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Import of food products to the United States


Consignments of foodstuffs should be labeled correctly based on either or both of the options listed below.

  1. For private use or consumption and not for resale
  2. A gift


The US Food Administration (FDA) defines foods as consignments containing food, beverages, vitamins, supplements, chewing gum for human use. A consignment containing several non-edible goods and only one food means that the shipment must meet the requirements for importing food to the United States.

General Prohibition

  •     Easily disposed foods
  •     Personal shipments of alcoholic beverages


Requirements for homemade food:

  •     On the airline ticket and commercial invoice, a personal name will appear as sender and recipient.
  •     "Home-made - for private use" as well as a product description shall be stated in the air fare bill and commercial invoice.
  •     Example of a good description: Homemade peanuts for private use.
  •     Preparation Notice (PN) of the US Food Administration (FDA) is a requirement for all shipments with a value greater than 200 SD.
  •     Preparatory Declaration by the FDA is a requirement for consignments worth more than USD 200.


Product requirements sent from one person to another:

  •     On the airline ticket and commercial invoice, a personal name will be given as a sender and recipient.
  •     If a company name appears in the airline ticket and commercial invoice, a pre-notification, PN, is required regardless of the value of the shipping.
  •     "For private use" as well as a product description shall be stated in the air fare bill and commercial invoice.
  •     Example of a good description: Homemade peanuts for private use
  •     Preparatory Declaration by the FDA is a requirement for consignments worth more than USD 200


Food bought abroad in store or online:

  •     Gift baskets and products ordered through a company over the Internet and sent to a person, require prior notice (PN) to FDS, if a company name appears in any way on the airline ticket and commercial invoice.
  •     If sent from person to person, a personal name shall appear from the airline ticket and commercial invoice as sender and recipient.
  •     If a company name appears as either sender or recipient of the airline ticket or commercial invoice, pre-notification, PN is required regardless of the value of the shipment.
  •     A good description should include: What it is, how it is packaged (internal packaging, eg glass bottle, plastic packed etc.), measurement unit (kg, gram, pound etc), number and how and what to use .ex. Human or non-human consumption, laboratory test, etc.).


Read more at the US FDA website at www.fda.gov

Shipment with gifts to the United States (Foods or goods covered by the FDA)

  •     The US customs authorities allow the import of gifts out of payment of customs duties and charges for shipments with a value of up to USD 100 per person.
  •     Declaration of gift: All gifts should ask individually packaged and it should be clear from the outside of the package that it is a gift gift.
  •     Consolidated Consignment: Gifts for more than one person can be consolidated in the same package, if it is possible to identify the name of the individual recipient and the individual goods value. (Eg John, June and Julie Stone).
  •     The airline ticket and commercial invoice shall clearly state that it is an unposted gift, with the name of each recipient of the gift and a value description, which does not exceed $ 100 per person.
  •     Shipment or gift to a person from a foreign company can usually not be treated as a gift. However, this can be allowed if value requirements are not exceeded and the shipment and airline ticket or commercial invoice indicate that this is a gift (except for food).
  •     Airline ticket or commercial invoice may indicate that a person's name and a company name (ie, Cindy Jones c / o ABC Company) as long as the documentation clearly indicates that it is a gift.
  •     Exceptions: Alcoholic beverages, perfumes containing alcohol and cigars / cigarettes are not included in the rules of the gift. It must be filled in customs documents for shipment with perfume or cigarettes / cigarettes. It is illegal to import Cuban cigars into UA.
  •     Approval for fish or game may be necessary if the product originates from or contains parts of fish or game.


Quota restrictions for textiles are valid for import of gifts. Commodities do not fall under quota restrictions, if imported as a gift.

Imports of goods for personal use
Definition of personal use: A consignment consisting of articles intended exclusively for the personal use of a private individual and not for commercial use or resale. Please note that personal belongings are not for personal use but are personal and household effects.

  •     Shipment for personal use with a declared value of $ 200 or less can be released without payment of customs duties (except for Hong Kong custom made fabrics).


Documents required: FedEx Air Freight Bill, Commercial Billing, Special Information Relevant to the Authorities, eg. Federal Communications Commission and Federal Drug Administration.

Special Precautions:

  •     Airline tickets must contain an actual description of the content and a statement that the content is for personal use, eg "For personal use, sale for sale, cotton damblus".
  •     A statement that the content is for personal use should also be shown by the sender's commercial invoice.
  •     There is no quota and visa requirement for consignments of goods for personal use.
  •     For textile products, no manufacturer's declaration is required when the product is duty free.
  •     Personal-purpose articles should meet all other regulatory requirements from eg. FDA.
  •     Additional fees to authorities may be applicable.
  •  

Information about entry:

  •     Shipment with a value of less than 200 USD for personal use may be introduced and released without customs clearance.
  •     Ships with a value of more than 200 USD will be charged with customs and charges in accordance with the shipping price.
  •     When importing goods that are not subject to duty, no import number is required.
  •     For non-dutiable goods, no customs clearance fee (Merchandise Processing Fee, MPF) is required if they are introduced by an express carrier.
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