Selling multivitamins via UK online shop to customers in the US

Question posted by Margarita White, on behalf of Nutri-Align Ltd in OX2

I run a small online shop selling a targeted multivitamin product. The product is compliant with EU regulations on food supplements.

I am now starting to get hits and queries from USA as well, from retail customers who would like to purchase my product.

Are there any licenses or approvals I need to obtain in order to send small retail orders of multivitamins to US customers?

The volume is really on a micro scale, I would get maybe 20-40 orders a month from US to start with, total sales value under £1,000.

Many thanks!

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Can't help you on the documentation side but please remember to notify your insurance company that you could be exporting to North America if you haven't already. This is extremely important as North America is normally a standard exclusion under Public and Product Liability insurance.

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Dear Margarita
we would certainly make contact with the FDA in USA and register with them.

Best regards

Colin ; crown freight ltd
T01263 513127

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Mike Hunter, on behalf of Ltd. in Nottingham.

Hi Margareta,
As per the previous responses, there are legal complexities in doing business with the US, and you are likely to need professional advice in your field of business. US labelling requirements are quite different to EU, and it doesn't follow that EU compliance means you will be compliant for the US. On the contrary, you are likely to need US specific approval and packaging. A good source of first help when starting to export is UKTI, and we would recommend their Passport to Export programme, which we benefitted from ourselves a few years ago. The short answer on small volumes to US customers is likely to be "don't do it", simply from the point of view that it's going to take time and cost to get it right, and there are heavy penalties for getting it wrong.
Hope this is helpful.

Kindest regards


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You should first familiarise yourself with FDA regulations on imports into the US -

They do have a section on vitamins so that you can check the export administration process and regulations.

Good luck!


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

Hello Margarita,

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 if there are any import restrictions on such items.

HM Revenue & Customs
Customs International Trade & Excise

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Lauren Dickerson, on behalf of UK Trade & Investment USA in United States.

Hello Margarita,

As mentioned in the previous responses, this would be regualted by the FDA ( in the US. All products must be registered with the FDA as well as the packaging facility. Your products will likely have to have comply with food and drink regualtions, which will include giving prior notice to any shipments.

It may be useful to look for a Customs Broker or FDA compliance consultancy.


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