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Foreign Imports & Shipments

It is important to take time to prepare for the physical foreign shipment of information or items. All items to be exported should be reviewed for:

  1. Potential export to a sanctioned country
  2. An end-user of concern
  3. Export control classification or category
  4. Support of a prohibited end-use

All international shipments should be reviewed prior to their shipping in order to ensure that they are not controlled for export, and to ensure that they are not being exported to an entity or individual (end user) on the Denied Party Lists (DPL).

Keep in mind that in addition to U.S. export control laws and regulations there are other U.S. regulations to consider when you import items, travel or ship internationally.

You may be required to obtain a license from the federal government for your export and in some situations, a license may not be granted. The  Export Control Compliance Review Flow Chart  may be used as a tool in the analysis of your shipment.

Please Note: Once outside the U.S. or upon your re-entry to the U.S., your laptop or other items (imports) may be subject to search or items may be seized without probable cause, suspicion or warrant. Be sure to safeguard your personal, sensitive, export controlled, and proprietary data appropriately. If you don't need it - don't take it out of the U.S.!

Duties, Fees, Invoices

It is important to note that there may be duties and fees associated with a foreign shipment and it may take several business days to secure the proper information. Please schedule and budget accordingly. 

Useful Links

  • If bioagents are to be shipped, visit the VEHS website to learn more about the bioagent shipping process.
  • Visit the CTTC website to learn about MTA or restrictions throughout the shipping process.

Best Practices

Before each shipment, it is important to consider:

  • What is the item or information? (Is it export controlled?)
  • Where is it going?
  • Who will receive it?
  • What will be the end-use?
  • What is the value?
  • Do I need a carnet or surety bond?

Please email the completed documents to for review 10 business days prior to your international shipment. 

Keep a copy of the completed document for five years past the last date of shipment activity.  For more information regarding these documents, see the Best Practices section below

Import/Customs Broker

If you plan on importing upon your return to the U.S., or if you need specific shipping guidance regarding an international shipment, please consider using the services of  V. Alexander. Vanderbilt University’s contact at V. Alexander is Emily Ashworth.

Air Freight & Package Delivery Services
Customs Broker
Material Handling Equipment & Supplies
Package Delivery Services - FedEx
Packing Materials
Truck Freight

United States Postal Service (USPS) - Mail

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) also requires that export controlled items shipped to an entity (company, organization, university, contact, etc.) in the US be reviewed prior to shipment to ensure they are not being exported to an entity on the Denied Persons Lists (DPL).

It is important to take time to prepare a letter or a package that will be mailed to a foreign country. When mailing to a foreign country exporters may be asked to complete:

For more information on sending items or information internationally, please visit USPS webpage International Mail Delivery Services. In addition, the USPS Publication 613 "Shipping International Packages" is available at USPS locations as a resource. To contact a Vanderbilt Post Office please click here.

Some international mail shipments may not require a specific form. However, the individual mailing the letter or package is still responsible to ensure compliance with export control laws and regulations.

In addition, all international mail exports should be reviewed prior to shipment to ensure they are not being exported to an entity or individual on the Denied Party Lists (DPL).