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USA Customs Information

Customs Information

Please take a moment to review the important customs information before shipping to USA.

Personal Effects Customs Clearance United States

Shipments with a declared value under $800 USD

Shipments with a declared value under $800 USD will only require a packing list detailing a list of the contents of the shipment, to be cleared duty free by customs.

Shipments with a declared value over $800 USD

For shipments with a declared value over $800 USD, after your order is completed you will be required to log in to your account and spend a couple of minutes completing a questionnaire, which will provide Send My Bag with the necessary information to submit a 3299 Personal Effects form to customs on your behalf.

The owner of the bag will also be required to upload a copy of their passport onto the booking to allow us to declare the consignment as a Personal Effect shipment, which will then make the items eligible for duty exemption.

Glasses, sunglasses and other optics

US Customs consider sunglasses, glasses, contact lenses and other optics to be medical equipment and will require a Drop Ball Certificate from the optics' manufacturer to permit the items for entry into the US.  We recommend you contact your optics' manufacturer prior to shipping to obtain this certificate.  If the certificate cannot be obtained, please do not ship the optics as this will result in the entire shipment being returned.

General Personal Effects Customs Information

Personal effects are typically defined as used items which have been in the sender's possession for 6 months or more. If your shipment is checked by  customs and is found to contain brand new or commercial items, you shipment may not be assessed as personal effects. Keep this in mind if you are sending Christmas gifts or other new items. Please check with customs so you are aware of potential customs duties, follow any advice given and attach all necessary documentation.

In order to demonstrate that your shipment consists of personal effects, you will be required to complete a brief non-generic packing list online, entries to be made in the format: "5 x Cotton Dresses, 2 x Jeans, 3 x Pair of Gloves", and so on, rather than as "10 x Used Clothing".

As customs processes and allowances vary by country, we advise all customers take 5 minutes to check how their personal circumstances and what they are sending will be assessed under the prevailing customs regulations of the destination.

More information is available on our customs information page.

Shipping Gifts to the United States

The US allows a maximum of $100 worth of gifts to be sent to any one person in a single day. For "Insular Territories" (US territories that are not 1 of the 50 US states, or the Federal District of Colombia) have an increased allowance of $200 per person.

Where gifts are being sent to multiple people within the same packaging, each gift must be individually wrapped and clearly marked with each recipient's name. The $100 allowance applies per person and not per consignment in such instances.

If gifts exceed the $100 gift threshold, the tax-free allowance is void and duty/tax will be applied to the entire value of the shipment.

US Customs consider sunglasses, glasses, contact lenses and other optics to be medical equipment and will require a Drop Ball Certificate from the optics' manufacturer to permit the items for entry into the US.  We recommend you contact your optics' manufacturer prior to shipping to obtain this certificate.  If the certificate cannot be obtained, please do not ship the optics as this will result in the entire shipment being returned.

Personal Effects Customs Clearance United States

Shipments with a declared value under $800 USD

Shipments with a declared value under $800 USD will only require a packing list detailing a list of the contents of the shipment, to be cleared duty free by customs.

Shipments with a declared value over $800 USD

For shipments with a declared value over $800 USD, after your order is completed you will be required to log in to your account and spend a couple of minutes completing a questionnaire, which will provide Send My Bag with the necessary information to submit a 3299 Personal Effects form to customs on your behalf.

The owner of the bag will also be required to upload a copy of their passport onto the booking to allow us to declare the consignment as a Personal Effect shipment, which will then make the items eligible for duty exemption.

Glasses, sunglasses and other optics

US Customs consider sunglasses, glasses, contact lenses and other optics to be medical equipment and will require a Drop Ball Certificate from the optics' manufacturer to permit the items for entry into the US.  We recommend you contact your optics' manufacturer prior to shipping to obtain this certificate.  If the certificate cannot be obtained, please do not ship the optics as this will result in the entire shipment being returned.

General Personal Effects Customs Information

Personal effects are typically defined as used items which have been in the sender's possession for 6 months or more. If your shipment is checked by  customs and is found to contain brand new or commercial items, you shipment may not be assessed as personal effects. Keep this in mind if you are sending Christmas gifts or other new items. Please check with customs so you are aware of potential customs duties, follow any advice given and attach all necessary documentation.

In order to demonstrate that your shipment consists of personal effects, you will be required to complete a brief non-generic packing list online, entries to be made in the format: "5 x Cotton Dresses, 2 x Jeans, 3 x Pair of Gloves", and so on, rather than as "10 x Used Clothing".

As customs processes and allowances vary by country, we advise all customers take 5 minutes to check how their personal circumstances and what they are sending will be assessed under the prevailing customs regulations of the destination.

More information is available on our customs information page.

Shipping Gifts to the United States

The US allows a maximum of $100 worth of gifts to be sent to any one person in a single day. For "Insular Territories" (US territories that are not 1 of the 50 US states, or the Federal District of Colombia) have an increased allowance of $200 per person.

Where gifts are being sent to multiple people within the same packaging, each gift must be individually wrapped and clearly marked with each recipient's name. The $100 allowance applies per person and not per consignment in such instances.

If gifts exceed the $100 gift threshold, the tax-free allowance is void and duty/tax will be applied to the entire value of the shipment.

US Customs consider sunglasses, glasses, contact lenses and other optics to be medical equipment and will require a Drop Ball Certificate from the optics' manufacturer to permit the items for entry into the US.  We recommend you contact your optics' manufacturer prior to shipping to obtain this certificate.  If the certificate cannot be obtained, please do not ship the optics as this will result in the entire shipment being returned.

A maximum of 1 lithium battery is permitted per shipment (excludes to / from Australia) when it is contained within a working personal electronic device such as a mobile phone. Review our battery policy.

  • Aerosols or any other pressurised containers;
  • Liquids, Pastes and Gels of any type (including nail varnish and perfume);
  • Toner Cartridges;
  • Loose Batteries & Power Banks;
  • No more than ONE device containing a lithium battery in line with our battery policy OR when shipping to / from Australia or China, NO device containing any kind of battery;
  • Tracking devices such as AirTags;
  • Animals and Animal products;
  • Firearms and firearm parts, ammunition, explosives, weapons (including imitations and toys of same);
  • Flowers and plant products;
  • Human remains or ashes;
  • Medical samples;
  • Items that require a temperature controlled environment;
  • Pornography;
  • Prescription drugs and pharmaceutical products;
  • Tobacco and vaping products regardless of nicotine content;
  • Religious Artefacts
  • Foodstuffs, perishable, animal origin and controlled food articles and beverages including, but not limited to: Fruit & vegetables, dairy products (including dried products containing dairy such as milk chocolate and protein powder), meat, fish, nuts, seeds, wine, beer, spirits and champagne; or
  • Packages that are wet, leaking or emit an odour of any kind;
  • Valuables and high value items including but not limited to antiques, paintings, jewellery, precious stones and electrical equipment (low value electrical equipment is permitted but sent at the owner's risk);
  • Cash or other forms of tradeable currency;
  • Credit cards;
  • Passports or other confidential personal documentation;
  • Irreplaceable items;
  • Other Dangerous / hazardous goods;
  • Counterfeit goods;
  • Items from sanctioned countries;
  • Other illegal or restricted goods.

More information is available under section 11 of our terms of service.

Additional prohibited items from United States

  • Gambling Devices.
  • Sunglasses, glasses, contact lenses and other optics (unless a Drop Ball Certificate from the manufacturer is provided).
  • Items of Cuban Origin.
  • Items of Iranian Origin.
  • Items of Myanmar Origin.
  • Items of N.Korean Origin.
  • Items of Sudanese Origin.
  • Items of Syrian Origin.

Items excluded from cover

The following items will be accepted but are sent at your risk and are not included under complimentary cover:

  • Electrical Items, including but not limited to; Tablets, Mobile Phones, Computers, Hi-Fis, TVs.
  • Glass & Porcelain.
  • Any other non standard excess baggage items.

If you choose to send any of the above please ensure you package the item appropriately, for example a TV inside a suitcase is not appropriate.

A maximum of 1 lithium battery is permitted per shipment (excludes to / from Australia) when it is contained within a working personal electronic device such as a mobile phone. Review our battery policy.

  • Aerosols or any other pressurised containers;
  • Liquids, Pastes and Gels of any type (including nail varnish and perfume);
  • Toner Cartridges;
  • Loose Batteries & Power Banks;
  • No more than ONE device containing a lithium battery in line with our battery policy OR when shipping to / from Australia or China, NO device containing any kind of battery;
  • Tracking devices such as AirTags;
  • Animals and Animal products;
  • Firearms and firearm parts, ammunition, explosives, weapons (including imitations and toys of same);
  • Flowers and plant products;
  • Human remains or ashes;
  • Medical samples;
  • Items that require a temperature controlled environment;
  • Pornography;
  • Prescription drugs and pharmaceutical products;
  • Tobacco and vaping products regardless of nicotine content;
  • Religious Artefacts
  • Foodstuffs, perishable, animal origin and controlled food articles and beverages including, but not limited to: Fruit & vegetables, dairy products (including dried products containing dairy such as milk chocolate and protein powder), meat, fish, nuts, seeds, wine, beer, spirits and champagne; or
  • Packages that are wet, leaking or emit an odour of any kind;
  • Valuables and high value items including but not limited to antiques, paintings, jewellery, precious stones and electrical equipment (low value electrical equipment is permitted but sent at the owner's risk);
  • Cash or other forms of tradeable currency;
  • Credit cards;
  • Passports or other confidential personal documentation;
  • Irreplaceable items;
  • Other Dangerous / hazardous goods;
  • Counterfeit goods;
  • Items from sanctioned countries;
  • Other illegal or restricted goods.

More information is available under section 11 of our terms of service.

Additional prohibited items from United States

  • Gambling Devices.
  • Sunglasses, glasses, contact lenses and other optics (unless a Drop Ball Certificate from the manufacturer is provided).
  • Items of Cuban Origin.
  • Items of Iranian Origin.
  • Items of Myanmar Origin.
  • Items of N.Korean Origin.
  • Items of Sudanese Origin.
  • Items of Syrian Origin.

Items excluded from cover

The following items will be accepted but are sent at your risk and are not included under complimentary cover:

  • Electrical Items, including but not limited to; Tablets, Mobile Phones, Computers, Hi-Fis, TVs.
  • Glass & Porcelain.
  • Any other non standard excess baggage items.

If you choose to send any of the above please ensure you package the item appropriately, for example a TV inside a suitcase is not appropriate.

Prohibited Items

With Send My Bag™ you can travel with almost everything you would normally find in luggage, for security and customs reasons however certain items are prohibited, please find these listed below.

On EU standard services (not express) and all UK and US domestic services you may send:

  • Shower gel.
  • Toothpaste.
  • Other non flammable and non alcohol based liquids, pastes & gels for use on holiday.

Nail varnish, perfume and aerosols are not permitted. If these items are included in your luggage it may be returned to you.

Whilst non alcohol based liquids are permitted, damage caused by leakage is not covered by complimentary cover and therefore only small amounts should be sent. If an x-ray shows liquids of any type security may stop your bag for inspection.

A maximum of 1 lithium battery is permitted per shipment (excludes to / from Australia) when it is contained within a working personal electronic device such as a mobile phone. Review our battery policy. The following items are prohibited at all times:

  • Aerosols or any other pressurised containers;
  • Alcohol based or Flammable Liquids, Pastes and Gels of any type including, but not limited to, nail varnish and perfume;
  • Toner Cartridges;
  • Loose Batteries & Power Banks;
  • No more than ONE device containing a lithium battery in line with our battery policy OR when shipping to / from Australia or China, NO device containing any kind of battery;
  • Tracking devices such as AirTags;
  • Animals and Animal products;
  • Firearms and firearm parts, ammunition, explosives, weapons (including imitations of same);
  • Flowers and plant products;
  • Human remains or ashes;
  • Medical samples;
  • Items that require a temperature controlled environment;
  • Pornography;
  • Prescription drugs and pharmaceutical products;
  • Tobacco and vaping products regardless of nicotine content;
  • Religious Artefacts
  • Foodstuffs, perishable, animal origin and controlled food articles and beverages including, but not limited to: Fruit & vegetables, dairy products (including dried products containing dairy such as milk chocolate and protein powder), meat, fish, nuts, seeds, wine, beer, spirits and champagne; or
  • Packages that are wet, leaking or emit an odour of any kind;
  • Valuables and high value items including but not limited to antiques, paintings, jewellery, precious stones and electrical equipment (low value electrical equipment is permitted but sent at the owner's risk);
  • Cash or other forms of tradeable currency;
  • Credit cards;
  • Passports or other confidential personal documentation;
  • Irreplaceable items;
  • Other Dangerous / hazardous goods;
  • Counterfeit goods;
  • Items from sanctioned countries;
  • Other illegal or restricted goods.

More information is available under section 11 of our terms of service.

Additional prohibited items from United States

  • Gambling Devices.
  • Sunglasses, glasses, contact lenses and other optics (unless a Drop Ball Certificate from the manufacturer is provided).
  • Items of Cuban Origin.
  • Items of Iranian Origin.
  • Items of Myanmar Origin.
  • Items of N.Korean Origin.
  • Items of Sudanese Origin.
  • Items of Syrian Origin.

Items Excluded From Cover

The following items will be accepted but are sent at your risk and are not included under complimentary cover:

  • Electrical Items, including but not limited to; Tablets, Mobile Phones, Computers, Hi-Fis, TVs.
  • Glass & Porcelain.
  • Any other non standard excess baggage items.

If you choose to send any of the above please ensure you package the item appropriately, for example a TV inside a suitcase is not appropriate.

On EU standard services (not express) and all UK and US domestic services you may send:

  • Shower gel.
  • Toothpaste.
  • Other non flammable and non alcohol based liquids, pastes & gels for use on holiday.

Nail varnish, perfume and aerosols are not permitted. If these items are included in your luggage it may be returned to you.

Whilst non alcohol based liquids are permitted, damage caused by leakage is not covered by complimentary cover and therefore only small amounts should be sent. If an x-ray shows liquids of any type security may stop your bag for inspection.

A maximum of 1 lithium battery is permitted per shipment (excludes to / from Australia) when it is contained within a working personal electronic device such as a mobile phone. Review our battery policy. The following items are prohibited at all times:

  • Aerosols or any other pressurised containers;
  • Alcohol based or Flammable Liquids, Pastes and Gels of any type including, but not limited to, nail varnish and perfume;
  • Toner Cartridges;
  • Loose Batteries & Power Banks;
  • No more than ONE device containing a lithium battery in line with our battery policy OR when shipping to / from Australia or China, NO device containing any kind of battery;
  • Tracking devices such as AirTags;
  • Animals and Animal products;
  • Firearms and firearm parts, ammunition, explosives, weapons (including imitations of same);
  • Flowers and plant products;
  • Human remains or ashes;
  • Medical samples;
  • Items that require a temperature controlled environment;
  • Pornography;
  • Prescription drugs and pharmaceutical products;
  • Tobacco and vaping products regardless of nicotine content;
  • Religious Artefacts
  • Foodstuffs, perishable, animal origin and controlled food articles and beverages including, but not limited to: Fruit & vegetables, dairy products (including dried products containing dairy such as milk chocolate and protein powder), meat, fish, nuts, seeds, wine, beer, spirits and champagne; or
  • Packages that are wet, leaking or emit an odour of any kind;
  • Valuables and high value items including but not limited to antiques, paintings, jewellery, precious stones and electrical equipment (low value electrical equipment is permitted but sent at the owner's risk);
  • Cash or other forms of tradeable currency;
  • Credit cards;
  • Passports or other confidential personal documentation;
  • Irreplaceable items;
  • Other Dangerous / hazardous goods;
  • Counterfeit goods;
  • Items from sanctioned countries;
  • Other illegal or restricted goods.

More information is available under section 11 of our terms of service.

Additional prohibited items from United States

  • Gambling Devices.
  • Sunglasses, glasses, contact lenses and other optics (unless a Drop Ball Certificate from the manufacturer is provided).
  • Items of Cuban Origin.
  • Items of Iranian Origin.
  • Items of Myanmar Origin.
  • Items of N.Korean Origin.
  • Items of Sudanese Origin.
  • Items of Syrian Origin.

Items Excluded From Cover

The following items will be accepted but are sent at your risk and are not included under complimentary cover:

  • Electrical Items, including but not limited to; Tablets, Mobile Phones, Computers, Hi-Fis, TVs.
  • Glass & Porcelain.
  • Any other non standard excess baggage items.

If you choose to send any of the above please ensure you package the item appropriately, for example a TV inside a suitcase is not appropriate.

Why Ship to the USA?

Why Ship to the USA?

Shipping to USA is a handy solution to any problems with baggage you might have. With all the activities on offer in the US, sometimes extra baggage is a necessity, especially for those looking to take part in outdoor activities. Climbing and hiking equipment, skis and surfing gear can all be very awkward to take on commercial flights. This is where Send My Bag comes in. By shipping these items to the USA you can save yourself an awful lot of hassle. 

Whether you’re going on an adventure break, a famous US road trip or even for a city break, Send My Bag can make taking your luggage an easy and safe option without you having to worry about excess baggage fees or lost luggage. Our service provides pick up and drop off, door to door, which makes travelling so much easier and stress free. You can ship your baggage for the outward and return journey, or just for the return journey, if you have too many souvenirs or you have been on a shopping spree! We can also help if you wish to relocate to the US. Send My Bag offers shipping from the UK to the USA and to and from many other destinations.

Send My Bag's service is also very handy for students who need to transport a lot of items to and from college in the USA, especially those who need to clear out their student room at the end of each semester. This way, students won't have to miss out on their cherished possessions but can create a home away from home to help with homesickness.

Not only does Send My Bag offer shipping of luggage to USA, it also allows you to send a parcel to USA and perhaps surprise a friend who lives there with a care package.

Send Luggage to the USA

Send Luggage to the USA

With Send My Bag you can send your luggage and boxes to the USA. If you are going on holiday to the US or relocating there, you can avoid a lot of stress by sending your bags. It means you can hop on public transport as soon as you arrive without dragging your bags behind you. It also means that you can take many more of your personal belongings than a typical airline would allow, and you can avoid those dreaded excess baggage charges. Send My Bag has numerous international routes, with a great-value flat rate for each route up to a massive 30 kg. This means that you can bring your favourite books, DVDs and keepsakes, etc. to help you set up home abroad. To learn more about sending luggage to the USA, visit our ‘How it works’ page, or our ‘FAQs’.

Removals to the USA

Removals to the USA

If you are moving to the USA, to work, for retirement, or to be closer to family, you’ll have plenty of things to take with you. You’ll be surprised at home much stuff you have, and how difficult it is to get rid of things. You will, therefore, need to consider international removals to the USA. Before you hand over your precious possessions, make sure that all your items are well packaged so that they won’t get damaged in transit. Use appropriate containers for your items and seal all packages well.

Student Shipping to the USA

Student Shipping to the USA

The USA has some of the best universities in the world, including MIT, Harvard University and Stanford University. If you are moving to the USA to study there, or travelling within the USA to go to college, you can use Send My Bag to transport your items to your dorm. Check out our student shipping page and learn how to receive a student discount.

Sending a Parcel to the USA

Sending a Parcel to the USA

If you arrive in the USA and realise that you have left something behind at home, you could ask a friend or relative to send a package containing the missing item to the USA for you. You can also send and receive Christmas or birthday presents. If your loved one has moved to the US you could tell them you are thinking of them by sending a care package. This is a great idea for students spending a year abroad in the USA or for expats who have gone to live in the USA, and who are feeling a bit homesick. Send My Bag can send parcels internationally to the USA for you. Please ensure your parcel is parcelled up properly so that everything arrives in one piece. Take a look at our information page on how to send a parcel to find out what you can send with Send My Bag and how to package your items.

Ways of Shipping to the USA

Ways of Shipping to the USA

If you need to transport items to the USA, you should look into the various options available for shipping to the USA. Certain options will be more suitable for you than others. You can choose between several different options for international shipping to the USA. 

Send Golf Clubs to the USA

Send Golf Clubs to the USA

The USA has some of the world's best golf courses, such as Cypress Point, Pine Valley and Shinnecock Hills. So why not send your golf clubs to the USA so that you can sample these courses without having to rent golf clubs. It is easy to send golf clubs to the USA with Send My Bag. Before you do, make sure you find out how best to package them by visiting Send My Bag's information page on how to send golf clubs.

Send Skis to the United States

Send Skis to the United States

There are numerous ski resorts in the USA, from Aspen, to the Sundance Resort, to Lake Tahoe. You don't have to rent skis when you are there. Instead you can send your skis to the USA with Send My Bag. It is easy to do so, just make sure your skis are packaged up well and visit Send My Bag to find out how to send your skis to the USA. Check out our ski shipping information to learn about how to safely parcel your skis in line with regulations.

About the USA

About the USA

The United States is a vast country, made up of 50 states. It is a wonderful destination for an adventure, whether you’re looking for a city break, outdoor activities, beach break or even a road trip. The official language of the United States is American English, making it easy for the 1.5 billion people in the world who speak English to communicate while they are there. 

The weather in the US varies from the north of the country to the south and from coast to coast. The US has most climate types, meaning that there are a wide range of activities to enjoy in the US. There are 62 national parks covering everything from desert terrain to lush forests, mountain vistas to picturesque beaches.

Some of the most popular and famous national parks in the US include the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Yellowstone Parks, the Smokey Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, the Everglades, the Sequoia Giant Forest and Death Valley. All the national parks provide a wide range of outdoor activities including hiking, rock-climbing, skiing, biking and water sports for those who enjoy the great outdoors.

America’s cities are a major draw for those looking at the county’s cultural history. Must see cities on many people’s lists include: New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago and Washington. These are the perfect stop-offs for city breaks or as part of a road trip, with plenty of cultural things to see and do and, of course, plenty of shopping opportunities. You can easily get around the country either by road, rail or air travel and even by boat.

Please explore this page further to find out about Send My Bag’s shipping service to the USA.

Other Ways of Shipping to the USA

Other Ways of Shipping to the USA

As well as sending parcels, baggage and luggage to the USA you could look into the following alternatives for shipping items internationally, especially if you need to send large, bulky items like furniture.

Air Freight to the USA

You could send items to the USA by air freight. You might decide to do this if you have large items to transport, such as a table or an armchair. The price you will be charged for this service will depend on the weight and size of your shipment. Sending items by air freight usually takes one to two days and is usually quicker than sea freight shipping, but normally more expensive. However, you will likely have to use the services of a customs agent to handle customs clearance for you. Also, you will need to sort out transportation for your items to and from the airport. You will, therefore, have several different costs to pay if you choose air freight. If you send internationally by air freight to the USA your items would likely arrive at one of the major airports, such as John F. Kennedy International Airport or Los Angeles International Airport.

Sea Freight and Container Shipping to the USA

You could ship your possessions to the USA by sea freight rather than air freight, especially if you don’t need to receive them immediately. Sea freight usually means shipping items in containers. With container shipping your items are transported inside a large container on board a cargo ship. You might choose this option if you have very large items to transport internationally, such as furniture or even a car. Sea freight can be cheaper than air freight, but you will need to use the services of a customs agent and will need to sort out how to get your items to and from the ports, with this all adding up in terms of cost. When using container shipping to the USA your items will most likely arrive by ship at one of the major sea ports, such as Los Angeles, Long Beach or New Jersey.

Shipping Goods to the USA

When shipping goods to the USA you need to be clued up on the country’s customs rules. You should be aware of any duty that you need to pay and what items are allowed to be shipped to the USA, which items are restricted, and which are entirely prohibited. Take a look at the prohibited items and customs sections on this page for more information.  As you will see, items that you are restricted when shipping to the USA include items deriving from certain countries, such as the Sudan, Syria and Cuba.