Do we require any legal requirements to ship goods to USA

Question posted by Alan Doust, on behalf of Printstar Limited in ME7

We have been approached by a school in America, about the possibility of supplying them some of our books.
Apart from the delivery costs, is there anything else that I would need to do for the American Customs etc?

We have never exported anything before now.

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Morten Laerkholm, on behalf of Transporteca in Hong Kong.

There are 7 steps in international transportation you need to be aware of. They all have a cost and need to be paid by either exporter or importer. They are:

1. Pick-up from your address
2. Handling in the UK (at the warehouse)
3. Export customs clearance (UK)
4. Ocean freight
5. Import customs clearance (US)
6. Handing in US (at the warehouse)
7. Delivery to the final address

If the books attract duty, that will need to be paid separately in the US, typically by the importer.

To learn more about the 7 steps - have a look at

If you want to know whether your shipment requires payment of import duty, either contact a freight forwarder, or find the HS code on and then find the duty rate from US customs - on

I hope this can help.

Regards, Morten

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Dear Alan

Books going to the usa are normally duty free.We can sort out the hs code for you.
If you can please advise us weight and size of the shipment we can calculate the freight charges involved .We can also advise whether shipment by air or sea is best .
Please contact us directly on 01263 513127 or email

Best regards
colin ; crown freight ltd

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Sally Barlass, on behalf of Transvalair Group in Gatwick.

Hi There Alan,

I hope you are well.
In answer to your question, the shipper would need a detailed export invoice and the consignee would need to appoint a customs broker for clearance. This is best done before the shipment as the legal documents need to be singed.
If you would like any further information, or perhaps a quote, please do not hesitate to contac me.

Many Thanks and Kind Regards

Sally @ Transvalair

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HMRC Advisor, on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs in G67.

Information on the Customs requirements for exporting is given in HMRC Public Notice 275. All notices can be found on our website under Quick Links > Library > Official Statistics – Publications – Notices, Info Sheets & Other Reference Materials > Import, Export & International Trade. The Public Notices are in numerical order.

I would also suggest that you contact the Customs Authorities in the USA to ascertain their import requirements.

HM Revenue & Customs
Customs International Trade & Excise

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