Sending a Parcel to the USA:
Sending a non-commercial parcel to the USA is easy. You’ll need to provide some basic information like sender and recipient addresses, a description and the value of the contents of your parcel, which you can give to us at the time of booking. We’ll ensure you don’t miss anything!
Be aware that gifts are limited to goods worth up to $100. Anything over that and the recipient will likely incur charges.
Sending Commercial Goods to the USA:
For commercial goods, more information is needed to satisfy import regulations in the USA.
Basic Information Required:
Your shipment must include a commercial invoice in English. Include a full description of the contents of your shipment – avoid general descriptions – be specific, and list the country of origin of the goods (ie where they were manufactured). You must include an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to speed up the customs process and a HS code. HS codes are an international system of codes used to identify shipments and the taxes and restrictions that might apply (Google ‘HS code search tool’ and you will find plenty to help you). Don’t forget to include the recipient’s contact details to ensure that any potential issues can be cleared up quickly.
Submit details of your shipment via the US Customs and Border Protection (CBS) System (https://www.cbp.gov/trade/automated). Additional requirements depend on the type of goods you are importing.
Additional Information Required:
Food, beverages and medicines
The following products are FDA regulated; food (except most meat and poultry), drugs, biological substances, cosmetics, medical devices, electronic devices that emit radiation.
If you are sending these products, it’s important to be familiar with FDA (Food and Drug Administration). You will need to register with the FDA if you are an owner, operator or agent in charge of facilities that manufacture, process, pack or store food for consumption in the US.
Details of your goods must be submitted before shipment. You will receive an FDA reference number which must be submitted with your shipping paperwork.
The following products also require additional information for shipment to the US:
Art and antiquities
These items carry preferential duty rates for goods worth over $2000. For original artworks, include a signed statement. For antiques (over 100 years old), include an antique statement.
Chemicals, mixtures or articles that contain a chemical substance
Confirm that the contents comply with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TCSA) using the TCSA form. https://images.fedex.com/gtm/pdf/USS002.pdf
Clothing/Textiles worth over $5
Include the following information in your commercial invoice; manufacturer’s name and address, percentage of material content up to 100%, knitted or woven detail, garment gender, measurements of fabrics. (Exceptions – damaged or marked samples, catalogue returns.)
Certain electronics require a statement, eg radios, transmitters, ultrasonic equipment. https://transition.fcc.gov/Forms/Form740/740.pdf
Eyeglasses and sunglasses
You need to register with the FDA and include a Drop Ball Certificate, which confirms lenses are impact resistant.
Include format and content, and include a signed statement declaring “The imported film(s) contains no obscene or immoral matter, nor any matter advocating or urging treason or insurrection against the United States.”
Footwear worth over $800
Include interim footwear invoice http://images.fedex.com/downloads/shared/shipdocuments/blankforms/footwear_form.pdf. Exceptions; half pair samples, gifts, catalogue returns, shoe parts, doll’s shoes.
Printed circuit boards, bearing or integrated circuits
Include the following: bearing description (size and type), for PCB shipments – checklist detailing form and composition material, for integrated circuits – checklist detailing type and bit size, DRAM – Korean DRAM statement.
Vehicles and vehicle equipment
You’ll need to include a HS7 form with your shipping documents. Get one here https://icsw.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/hs799short.pdf Depending on the vehicle/engine, you may need additional information – check here for more information https://www.epa.gov/importing-vehicles-and-engines.
Watches worth over $800
Include the following information in your commercial invoice: composition of strap and case, type of movement, power source, number of jewels, country of origin of the movement system, value of each part.
Prohibited and Restricted Items:
The following items are restricted and we may refuse to ship them:
- Narcotics and some other medicines
- Counterfeit goods
- Absinthe containing thujone
- Soil, livestock and animal pests
Please note this is not an exhaustive list. Here is some useful information.
As it is your own responsibility to check postal restrictions and prohibitions for your destination, please check up to date American customs information to ensure that the contents of your parcel will not be refused entry to the USA.
American Address Format
The USA has certain requirements for formatting your address which will help ensure smooth transit of your shipment. Addresses should be written in the following format:
50 Jackson Street
Wilmington IL 60481
Note that any apartment number should be written on the line beneath the address. City, state and zip code should be written on one line.
Postal Codes in the USA
Postcodes in America are called ZIP codes. Unlike Ireland, each address does not always have it’s own unique ZIP code. Some large buildings that house businesses, educational establishments, or government agencies have their own unique ZIP code, but most ZIP codes refer to a geographical area that contains many buildings.
Each of the five digits in a ZIP code represent a different geographical area which help to narrow down the addressee to a specific location. This speeds up the delivery process, so it’s worthwhile taking the time to get the right ZIP code on your shipment.
American Public Holidays
Around public holidays postal services may be disrupted.
In the USA there are no ‘national holidays’, however, most of the federal holidays are also observed throughout the states. Note that when public holidays fall on a Saturday, they are generally observed the Friday before, and when public holidays fall on a Sunday, they are generally observed the Monday after.
List of federal holidays:
- January 1st New Years Day
- January 20th Inauguration Day
- 3rd Monday in January Martin Luther King Jr Day
- 3rd Monday in February George Washington’s Birthday / President’s Day
- Last Monday in May Memorial Day
- June 19th Juneteenth
- July 4th Independence Day
- 1st Monday in September Labor Day
- 2nd Monday in October Columbus Day (not always observed)
- November 11th Veterans Day (not always observed)
- 4th Thursday in November Thanksgiving Day
- December 25th Christmas Day
States may add or omit public holidays as they see fit. Here is a list of common additional public holidays observed at a state level:
- 4th Friday in November Day after Thanksgiving
- December 24th Christmas Eve
- December 31st New Year’s Eve