Exporting to the USA from the UK


It’s my first time posting a question on here so if I have missed out anything or not been clear on something then please ask and I will answer as soon as I can.

We currently sell artwork prints created by British Artists and these are produced on wood, metal but mainly canvas on wooden frames, we also supply glass coasters, place mats, chopping boards, cushions with the artwork printed on through our "Artistic Britain" website in the UK to which we sell to the public and trade, our plan is to launch a website in the states but to sell to trade only as we plan to put a minimum order value of $500. These items will be despatched from the UK and exported to the states via DHL or some other similar third party parcel carrier.

I understand that the VAT code would be Zero as they are being exported from the UK but I basically need to understand the implications of selling to the states.

As we are selling goods direct from our website, are there any disclaimers/notices for possible third party charges that we need to display at the time of purchase?

Will we need to quote the commodity code on any/all of the paperwork and website?

Do we need a license for selling these goods?

As we are using a third party parcel courier are they responsible for the duty and tax once the package is in the states?

Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated



Dear Ms Parker

If you would like to send your contact details to my partner Leigh Head on lbh@sherrards.com, Leigh will give you a call to walk you through the issues.

Kind regards

Paul Marmor
International Services Partner, Sherrards


Hello Karen,

I recommend adding a ‘Shipping Policy’ section to your website, for example:

"We ship worldwide, however orders will require additional postage. Please contact prior to placing order for exact shipping quote. Should you place an order, you will receive an online invoice for the additional amount."

Under this type of agreement, you are not responsible for duties when a package clears US customs (the carrier ultimately pays these and then invoices the US importer for the full amount – though the package isn’t released until this invoice is settled in full).

It does help to know commodity codes and state them on your packing list + airway bill as carriers have been know to mis-classify (and over-charge on duties). I wouldn’t worry about publishing these on your website.

Unless your artwork prints are more than 50 years old or above 65000GBP in value, you won’t require an export license.


Export Action Plan