Can obtaining a Prior Notification confirmation number be made easier


We had never heard of this requirement and our carriers as confused. We were exporting confectionary and had a deadline. We used an express option then realised we had this paperwork to complete. What a nightmare! Thinking we’d cracked it(it only took a concerted effort by three people 1hr 40 mins) we sent the package off. It took 5 days to clear US customs , but only after being asked to do the paper work (or some of it) again. We missed the deadline , but expect to be asked to supply our customer again. I am not looking forward to it. Any advice is most welcome. Thank’s


Hello Paul,

Filling out the Prior Notice online is a pain the first time, but if you’re company details (and the US importer’s) are now in the system, you’ll find it easier on the next attempt as the fields will automatically fill themselves in as you start typing in (or you can save a template so you don’t need to go through all the steps).

FedEx gave me advice on how to do it the first time over the phone, so if you get stuck again call their customer service (or any other US carrier like UPS/DHL).



Hello Paul,

As Julian noted, UPS/DHL/ FedEx should be able to help if you run into any other questions.

There are also third party organizations that can also advise on prior notice paperwork and FDA regualtions. One company that we have worked with is Registrar Corp (

Best of Luck,

Export Action Plan