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Blue Globe - EarthEXPORT ISSUES?
Let us help you!

Mailing overseas requires specific documentation. We want to point you in the right direction so you can avoid delays or other issues with your mail.

Several government agencies are involved in export matters. Don’t know which agency is responsible? Start with an Internet search that includes the words “export regulations.”

For example, if you want to send a donation to a country overseas, search “export regulations for humanitarian donation to Haiti.” Going directly to the right agency may help speed your mail and prevent you from violating laws or regulations that could carry civil or criminal penalties.

MOST COMMON ISSUES WITH CUSTOMS FORMS

  • Contents were not declared
    You must provide a detailed description of the contents of your mailpiece. Declaring “gift” or “clothes” is too general. List each item, for example, men’s pants, board game, or dried noodles.
  • Value of contents was not declared
    You must list the contents of your mailpiece and include the dollar value of each item. For example: “blouse $23, blouse $15, pants $36, pants $42.”
  • Content description was not in English
    You must complete the forms in English. If you use any other language, your mailpiece will be returned to you.
  • At least one item in your mailpiece had a value greater than $2,500, with no indication of compliance with Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Regulations
    The declared value of one of the contents listed on your Customs Declaration form is more than $2,500 and there is no indication of compliance with, or exemption from, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Regulations (Title 15, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 30). You must either remove the contents valued over $2,500 or provide a valid Automated Export System/Internal Transaction Number (AES/ITN), AES Downtime Citation, or Exemption Legend for your shipment. Indicate this information on PS Form 2976, Customs Declaration CN 22-Sender’s Declaration or PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note CP 72.

    See chapter 520 of the Mailing Standards of the Postal Service, International Mail Manual,or call the Census Bureau toll-free at 800-549-0595 for more information.

    Once you have either filed electronic export information with the Census Bureau, determined you are exempt from doing so, or removed items valued over $2,500, you may re-send your mailpiece.
  • Contents were not mailable without an export license or indication of valid exception
    One or more of the contents of your mailpiece may be prohibited by federal export laws, unless you have a specific license from the appropriate federal regulatory agency. Federal export laws require that certain internationally mailed items be accompanied by a valid export license number from responsible U.S. government agencies, including the Bureau of Industry and Security, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the Directorate for Defense Trade Controls.

    You must provide a valid export license number for any shipment requiring an export license. See the Mailing Standards of the Postal Service, International Mail Manual, chapters 510, 530, and 540 or contact the relevant federal agency listed in the IMM.

    Items that need an export license also require that you file electronic export information with the Census Bureau, unless you are exempt from doing so. The AES/ITN, AES Downtime Citation, or Exemption Legend, must appear on PS Form 2976, Customs Declaration CN 22–Sender’s Declaration or PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note CP 72. See the IMM, chapters 521-527 or call the Census Bureau toll-free at 800-549-0595 for more information.

    Once you have a valid export license or decide not to include items requiring an export license, you may re-mail your shipment.
  • Required a declaration of purpose for the mailing
    You did not indicate PS Form 2976, Customs Declaration CN 22 and PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note CP 72 whether the contents of your mailpiece are being sent as merchandise, a gift, a humanitarian donation, or another purpose, as required by federal export laws. This information is needed to evaluate whether the contents are mailable. If the purpose of your mailing is for a humanitarian donation, indicate this under “Other.”
  • Mailpiece returned as there was no response to a previous letter
    We mailed you a letter advising your mailpiece was being reviewed to ensure compliance with federal export laws. The letter stated if you did not contact us within 14 days, your mailpiece would be returned to you. Because we did not receive a response within that time frame, we have returned your mailpiece. Your response would have helped us determine if your mailpiece complied with applicable customs and export requirements and could be forwarded for delivery.

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Quick References

For information on export regulations:

Bureau of Industry and Security, Outreach and Educational Services Division
202-482-4811

Office of Foreign Assets Control
800-540-6322

U.S. Census Bureau
800-549-0595

Directorate of Defense Trade Controls
202-663-1282