Logistics and Distribution Services > Special Services > International Customs Information
International Customs Information

Information of Required Documentation to Ship Items Abroad...New Policies

Below you will find listed information that will help to assist in preparation for items being sent abroad including those requiring customs clearance. Please note that no matter whom the carrier is, U.S. Postal or private, the laws and rules are the same for everyone. Each country is different and each carrier handles these issues differently when clearing customs. Exportation of technology and software while coming under close scrutiny from the U.S., is scrutinized differently from country to country. For instance, sending computers to Brazil may not be an issue but the duty on this equipment is 90% of the assessed value. Additionally, you may send a computer to a country and say the value is $900. That country may say they think the item is worth $2000. Duties and taxes will be assessed on the $2000 that country said they think the item was worth, not your assessed value. New equipment to Mexico is no problem in shipping, however used equipment is not permitted into Mexico by Mexican authorities.

International Customs Broker (Your Special Delivery Solutions)

Handles most customs related items for NYU for both export and import. Requires commercial invoice (Can be on department letterhead that says invoice) from departments that list item description, volume, and value. For items in excess of $2,500 a Shippers Export Declaration (SED) is required by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The SED details and describes the shipment and its value. It will be closely reviewed by the vendor. If there are any issues concerning the shipment, the vendor will contact the department. The resolution of these issues prior to shipping are the sole responsibility of the department. While this form closely resembles the commercial invoice, it remains with U.S. Customs while the commercial invoice is presented to customs in the country of destination. If the department is unsure of customs issues on items they are shipping and/or receiving they should review the Commerce Control List Index found under the U.S. Government Export Administration Regulations.

Paper material is rarely if ever reviewed for content. The item would have to be clearly visible to customs that the paper material contained inside would represent highly sensitive information (i.e., info on how to construct a bomb, research data that could be considered highly classified, etc.)

Carnet - Carnets reduce duties and taxes by indicating the shipment is only being sent to a country or countries on a temporary basis (i.e., film equipment from TSOA to NYU in Paris for a summer program). A separate section of the Carnet must be prepared for each country to which the equipment is traveling. The equipment must exit the destination country(ies) within one year of entry. Failure to do so requires that a new carnet be filled out within a specific time to avoid duties and taxes. A complete description of every piece of equipment must be included in the Carnet. Nothing can be left out when returning the items to the U.S.

YSDS also goes to countries where the U.S. Postal Service and none of the private carriers (UPS, FedEx, and DHL) go (i.e., Cuba, Mynamar etc.).

United States Postal Service

Items 4 lbs or less require documentation: form 2976 - Green & White Customs Declaration CN22. - This form is used primarily for documents. If there are items which require customs clearance also add form 2976-A Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note CP72. Effective May 21, 2012, there will be changes to International Mail Acceptance Policies...New Policies

Items over 4 lbs require documentation: form 2976-A Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note CP72. Please Note: Each country has different weight limitations for acceptance.

Items such as books, sheet music, manuscripts etc. that do not require Airmail, Global Priority, and/or Global Express Mail service can also go Surface, Letter/Parcel Post, and M-Bag. M-Bag is strictly for this type of material and goes in a bag directly to the addressee at a reduced rate by both air and boat (6-8weeks). M-Bag is good for large volume of books going to one address.

Items can be insured with Parcel Post Service. Registered mail can be sent with or without a value. A return receipt (pink) can be included.

United Parcel Service (UPS)

Letter Envelopes (up to 8 oz.) require no documentation. Items over 8 oz. require a commercial invoice. The form can either be printed from CampusShip or on department letterhead indicating it is an invoice. All items must be listed with value.

When using UPS CampusShip, the system will prompt you for specific information. If using an Airbill, you must include the commercial invoice and check the very last box on the airbill in the area which indicates which payment process you are using. That box indicates shipper will pay all customs and duties. Otherwise the item will lay at the UPS hub until someone has contacted the shipper and all requested documentation faxed.

All carriers will note that countries change regulations and customs rules constantly. Paper items such as documents require the least amount of documentation if any at all. Proof of Delivery (POD) and tracing are available from UPS and YSDS. POD and tracking is only available for U.S. Postal Global Express and Global Priority Mail. It is available by Return Receipt for Registered and Insured international mail.

It is strongly recommended that YSDS be used for non-letter customs items not sent thru the Postal Service. They have the ability to import and export items (including HazMat materials) to and from countries all over the world.

For further information, please contact Logistics and Distribution Services at ext 81010.