You might not have heard, but on the 10 th of March 2016 the United States of America did something pretty cool which could make a big difference to UK businesses with US customers. They raised the import tax threshold on goods from $200 to $800...or about £140 to £560 in UK pounds.
What does this mean?
Previously, any parcels sent from the UK to the USA that contained items worth more than $200 were subject to import fees when they were delivered to the US. In many cases the person responsible for paying the customs charges was the recipient. Whilst they are still the ones who would be liable to pay under these new changes, many items sent from the UK aren't valued at more than $800 - which is the new customs limit.
In the past if you were sending a couple of brand new Premier League football shirts to nieces and nephews in America for example, the value of these could have quite easily tipped over the $200 mark meaning there'd be customs fees to pay. However thanks to the new changes, unless you're sending an entire team's worth...you should be well within the new limits! Saving your nieces and nephews (or perhaps their parents!) more than just a couple of dollars.
Why we love it
These new changes are fantastic for both individual parcel senders and businesses. It doesn't matter whether you're sending a gift to a friend in Tennessee, or you're an online retailer shipping to Tuscaloosa - these new rules could save money for your recipients in the USA. As long as your items don't go above that all-important $800 (£560) limit, of course! The old customs limits might have put some Americans off purchasing from the UK, so if you're running an online retailer these new changes give you a chance to sell to more customers in the US.
These welcome changes also mean no more formal customs procedures for your items if their value is under the new limit, which means less paperwork, less hassle and faster delivery. However you'll still need to complete a pro-forma invoice, print it off and attach 5 copies to your parcel so that customs know what it contains. For more info about this, you can have a glance at our tips for posting to America. It's also worth bearing in mind that if you want to send certain items such as food or tobacco to the USA, these have their own set of import rules and may still be required to go through formal checks by US government agencies.
My Parcel Delivery has a wide range of courier services available for posting to the USA, so why not take a look and see how speedily you can get your items posted to the Land of the Free.