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Shipping from UK to US – If you’re an ambitious e-commerce retailer who is looking to grow your business and your international shipping, shipping from the UK to the US offers some excellent opportunities. The USA has a well established and sophisticated e-commerce market and one of the largest and most commercially engaged customer bases. Consumers in the USA spend a whopping £12.5 billion on goods and services from the UK every year. And with 93% of US citizens saying they use the internet in 2021, your potential reach is significant, to say the least! 

If you are interested in growing your business stateside – and who wouldn’t be? – there are a number of important things to consider. One of the most critical is preparing to ship from the UK to the USA. This guide will talk you through all you need to know. From shipping costs from the UK to the USA, shipping times from the UK to the USA, customs considerations, important tax duties, packaging tips and more – we’ve got it covered. 

So, grab your favourite drink, settle back and get your pad and pen ready. You’re about to discover everything you need to know about shipping from UK to US. Here’s what we’ll cover: 

Before we start, make sure to download our International Shipping Checklist. With this document, you can check off everything you need for smooth international shipping.

Shipping from UK to US – the most important things

As mentioned, this guide will cover all the shipping information you need in later sections. But just to give you a very rough guide of costs and times, here are a few examples using some of the most popular shipping providers. 

  • What are the shipping costs to send a small parcel to the USA? The cost for sending an international tracked and signed for parcel weighing up to 2kg with Royal Mail starts at £6.85. But sending something larger, like a 5kg package, sized 10x10x10cm to the USA, will cost more. With Hermes, this costs £72.66. This is a courier collection service and takes 3 to 7 working days. To drop off at a service point costs marginally less at £72.24.  
  • What are the shipping times from the UK to the USA? Sending a parcel to the USA with UPS using door-to-door delivery takes 3 business days (arrival before the end of the day).
  • What is the cheapest shipping from the UK to the USA? The cheapest service depends on what your requirements are; how quickly you need the package to arrive, how much it weighs, what size it is, and what tracking you require. So there isn’t really a straightforward answer, to be honest. But don’t worry, we’ll be covering all that and much, much more. 

Read on for more information on finding the right USA shipping service for your business.

Shipping from UK to US will benefit your e-commerce business

We’ve mentioned above – but it’s definitely worth repeating – US consumers spend a staggering £12.5 billion on goods and services from the UK every year. In addition to this considerable opportunity, buyers in the US trust companies in the UK to deliver quality goods at competitive prices. E-commerce is as seamlessly integrated into consumer behaviour as it is in the UK, so there shouldn’t be any surprises when it comes to approaching this new and lucrative market. And, of course, US consumers use a number of the same e-commerce platforms as UK merchants including Etsy, eBay and Amazon. 

With 50 states covering an area of 9,826,675 km² and supporting around 328 million inhabitants (2019) – the United States of America is a global powerhouse with an enormous amount of sales potential for UK online retailers. According to Statista, e-commerce in the USA increased from $319,772m in 2018 to $431,648m in 2020. Statista predicts this trajectory will continue until at least 2024 with an annual sales growth of 6.3%. 

Here’s a look at the current sales figures for industries in the USA:

  • Grocery and drugstore: £36,050,978
  • Furniture and household: £50,953,069
  • Toys, Hobby & DIY: £61,544,292
  • Electronics & media: £67,451,768
  • Fashion: £96,139,264

Creating opportunity out of the COVID crisis

As the world continues to adapt to the various impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic it is worth noting that the health crisis has presented further opportunities for e-commerce retailers to support citizens in both the UK and the USA. Shopping malls are no longer the preferred option for consumers, and online retailers are reaping the rewards. From January to February 2020 alone, online purchases in the US increased by an incredible 50%. Who knows what the future will bring but now is your chance to capitalise on this new sales potential with parcel shipping from UK to US.

Shipping from the UK to the USA: The breakdown

Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty. Choosing the right shipping services for your e-commerce business, from the UK to the USA. The costs and services on offer are a vital part of your stateside growth strategy. Your UK customers demand excellent customer service, value for money, a choice of shipping options and – of course – for their packages to arrive on time in great condition. Your US customers will expect the same.

When you are doing your research, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to choose one shipping supplier. Perhaps one carrier is better for quick deliveries and another is better for parcels that are not time-sensitive. So why not offer the choice to your customers, and benefit from the great choice of rates yourself? It’s up to you to decide what is best for your business, now and into the future. 

Now to continue your research. In this section, we’ll be covering how much it costs to ship from the UK to the USA. Plus we’ll be revealing how long it takes to ship from the UK to the USA with some of the most well known and highly regarded shipping carriers.

Which carriers ship from UK to US?

E-commerce retailers can choose from a variety of different shipping carriers when sending goods from the UK to the US. These include: 

  1. DPD
  2. DHL
  3. Hermes
  4. FedEx
  5. Royal Mail 
  6. UPS

As we have mentioned above, you don’t need to be tied to one carrier. If you want to choose one service from one and a different shipping service from another – that’s your prerogative. Or better yet – why not have full flexibility to choose from all the best carriers as your business and your requirements change and grow? With Sendcloud you can conveniently combine the different shipping methods of the most important shipping service providers via your account and send your parcels flexibly and reliably! Find out more about how Sendcloud can help your business

ship to us with royal mail

Shipping from UK to US with Royal Mail

Royal Mail teams up with its sister company Parcelforce for international shipping including shipments to the USA. All international delivery services are full-tracked. Insurance cover ranges from £200 for the priority and express services to £100 for the economy services. You can choose from the following time-sensitive and non-time-sensitive services.

Shipping methods available from the UK to the USA with Royal Mail (Parcelforce)

Shipping method Delivery time Costs
Parcelforce Global Express Next working day Prices start at £43.50
Parcelforce Global Priority From three working days Prices start at £30.00
Parcelforce Global Value Delivery usually 5-8 working days Prices start at £9.78
Parcelforce Global Economy – this service is for heavier shipments up to 30kg Delivery usually 28-46 working days Prices start at £24.70.

Examples of shipping costs from the UK to the USA with Parcelforce

For a package sized 10x10x10cm and weighing 2kg, ParcelForce offers the following costings: 

Shipping method Pick up / drop off Delivery time Costs
Global Value drop off at Post Office or pick up from address 5+ days delivery £35.35
Global Express collected from your address approx 1 day delivery £70.25
Global Priority collected from your address 3+ days delivery £52.45
Global Priority drop off at Post Office 5+ days delivery £42.45

Shipping time from the UK to the US with Parcelforce

International shipments with Parcelforce are usually delivered between 1 and 8 days. Exact transit times depend on the service you choose and the exact destination of the package. And don’t forget, the US is vast, so more remote locations may take longer.

ship to us with DHL

Shipping from UK to US with DHL

DHL offers a number of fully tracked international delivery services from the UK to the US. Customers can choose from delivery signature preferred, signature required and adult signature required. Insurance is not included. The carrier offers protection costing £12.00 for shipments valued up to £800 or 1.5% of the total value if greater than £800. 

Shipping methods available from the UK to the USA with DHL

  • DHL Parcel International: This is a global road delivery service that offers both proof of delivery and online tracking. Customers can request pre-delivery alerts and up to £500 extended insurance cover. The maximum dimensions for packages are 120 x 60 x 60cm. Parcels can weigh up to 25kg. The delivery time depends on where the parcel is being sent from and to. Contact DHL for more information. 
  • DHL Worldwide Air Delivery: This is the service to opt for if your parcels are time-sensitive. Both end-to-end tracking and proof of delivery are included. If your items are highly valuable, up to £1000 extended insurance cover is available. The maximum dimensions for packages are 120 x 60 x 60 or 100 x 80 x 80cm. The maximum package weight is 25kg. Delivery takes between 1-3 days depending on the exact destination.

Examples of shipping costs from the UK to the USA with DHL Worldwide Air Delivery

Size and weight Delivery time Cost
27 x 35 x 2cm weighing up to 0.5kg 1-3 working days £30.95
34 x 18 x 10cm weighing up to 1.5kg 1-3 working days £37.95
34 x 32 x 18cm weighing up to 7kg 1-3 working days £55.95

Shipping time from the UK to the US with DHL

The shipping time between the UK to the US with DHL usually takes between 1-3 when you choose DHL Worldwide Air Delivery.

ship to us with DPD

Shipping from UK to US with DPD

DPD offers two shipping options from the UK to the USA; Express and Economy. Both services are fully trackable, in real time, with DPD Predict. Customers can post their shipments from any of DPD’s 2,500 dropoff points and get proof of delivery for added peace of mind. Parcels are protected up to a value of £50. Additional insurance is available up to a value of £5,000. DPD also offers multilingual customer service. 

Shipping methods available from the UK to the USA with DPD

  • DPD Express: This is the DPD service to use if you need your parcels to get there quickly. Deliveries take between 2 – 4 days.
    DPD Air Classic: This is a great economy option if your packages aren’t time-sensitive. Deliveries take between 4-7 days depending on the day you send them and the exact origin and destination. 

Examples of shipping costs from the UK to the USA with DPD

Shipping method  Weight and size Delivery time Costs
DPD Air Classic (drop off at shop) 10x10x10cm weighing 2kg Delivery between 4-7 working days £32.09
DPD Express (drop off at shop) 10x10x10cm weighing 2kg Delivery between 3-5 working days £34.84
DPD Air Classic (drop off at shop) 20x20x20cm weighing 5kg Delivery between 4-7 working days £60.29
DPD Express (drop off at shop) 20x20x20cm weighing 5kg Delivery between 3-5 working days £63.04

Shipping time from the UK to the USA with DPD

Shipping time from the UK to the USA with DPD Express takes between 3-5 working days. For the DPD Air Classic service, deliveries should arrive within 4-7 working days.

ship to us with fedex

Shipping from UK to US with FedEx

FedEx customers can choose from 3 great options when shipping from the UK to the USA. All FedEx international shipping services are fully tracked on the website or mobile app. Customers can choose from a range of delivery signature options including no signature, indirect signature, direct signature and adult signature. FedEx do not provide cargo liability or all-risk insurance but the Sender may pay an additional charge for Declared Value for Carriage. Please see the FedEx website for more details. 

Shipping methods available from the UK to the USA with FedEx

  • FedEx International First: This premium service from FedEx will get your shipments to their destination within 2 days. Deliveries should arrive at either 8am or 8.30am. 
  • FedEx International Priority: As the name suggests, this is the fastest shipping service from the UK to the US with FedEx. Shipments will be delivered the next day to businesses in the USA and 12 noon to most residential addresses. Deliveries may take longer to more remote locations. 
  • FedEx International Economy: For shipments that are less time-sensitive, this economy service from FedEx is ideal. Deliveries will arrive at their destination between 2-5 days.

Examples of shipping costs from the UK to the USA with FedEx

Delivery Destinations Shipping Method Delivery Time Weight Cost
UK to New York, US FedEx International Economy Delivery between 2-5 days 1kg package £79.86
UK to New York, US FedEx International Priority Depending on the drop off time, the package will arrive by either 9am, 9.30am or 10am the next day 1kg package £85.98
UK to New York, US FedEx International Economy Delivery between 2-5 days 5 kg package £123.03
UK to New York, US FedEx International Priority Depending on the drop off time, the package will arrive by either 9am, 9.30am or 10am the next day 5 kg package £136.48

Important note: FedEx offers the possibility to negotiate preferential rates, so we definitely advise contacting their team and discussing possibilities.

Shipping time from the UK to the US with FedEx

Shipment times from the UK to the US with FedEx vary from next day delivery for the FedEx priority service to 2-5 days for the economy service.

ship to us with hermes

Shipping from UK to US with Hermes

Hermes offers one shipping method from the UK to the USA – Hermes International Economy. Your shipments will arrive between 3 and 7 days and are fully tracked. 

Shipping methods available from the UK to the USA with Hermes

There are two different options available for the sending part of the process; either by a courier collection service or by dropping the parcel off at any of the conveniently located 4,500 Hermes ParcelShops across the UK. The latter method costs less than using a courier. It’s important to note that Hermes ParcelShops can only accept packages up to 115cm in length and up to 15kg in weight. If you use the Hermes ParcelShop service you won’t be able to organise a delivery signature. The parcel may be left unattended at the delivery point. This is due to the fact that Hermes isn’t an international service so they partner with local couriers and packages are passed to 3rd party services for delivery. 

Shipping method Weight and size Delivery time Cost
Drop off / courier collection international service 10x10x10cm weighing 2kg package 3-7 working days £39.34 drop off / £39.76 courier collection
Drop off / courier collection international service 10x10x10cm weighing 5kg package 3-7 working days £72.24 drop off / £72.66 courier collection
Drop off / courier collection international service 10x10x10cm weighing 10kg package 3-7 working days £136.94 drop off / £137.36 courier collection

Shipping time from the UK to the US with Hermes

Delivery takes between 3 and 7 days, regardless of whether you opt for courier pick up or dropping off at a Hermes ParcelShop.

ship to us with ups

Shipping from UK to USA with UPS

UPS is a well-established American company and has a very good network and reputation there. The carrier offers a good range of shipping methods from the UK to the USA.

Shipping methods available from the UK to the USA with UPS

All services are fully tracked and you can choose from delivery confirmed, signature required or adult signature required. UPS also offers a number of pick up options, including on Saturdays and regular scheduled pickups for e-commerce retailers who make deliveries on a regular basis and like to plan ahead. Here are the UPS shipping services to the USA that you can choose from: 

Shipping Method Delivery time Delivery by
UPS Worldwide Express Freight 1-3 business days Delivery by end of day
UPS Worldwide Express Freight Midday 1-3 business days Delivery by 12:00 noon or 14:00 (depending on the destination postcode)
UPS Express Saver 1-5 business days  Delivery by end of day
UPS Expedited 2-5 business days Delivery by end of day
UPS Standard Depends on the date it is scheduled Delivery during the day

Examples of shipping costs from the UK to the USA with UPS

UK to New York, US UPS Express Delivery typically by 10:30 am the next day 0-3kg

3-6kg

10-15kg

£30.60

£39.85

£61.65

UK to New York, US UPS Express Saver Delivery typically by the end of the next day 0-3kg

3-6kg

10-15kg

£28.80

£37.65

£58.20

Please note: the UPS prices listed above are Sendcloud rates. These may differ from the rates available on the UPS website.

Shipping time from the UK to the US with UPS

Depending on the service you choose, shipping from the UK to the US with UPS takes between 1-5 business days. See the above section for more details.

Things to consider when shipping from the UK to the USA

shipping from uk to us
With the complete lowdown on the different shipping carrier’s offerings completed, we thought it would be useful to include a number of FAQs for e-commerce retailers who are shipping from the UK to the USA. We have included information on factors that might affect your shipping, packaging tips to help you avoid delays and damage – and save money, plus an overview of your responsibilities when it comes to customs and duties. If you don’t find what you need below, head over to the Sendcloud resource hub where you’ll find a huge amount of information, including how to choose the right shipping provider, mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and much, much more. 

What factors affect shipping costs from the UK to the USA?

As with deliveries to other international destinations, the costs for shipping to the USA depend on:

  • The weight of your package. 
  • The width, length and height of your package.
  • When you want the package delivered by.
  • Your delivery signature requirements. 
  • The kind of tracking you need. 
  • Any other additional services such as insurance. 

What factors affect how long it takes to send a parcel from the UK to the USA?

The delivery time for your parcel shipping to the USA depends on the following factors:

  • The shipping service provider you choose.
  • The shipping method you opt for e.g standard, express, premium etc. 
  • Whether you want the package picked up or you drop the package off. 
  • The exact destination of the goods (as you can imagine, more remote destinations can take longer). 
  • Clearance time at customs.
  • Any impacts resulting from the COVID-19 situation. 

Here is an overview of how long your shipping from the UK to the USA takes on average from the following overview:

Average delivery time to the USA 5 to 8 working days for economy services

2 to 3 working days for express services

Shipping to the USA with the Post Office 5 to 9 working days
Shipping to the USA with DHL 1 to 3 working days
Shipping to the USA with UPS 1 to 4 working days

Potential delays in transit to the USA due to public holidays

Similarly to the UK, transit times for shipping to the USA may be affected due to public holidays. If you aren’t sure how much your services will be impacted, it’s a good idea to add a disclaimer or note to your website and/or sales receipts. 

Here are the public holidays in the United States (2021):

  • January 1st: New Years Day
  • January 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 15: President’s Day
  • May 31: Memorial Day
  • July 4th: Independence Day (alternative date on July 5th!)
  • September 6: Labor Day
  • October 11: Columbus Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day
  • November 25th: Thanksgiving
  • December 25th: Christmas Day

Shipping to the USA from the UK after Brexit

As we are all aware, Brexit has affected shipping services and processes between the UK and the EU. If your shipments are being sent directly from an address in the UK to an address in the USA there shouldn’t be any Brexit-related impact on your shipments.
Need to know more about Brexit and shipping? Visit our Brexit resource centre, where you’ll find a huge amount of information on shipping to Europe after Brexit. And don’t forget to check out our guides to the EORI number and EU VAT as well.

6 top packaging tips for shipping to the USA

Making sure that your goods arrive on time and in great condition after their long journey to the US is vital. So, using the right packaging and packaging techniques needs to be a key focus of your shipping strategy to the USA. Alongside making sure your goods are protected and secure, it also helps you keep your costs down as larger packages tend to incur more costs, and protrusions can also add unnecessary costs to your shipments. 

Here are some tips for packing your packages well and safely:

  1. When you are booking your shipment, check the price gradations for package size (dimensions) and weight.
  2. Use safe and lightweight filling material such as bubble wrap, styrofoam or, even better, environmentally friendly materials such as recycled cardboard and paper that are FSC approved and biodegradable packing peanuts. 
  3. Use sturdy packaging and reinforce the corners with tape for extra protection if necessary.
  4. Stick to the maximum size of 120 x 60 x 60 cm (external dimensions) and 360 cm (belt size) to avoid surcharges.
  5. Attach all the important customs documents securely to the outside of the package. 
  6. Address the package correctly. Which brings us neatly to our next section…

How to write a USA address when shipping from UK to US?

When shipping from the UK to the USA, the address should be typed and written in capital letters where possible. The house number should be written before the street name, followed by the place name, the abbreviation for the state and the full postcode. 

It is vital that you include the state as there are many places in the United States that have the same names. For example, Simpsons fans may be interested to know that there are 34 populated places called Springfield in the USA. The final line on the address, the country of destination – the USA – must be written in capital letters in English. 

Top tip: It’s a good idea to include the recipient’s mobile phone number and email address on the package. If there are any problems, they can be contacted immediately to find a resolution and mitigate any delays. 

Here’s an example of the correct way of writing an address when sending a parcel to the US:

Jack Stone

143rd Ave SE

Bellevue, WA 98007

UNITED STATES / USA

What customs documents are required for shipping from the UK to the USA?

Including all the right customs documents and making sure they are filled in correctly is vital. Customs officers aren’t known for their leniency or patience with incorrect documentation – and rightly so. Failing to get your customs paperwork right could result in fines, delays or your goods not getting to their destination at all. And that’s no good for the fabulous customer experience and loyalty you are building. 

The three most important documents you need to complete and submit when shipping from the UK to the US are the commercial invoice, air waybill (AWB) and either the CN22 and CN23 form. Read on to discover everything you need to know about these forms.

What is an airway bill?

An airway bill (AWB) is a customs document that is supplied with goods being sent by an international courier. The AWB acts as a legal contract between the sender and the shipping carrier, so as you can imagine, it is critical it is supplied correctly. 

The AWB contains important information about the shipments such as the address of the buyer, the value of the goods, description of the products, the weight of the goods and the airport code where the package was sent from. This is important information, not only for shipping processes but because it also assists with tracking. 

A number of regulations apply to goods such as alcohol and electronic items. If you are sending goods in the regulated category you may need to provide additional documents. Check the official import and export web pages for the USA for more information. 

What is a commercial invoice and why do I need one?

A commercial invoice is a document that helps customs officers decide what customs and duties need to be applied to your shipments. They are mandatory if you ship with an international carrier, such as DHL Express or UPS. Having a standardised form helps speed up processes and prevents delays. It is the seller’s responsibility to ensure the commercial invoice is completed and included in the shipment, but it is a good idea to send a copy of the commercial invoice to your customer before shipping to ensure the details are correct.

So, why do ambitious e-commerce retailers need to understand commercial invoices? In a nutshell, you need a commercial invoice to help ensure your parcels get through customs swiftly, that you don’t incur fines and you prevent delays to your customers. So, it’s very much worthwhile getting it right! You can find out everything you need to know about commercial invoices including what to include on them – and you can download a free template by visiting our complete guide to commercial invoices

What are Customs declarations CN22 and CN23 and why do I need them?

Customs declarations CN22 and CN23 forms include information that accurately describes the contents of your parcel. It’s important to supply the completed form correctly when shipping with a postal company like Royal Mail or Parcelforce. They help busy customs officials understand what you are sending quickly and easily. This means they can process and clear your shipments more efficiently and you get them to your customers on time. 

What’s the difference between a CN22 and CN23? 

If your shipment has a value of up to £270 you need to attach a signed and dated CN22. If the value is greater than £270, or your package weighs more than 2kg, you need to supply a Customs Declaration CN23.

Need more information on these forms? We’ve got it covered. Head over to our complete guide to customs declarations CN22 and CN23 for everything you need to know plus a free, easy to use tool for creating your own forms.  

What are the import and tax duties for shipping from the UK to the USA?

As with the majority of international destinations, import and tax duties apply when sending goods from the UK to the USA. Understandably this can be a challenging and daunting subject for e-commerce retailers, but once you take the time to familiarise yourself with the main considerations such as which customs tariff numbers to use, it really isn’t that hard at all. 

Here’s a rundown of all you need to know about import and tax duties for shipping to the USA from the UK.

What are duties? 

Duties are collected by the government on goods as they enter a country and are usually paid by the importer. Common types of duties include trade tariffs and export and excise duties. 

What are taxes?

Despite the fact that the goods are purchased overseas they may still be subject to government taxes such as VAT and GST when they arrive in the country. The amount of taxes varies per country and they are usually paid by the importer. 

In your situation as an online retailer, in the exchange of sale, you are classed as the exporter, and your customer is classified as the importer. 

How do I know how much I need to pay in duties and taxes?

There are a number of factors that will affect how much duties and taxes you need to pay: 

  • Your product’s HS code: This is a short universally accepted code that is used to classify your goods. You can find out more about this handy system in our complete guide to HS codes
  • What the goods are, and how much they are worth: Naturally, the type of goods and their value will impact the amount of tax and duty you pay. Another reason why it is so important to include the right information on your commercial invoice. 
  • The Incoterms: Another handy system for international shipping. Incoterms help standardise and streamline shipping processes by describing the different responsibilities for insurance, transport, customs clearance and liability. Basically, your chosen Incoterm determines what you as the seller are responsible for, and what your customer is responsible for. They determine whether you will cover the costs of the duties and taxes, or whether your customer will pay for them. And yes, we have a complete guide to Incoterms too, so you can get it right the first time.

Don’t forget: check about the Rule of Origin for the type of products you’re shipping. You may need to present Proof of Origin for your goods, or be able to access preferential duty rates. 

How do I calculate import duties that I need to pay?

  1. Check the duty percentage rate on the goods you’re shipping to the USA. You should be able to find this using our free HS code finder
  2. Add up the value of the goods, all freight costs, insurance premiums and any other costs, then multiply the total by the duty rate. The total is the amount of duty you need to pay for your shipment when it goes through customs

How do I calculate the tax that I need to pay? 

  1. Find out the sales tax (VAT) rates for the USA. At the time of writing, this was 10%. 
  2. Add up the value of your goods, all your freight costs, insurance premiums, import duty and any additional costs you have incurred. 
  3. Multiply the total by the USA’s VAT rate. That’s the amount of VAT you’ll need to pay to customs for your shipment.

An example of calculating import duties on your shipments to the USA:

  • You, as the e-commerce merchant, are sending a t-shirt worth £20 from London to New York. 
  • You use the Sendcloud HS Code Finder to check which code you need to use. It’s 6109. 
  • You decide to send it by Parcelforce Global Vale which costs £35.35. You decide against insurance. 
  • The rate of duty on this item is 10% when sending from the UK to the USA. 
  • So, Value = £20 + freight cost = £35.35 = £55.35. 
  • The total duty you need to pay is £5.53.

How do I know when to pay the duties and taxes on my goods?

In most situations, senders pay duties and taxes on goods before they arrive at customs in their country of destination. Some carriers offer a chargeable service to manage this which can speed up import processes, especially if you are new to sending parcels internationally. 

Which goods cannot be shipped to the United States?

shipping from uk to us
It’s up to you to make sure that you understand your responsibilities when shipping to the USA, and that includes knowing which goods you can’t send. Types of prohibited goods do change over time so it’s important to check with the official USA import information if you are sending a new type of product. Your shipping carrier may also be able to help you with this. 

Here is a list of the goods that are excluded from shipping to the USA for your initial orientation at the time of writing:

  •     Alcoholic beverages as well as perfumes or sweets with alcohol  
  •     Tobacco products
  •     Any candy that has something inedible in it (e.g. surprise eggs)
  •     Animals or plants that are under species protection
  •     Drugs or medication
  •     Fireworks
  •     Counterfeit products
  •     Documents with unconstitutional content
  •     Pornographic goods
  •     Animal products
  •     All kinds of weapons and ammunition
  •     Hazardous goods such as batteries, rechargeable batteries (also built into cell phones) and chemicals

Sending groceries to the USA – important considerations

If you’re an e-commerce merchant that sells groceries there are a few important things to do and consider before you send those delicious mince pies, earl grey tea bags or jars of Marmite. 

When shipping groceries to the United States, make sure you:

  1. Register with the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and send your completed Prior Notice to the FDA. 
  2. Ask for an Import Specialist at the respective arrival airport who will advise you on all regulations and required documents. You could also consider hiring an American customs agent to manage this for you.
  3. Check with your shipping provider to make sure they are happy to transport your goods if you are unsure in any way.

Conclusion

We hope this complete guide to shipping from the UK to the USA has been useful as you start out on your journey growing your business stateside. With so many commercial opportunities available in the US it is certainly worth getting to grips with the admin and bureaucracy involved. And with such a great choice of shipping providers out there, you can be confident that your parcels will be well looked after – at a cost that suits both you and your customer. As we have mentioned earlier, always remember that you don’t have to choose just one shipping supplier. In fact, if you sign up with Sendcloud you can choose from a variety of shipping providers with just a few clicks! Sounds good? Find out more today

Whatever you decide, we’ll be wishing you the best of luck. There’s a reason why they call it the land of opportunity. Why not give it a go? 

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