Export Shipping

The shipment of controlled physical items, such as scientific equipment, shipment and utilization of equipment, technology or other export controlled items from the United States to a foreign national or foreign country could possibly require an export license from the Department of Commerce depending on the item, destination, recipient, and end-use.

USA’s Office of Research Compliance and Assurance (OCRA) has developed a shipping guidance document [International Shipping Guidance_2016.pdf] for help with international shipping issues and provides a checklist for shipping items overseas.

Remember, everything that crosses the border is an export...

  • even if it's temporary
  • even if it wasn't sold
  • even if it will be used for research

International shipping is subject to export and import controls, duties, taxes and regulations of 196 different countries. Every export from the U.S. is an import somewhere else — all shipments go through customs in the destination country.

Shipping to foreign countries incorrectly can result in fines, payment of unnecessary taxes, confiscation, or incarceration. Some items, as well as some software and information, are subject to US export controls. The impact of these controls on a particular shipment depends on the item, the country it's being shipped to, the entity or individual who will receive it, and the use to which it will be put.