International Shipping

Memorandum: International Shipping Policy: Exports and Review of International Shipments

NOTE: An International Shipment Request form must be completed and reviewed for potential export control regulations PRIOR to the shipment.

The shipment of controlled physical items, such as scientific equipment, shipment and utilization of equipment, technology or other export controlled items from the United States to a foreign national or foreign country could possibly require an export license from the Department of Commerce depending on the item, destination, recipient, and end-use.

Remember, everything that crosses the border is an export...

  • even if it's temporary
  • even if it wasn't sold
  • even if it will be used for research

International shipping is subject to export and import controls, duties, taxes and regulations of 196 different countries. Every export from the U.S. is an import somewhere else — all shipments go through customs in the destination country.

Shipping to foreign countries incorrectly can result in fines, payment of unnecessary taxes, confiscation, or incarceration. Some items, as well as some software and information, are subject to US export controls. The impact of these controls on a particular shipment depends on the item, the country it's being shipped to, the entity or individual who will receive it, and the use to which it will be put.

Before shipping internationally, please complete the document below at least 10 days prior to shipment.  Completion of the form below is required for ALL international shipments.

Please note that while the Office of Research Compliance and Assurance provides assistance for evaluating and/or filing export authorizations and related documents, we are not in charge of managing actual shipments (including completing Customs and Shipping documentation). Also, other export and import requirements may apply prior to shipping your items.

If you have any questions regarding International Shipment requests, please contact

Are you shipping to China, Russia or Venezuela?

Effective September 27, 2020, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) expanded the EEI filing rules for shipments originating in the United States, with a destination of the People’s Republic of China (including Hong Kong), Russia or Venezuela.  (See Regulatory Alert: U.S. Export Control Changes for China, Russia and Venezuela(link is external)) from FedEx.)

An EEI filing is required for shipments to China, Russia, and Venezuela for:

  • All shipments of a single item or merchandise valued at more than $2,500, even if an export license is not required.
  • Shipments, regardless of value or content, intended for military end-use.
  • Shipments of all ECCN items listed on the CCL (Commerce Control List (link is external)), regardless of value or whether an export license is required to export the item, in order to obtain an ITN (Internal Transaction Number) prior to shipment.  BIS regulations exclude documents and EAR99 items of less than $2,500 in value.

The Office of Research Compliance with assist in filing an EEI.

Do you need a Material Transfer Agreement?

Contact the Office of Commercialization and Industry Collaboration to determine if a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is required. An MTA covers the transfer or tangible biological research materials between two organizations and addresses issues such as allowable uses, transfer of rights, intellectual property rights, confidentiality and liability. 

What are the record retention requirements for shipping documents?

Federal regulations require you to keep records of shipments for five years after the date of the shipment. These records include pro forma invoices, airway bills, export filings and all associated communications.