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DHL Guide > Export to the USA

Export to the USA

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The US is set to continue being a key player in the global economy: the country has one of the world’s largest, most international and diversified economies, accounting for 11 per cent of global trade and 20 per cent of global manufacturing.

The US is one of Britain’s key trading partners: bilateral trade is worth over £130 billion every year. To further lower trade barriers, EU and American officials are negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which would provide additional revenues of £10 billion a year for the UK.

Sources: GOV.UK, IMF, US Department of Commerce

For more detailed information when trading with the USA, download our USA Fact Sheet.

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USA Fact Sheet (834 KB)

Read more detailed
information about USA

DHL Facts

Locations: 482

Gateways into the Country: 4

Number of Service Centres: 47

DHL Delivery Zone: 6

Vehicle Fleet: 2,500

USA: Country Profile
Capital: Washington, D.C. EXPORTS FROM USA
Population: 318.9 million Exports from
USA:
US$ 1.575 trillion (2013 est.)
Area: 9,826,675 sq km Export Commodities: Agricultural products (soybeans, fruit, corn), industrial supplies (organic chemicals), capital goods (transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers, telecommunications equipment), consumer goods (automobiles, medicines)
Currency: 1 US dollar (USD) = 100 cent Top Export Destinations: Germany, Australia, Canada, UK, Afghanistan, China, Japan, Belgium, France, Mexico
GDP: US$ 16.72 trillion (2013 est.) IMPORTS INTO USA
Time Zones: 6 time zones: UTC -5:00 (Eastern), UTC +6:00 (Central), UTC +7:00 (Mountain), UTC +8:00 (Pacific), UTC +9:00 (Alaska), UTC +10:00 (Hawaii - Aleutian); daylight savings time observed throughout exempting Hawaii Imports into
USA:
US$ 2.273 trillion (2013 est.)
Languages: English, Spanish, other Import Commodities: Agricultural products, industrial supplies (crude oil), capital goods (computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, electric power machinery), consumer goods (automobiles, clothing, medicines, furniture, toys)
Ethnic Groups: White 79.96%, Black 12.85%, Asian 4.43%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander 0.18%, mixed heritage 1.61% Top Import Origins: China, Germany, Hong Kong, UK, Taiwan, Italy
Transit Times
The times provided for
dutiable shipments
are based on the time
expected for Customs
in USA to clear
the shipment. This is
contingent upon the
value of the shipment.
Destination Non-Dutiable Shipment Dutiable Shipment
Washington, D.C. 2-3 days 2-3 days
New York 2 days 2 days
Los Angeles 2-3 days 2-3 days
Miami 5-8 days 5-8 days
Cincinnati 2-3 days 2-3 days
  • Further Information

    DHL can assist you with trading with USA. Contact the DHL team on 0844 248 0675

    DHL Customer Services is also available on 0844 248 0844

    Calls to DHL UK phone numbers beginning ‘084’ cost 7 pence per minute, plus your phone company’s

  • Duty Free Allowance

    Values up to US $200

Essential Customs Information

For an estimate of landed costs (duties, taxes and other import fees) for shipments going to USA use the free and interactive DHL Express Trade Automation Services (TAS) tool, tas.dhl.com. TAS also provides information on regulations compliance and trade documentation.

Goods which are US export licensed and/or with a value exceeding US$ 2,500: formal clearance is required (goods from Canada are exempt from this limit) and an Electronic Export Information (EEI) must be filed with US Customs. Textiles, foodstuffs and drugs require formal clearance if the value exceeds US$ 250.

If DHL is completing EEI filing and the shipment is moving on an Import Express account, the receiver must provide Power of Attorney (POA). US Customs levies a Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) whenever formal clearance is completed. The MPF is levied at 0.34364%, a minimum of US$ 24 and a maximum of US$ 485.

Goods may be subject to inspection by government agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

When shipping to a business: provide the receiver’s tax identification number (IRS number).

When shipping to a private importer: provide the receiver’s Social Security Number (SSN).


Prohibited items specific to the USA:

The list below is in addition to DHL’s standard list of prohibited items.

  • Asbestos
  • Cigars imported from Cuba
  • Documents sent from Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan and Syria
  • Firearms, or parts of
  • Fresh dates
  • Gambling devices
  • Goods made in Myanmar or North Korea imported directly or through third countries
  • Goods from Iran imported directly or through third countries; exception: foodstuffs intended for human consumption, carpets and other textile floor coverings and carpets used as wall hangings
  • If in bearer form: cash letters, cheques (NI): blank / cancelled / cashier, credit cards (NI)
  • Ivory
  • Meat and meat products

Restricted items specific to the USA:

Alcoholic beverages
Shipper must be FDA registered. Receiver must be a licensed alcoholic beverage importer, not a private individual. Provide prior notification; fee: US$ 10. FDA entry preparation fee: US$ 20.


Animal products including skins
Receiver to provide IRS number/SSN and POA. Commercial invoice must include detailed description of the commodity's common name, genus name and country of origin. Additional information: www.fws.gov/permits/ImportExport/ImportExport.html


Catalogues and non-advertisement booklets & brochures
Send bulk shipments, including intra-company transfers, as goods.


Chemicals, non-hazardous
State on Waybill and invoice ‘Not restricted article per IATA regulations’ – otherwise, shipment will be held until shipper or receiver can be contacted for identification. An imaged Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS) is recommended.


Cosmetics
Provide detailed description and end use of cosmetic item. Manufacturing Registration or Establishment number and a Cosmetic Registration number recommended to prevent clearance delays. Additional information: http://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/internationalactivities/importers/default.htm


Dangerous goods including hazardous or combustible materials
All shippers must be pre-approved through the Safety Department (Dangerous Goods Administration).


Drugs: prescription & non-prescription
Prescription drugs for personal use: US FDA unapproved drugs (90 day supply only) may be imported for an individual's personal use with a serious illness. Non-prescription drugs: provide name, intended use, ingredients, doses, formulations and labelling.


Foodstuffs
May require US Department of Agriculture and/or FDA inspection and/or import permit. Shippers must register with the FDA. Prior notification required; fee: US$ 10. FDA entry preparation fee: US$ 20. Commercial imports: provide receiver’s


Personal effects
Only send used personal effects. Provide receiver’s telephone number, flight number, arrival date, passport number and/or Social Security Number regardless of value. Personal effects valued over US$ 200: provide a completed CF3299 (declaration for free entry of personal effects) before shipping.


Spectacles, spectacle lenses and frames, magnifying spectacles and sunglasses
FDA clearance required; receiver to provide IRS number/SSN and POA. Additional requirements: www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/GuidanceDocuments/ucm150001.htm


Textile articles including fabrics and samples
B2B or B2C (for personal use) shipments: provide complete item description, Fabric Detail Sheet (FDS), gender (man/woman/boy/girl) and value per item needed.

Shipments over US$ 2,500: provide receiver’s SSN.

Commercial clothing including informal/duty free samples: must be mutilated and valued under US$ 2,500. Commercial shipments from WTO countries: Quota/Visa required. Commercial shippers: include on commercial invoice complete address of textile & apparel products manufacturer; textile declaration is not required.


Tobacco products
Receiver to provide POA. Cigars not properly labelled with country of manufacture as per US Customs regulations are subject to seizure. Cigarette shipments to unlicensed receivers will be returned to origin.


Works of art (originals) including paintings, drawings, pastels, collages, decorative plaques, sculptures / statues
Invoice must state artist’s name, year produced, edition if applicable (e.g. 1/12) and title of artwork.


For ship spares and x-ray machines, please contact DHL Customs Services before shipping.

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