which are prone to scratching, denting, and breaking. You will also need to put packing tissue in between the gaps of each item to make sure that they don’t collide against each other while in transit.
The packaging list is very important. You need to fill this out as carefully as you can. Be as detailed as you can be because only items covered in the list will be insured by the shipping company. A detailed packaging list will also prevent losses while the items are being inspected at the USA customs. If you’re transporting valuable items, do not forget to get the proper documents for transfer.