Postage to the USA

Get a price for sending a letter or parcel to America with Royal Mail

International Tracked & Signed

Added peace of mind for sending important or valuable items
Max 2kg

Features

  • Europe delivery aim: 3-5 working days1
  • Worldwide delivery aim: 5-7 working days
  • Fully tracked to delivery point
  • Signature on delivery
  • Online delivery confirmation
  • Free returns for undelivered items
  • Compensation cover up to £50

Options

  • Additional compensation cover up to £250

 

1 Delivery aim to Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Austria and Luxembourg is 3-4 working days

International Tracked & Signed cannot be sent to PO Boxes or Pack Stations, because a signature cannot be captured. This restriction does not apply when items are sent to Africa or the Middle East

Visit International Tracked & Signed
Letter
Max 100g | Max L 24cm x W 16.5cm x D 0.5cm
e.g. Greetings cards, personal letters and postcards
Branch from £ 6.41
Online from £ 6.41

Large Letter
Max 750g | Max L 35.3cm x W 25cm x D 2.5cm
E.g. Magazines, CDs and DVDs
Branch from £ 9.17
Online from £ 9.17

Parcel
Max 2kg | Max L 60cm x W * x D *
*L+D+W must be under 90cm
Branch from £ 12.88
Online from £ 12.58

Tubes and Rolls
Max 2kg | Max L 90cm x W * x D *
The length plus twice the diameter must be less than 104cm, with the greatest dimension less than 90cm
Branch from £ 12.88
Online from £ 12.58

Ready to send?

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International Tracked

Tracked to delivery point for peace of mind
Max 2kg

Features

  • Europe delivery aim: 3-5 working days1
  • Worldwide delivery aim: 5-7 working days
  • Fully tracked to delivery point
  • Online delivery confirmation
  • Free returns for undelivered items
  • Compensation cover up to £50

Options

  • Additional compensation cover up to £250

 

1 Delivery aim to Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Austria and Luxembourg is 3-4 working days

Visit International Tracked
Letter
Max 100g | Max L 24cm x W 16.5cm x D 0.5cm
e.g. Greetings cards, personal letters and postcards
Branch from £ 6.41
Online from £ 6.41

Large Letter
Max 750g | Max L 35.3cm x W 25cm x D 2.5cm
E.g. Magazines, CDs and DVDs
Branch from £ 9.17
Online from £ 9.17

Parcel
Max 2kg | Max L 60cm x W * x D *
*L+D+W must be under 90cm
Branch from £ 11.03
Online from £ 10.73

Tubes and Rolls
Max 2kg | Max L 90cm x W * x D *
The length plus twice the diameter must be less than 104cm, with the greatest dimension less than 90cm
Branch from £ 11.03
Online from £ 10.73

Ready to send?

Buy online now with Click & Drop

International Standard

An affordable service for everyday international mail
Max 2kg

Features

  • Europe delivery aim: 3-5 working days
  • Worldwide delivery aim: 6-7 working days
  • Compensation cover up to £20 included
  • Free returns for undelivered items
Letter
Max 100g | Max L 24cm x W 16.5cm x D 0.5cm
e.g. Greetings cards, personal letters and postcards
Branch from £ 1.42
Online from £ 1.42

Large Letter
Max 750g | Max L 35.3cm x W 25cm x D 2.5cm
E.g. Magazines, CDs and DVDs
Branch from £ 3.66
Online from £ 3.66

Parcel
Max 2kg | Max L 60cm x W * x D *
*L+D+W must be under 90cm
Branch from £ 8.38
Online from £ 8.08

Tubes and Rolls
Max 2kg | Max L 90cm x W * x D *
The length plus twice the diameter must be less than 104cm, with the greatest dimension less than 90cm
Branch from £ 8.38
Online from £ 8.08

Ready to send?

Buy online now with Click & Drop

International Economy

For heavier parcels that don't need to arrive in a hurry
Max 2kg

Features

  • Compensation cover up to £20 included
  • Free returns for undelivered items
  • Buy online and print the label at home, or go to a Post Office®

Delivery aims

  • Western Europe in up to 2 weeks
  • Eastern Europe in up to 5 weeks
  • North America in up to 6 weeks
  • South America, Africa and Asia in up to 8 weeks
  • Australia in up to 12 weeks
Visit International Economy
Letter
Max 100g | Max L 24cm x W 16.5cm x D 0.5cm
e.g. Greetings cards, personal letters and postcards
Branch from £ 1.26
Online from £ 1.26

Large Letter
Max 750g | Max L 35.3cm x W 25cm x D 2.5cm
E.g. Magazines, CDs and DVDs
Branch from £ 2.92
Online from £ 2.92

Parcel
Max 2kg | Max L 60cm x W * x D *
*L+D+W must be under 90cm
Branch from £ 4.57
Online from £ 4.57

Tubes and Rolls
Max 2kg | Max L 90cm x W * x D *
The length plus twice the diameter must be less than 104cm, with the greatest dimension less than 90cm
Branch from £ 4.57
Online from £ 4.57

Ready to send?

Buy online now with Click & Drop

You are responsible for checking postal restrictions and prohibitions for your destination.

There are rules about what Royal Mail will carry and each country has their own restrictions which may differ, so it’s important to check both.  

Check the status of deliveries around the world on our International Incident Bulletin

Can I send it to the USA?

There are some restrictions on what you can post to America. Check our handy guide:

When you send food to the US – commercially or as a gift – you must attach a Prior Notice of Imported Foods. See ‘Information for business senders’ for more details. However, you do not need to do this for food ‘prepared at home and sent as a gift’.

 

Don’t send:

  • liquids over 1l
  • alcohol over 24% ABV (rum, whisky, vodka).

(These are prohibited by Royal Mail)

 

  • coffee
  • nuts, seeds or cereals
  • fruits, vegetables or flowers.

(Read the full USA prohibitions and restrictions below)

 

Check restrictions on:

  • products containing meat, fish or dairy
  • teas and spices
  • food prepared at home.

(Read the full USA prohibitions and restrictions below)

 

Send food items in their original manufacturer’s packaging if possible. This helps to speed up the customs clearance process.

Don’t send:

  • liquids over 1l
  • aerosols
  • perfumes or aftershaves containing alcohol
  • nail varnish, polish or gel.

(These are all prohibited by Royal Mail)

Don’t send:

  • cigarettes, tobacco, or smokeless tobacco products
  • manufactured tobacco substitutes.

(Read the full USA prohibitions and restrictions below)

Don’t send:

  • medicinal plants.

Check restrictions on:

  • prescription medicines and drugs for scientific purposes
  • medical or surgical instruments.

(Read the full USA prohibitions and restrictions below)

Cash can only be sent to the USA by International Tracked & Signed.

Check restrictions on:

  • gold, silver, platinum, and other precious metals
  • natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones
  • clocks and watches.

(Read the full USA prohibitions and restrictions below)

Here is an indication of prohibited items for mailing to United States of America. For further information, or further clarification please refer to the United States Postal Service website 

Please also refer to the Universal Postal Union - full prohibitions and restrictions list - PDF 7MB 

You must not send any item addressed to a country in which the item is unlawful or prohibited. When an item is restricted you must comply with the restriction. Prohibitions and restrictions vary from country to country, and can sometimes apply to items which you may think are ordinary.

The information below is provided in good faith, but Royal Mail is not responsible for it, and it should be viewed as a guide only. Specific restrictions and changes may be enforced at short notice, so for clarification please contact the destination country's trade, postal, and customs authorities as appropriate. Business customers are strongly recommended to do this.

Please remember that Royal Mail also prohibits and restricts certain categories of items. For more information visit royalmail.com/prohibitedgoods

 

Prohibited items

Prohibited products are not permitted in the mail under any circumstances.
 

Live animals; animal products

Live animals

  • All live animals, except honey bees, silkworms, certain insects and leeches.
  • All dead animals, except insects and reptiles.

Meat and edible meat offal

  • All fresh, chilled or frozen beef, mutton, lamb, pork, or meat from goats, other ruminants or swine originating in any country where foot-and-mouth disease exists.
  • All fresh, chilled or frozen pork from countries with hog cholera, swine vesicular disease or African swine fever.
  • All fresh, chilled or frozen poultry and products (including eggs) are restricted (prohibited) from countries known to have exotic viscerotropic velogenic (exotic) Newcastle disease.
  • Table eggs from countries infected with Salmonella Enteriditis phage Type 4.
  • Cured and dried meat.

Meat. General rule:
(a) All meat (beef, pork, mutton or poultry) or meat products can enter if fully cooked in a hermetically-sealed container so as to be shelf stable without refrigeration.
(b) All cured and fully dried meat or product derived from ruminants or swine, originating in any country where rinderpest or foot-and-mouth disease exists must be accompanied by an official processing certificate of the country of origin, indicating specific United States requirements.
(c) Cured and dried pork from countries declared by the United States as infected with hog cholera, swine vesicular disease and African swine fever is prohibited or permitted to go to a United States Department of Agriculture approved establishment for further processing before release.
Permits. The following products can only move in the mails under a permit. To obtain additional information, write to Permit Office, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Veterinary Service, Federal Building, Hyattsville, Maryland 20782.
Animal casings require a certificate from the animal health official in the country of origin. 

Fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates

Dairy produce; birds' eggs; natural honey; edible products of animal origin, not elsewhere specified or included

  • Milk, cream, or other secretions, organs, glands, or extracts from ruminants or swine from countries in which there is rinderpest or foot-and-mouth disease, and/or from countries where hog cholera, swine vesicular disease, or African swine fever is known to exist.

    Edible animal products. These products are prohibited unless such products are imported for pharmaceutical or biological purposes with authorization of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Veterinary Services of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal Products. 

Other products of animal origin, not elsewhere specified or included

  • Inedible by-products derived from ruminants or swine, such as skins, hair, bones, organs or other parts not suitable for food, including intestines not prepared for use, casings originating in a country where foot-and-mouth disease or rinderpest exists, and/or where, swine diseases such as hog cholera, swine vesicular disease, or African swine fever exists.
     
    Other animal products. These products are admitted only if processed in a manner approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture either in a foreign country or the United States. Specific requirements vary with the product. 
     
  • Feather on skin of any bird.
     
    The importation of feathers on skin of any bird is prohibited, except the following:
    – importation of clean feathers (without skins);
    – importation for scientific or educational purposes;
    – fully manufactured artificial flies used for fishing;
    – the feathers and skins of certain species of birds imported under permit issued by the United States Secretary of the Interior for use in the manufacture of artificial flies for fishing or for millinery purposes, and must go to an establishment approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for further processing. This applies to feathers-on-skin from any species of birds from a country known to be infected with exotic Newcastle disease. 

Live trees and other plants; bulbs, roots and the like; cut flowers and ornamental foliage

  • Except as provided, plants, and plant products which are subject to restrictions or prohibitions of plant quarantines or regulatory orders of the U.S. Department of Agriculture may not be imported into the United States through the mails and should not be accepted for transmittal to that country.

Edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers 

  • Vegetables, roots and tubers.

Edible fruit or nuts; peel of citrus fruit or melons 

  • Fruits, nuts and citrus peels. 

Coffee, tea, maté and spices 

  • Coffee.

As a result of new regulations issued by the Food and Drug Administration under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, as from 12 December 2003, all shipments of articles of food to the United States must be preceded by a prior notice of shipment. This applies to articles shipped for commercial purposes or as gifts. Articles of food include (but are not limited to) food for humans or animals, dietary supplements, nutritional supplements, vitamins, food and color additives. Articles of food which are non-commercially prepared by an individual in his own residence and sent to another individual as a (non-commercial) gift are exempt from submission of this prior notice.

This prior notice may be submitted and a prior notice conformation number obtained via the Internet at:
www.access.fda.gov/index.html#prior   

Mail shipments containing food articles for which a prior notice conformation number has not been entered on the customs declaration may be returned to the sender or (if no return address is included) destroyed.
Should you require information on what must be submitted with a prior notice, consult the 
Food and Drug Administration’s website   .

Person to contact:
Joseph L. McCallion
Deputy Director
Division of Import Operations and Policy (HFC–170)
Food and Drug Administration
Tel.: (+1 301) 443 6553 

Cereals

Products of the milling industry; malt; starches, inulin, wheat gluten

  • Wheat products.

Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits; miscellaneous grains, seeds a nd fruit; industrial or medicinal plants; straw and fodder

  • Fruits, seed, grains, and fodder.

Lac; gums, resins and other vegetable saps and extracts 

  • Opium.

Vegetable plaiting materials; vegetable products not elsewhere specified or included

  • Vegetable products.
     

Animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products; prepared edible fats; animal or vegetable waxes

  • Fats, oils, waxes and cleavage products.
     
    General. Adulterated or misbranded foods, drugs, diagnostic or therapeutic devices, cosmetics, articles containing them, or any new drug for which no approved application is in effect, which are subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 25 June 1938, as amended, and in violation of section 801 of that Act. 
     

Prepared foodstuffs; beverages, spirits and vinegar; tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes

Preparations of meat, of fish or of crustaceans, molluscs or other aquatic invertebrates

  • Meat and fish products.
     
    Meat. General rule:
    (a) All meat (beef, pork, mutton or poultry) or meat products can enter if fully cooked in a hermetically-sealed container so as to be shelf stable without refrigeration.
    (b) All cured and fully dried meat or product derived from ruminants or swine, originating in any country where rinderpest or foot-and-mouth disease exists must be accompanied by an official processing certificate of the country of origin, indicating specific United States requirements.
    (c) Cured and dried pork from countries declared by the United States as infected with hog cholera, swine vesicular disease and African swine fever is prohibited or permitted to go to a United States Department of Agriculture approved establishment for further processing before release.
    Permits. The following products can only move in the mails under a permit. To obtain additional information, write to Permit Office, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Veterinary Service, Federal Building, Hyattsville, Maryland 20782.
    Animal casings require a certificate from the animal health official in the country of origin.
     
    General. Adulterated or misbranded foods, drugs, diagnostic or therapeutic devices, cosmetics, articles containing them, or any new drug for which no approved application is in effect, which are subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 25 June 1938, as amended, and in violation of section 801 of that Act. 

Beverages, spirits and vinegar

  • All taxable, flammable, potable beverages of 5% alcoholic content by weight.

Residues and waste from the food industries; prepared animal fodder

Other animal products. These products are admitted only if processed in a manner approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture either in a foreign country or the United States. Specific requirements vary with the product.

Tobacco and manufactured substitutes

Regardless of quantity, cigarettes (including roll-your-own tobacco) and smokeless tobacco are prohibited in any type of international mail into the United States. The U.S. Postal Service may not accept for delivery or transmit any package that it knows or has reasonable cause to believe contains non-mailable cigarettes or smokeless tobacco.

Non-mailable cigarettes and smokeless tobacco sent in international mail are subject to seizure and forfeiture. Any non-mailable cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products may be subject to seizure or forfeiture, and may be destroyed or retained by the Federal Government for the detection or prosecution of crimes or related investigations and then destroyed.
 

Mineral products

Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes 

  • Flammable fuels, oils and their products
     
    The articles prohibited by article 20 of the 1989 Washington Postal Parcels Agreement, and article 41 of the 1989 Washington Universal Postal Convention, i.e. explosives, flammable materials such as pyrophoric, flammable, or combustible liquids, and flammable solids, oxidizers, corrosives, liquid or solid, compressed gases and poisons.
     

Products of the chemical or allied industries

Inorganic chemicals; organic or inorganic compounds of precious metals, of rare-earth metals, of radioactive elements or of isotopes

  • Explosives, flammable materials, such as pyrophoric, flammable, or combustible liquids, and flammable solids, oxidizers, corrosives, liquid or solid, compressed gases and poisons, radioactive materials.
     
    The articles prohibited by article 20 of the 1989 Washington Postal Parcels Agreement, and article 41 of the 1989 Washington Universal Postal Convention, i.e. explosives, flammable materials such as pyrophoric, flammable, or combustible liquids, and flammable solids, oxidizers, corrosives, liquid or solid, compressed gases and poisons.

    Radioactive material, includes only those which are classified as limited quantities of radioactive materials, except instruments, articles and devices or articles containing natural uranium or thorium, provided that the activity content of any package, instrument or article does not exceed the following limits:

Activity Limits for Mailable Instruments, Articles and Limited Quantity Packages

Nature of
contents

Instrument &
Article limits

Package
limits

Materials
Package limits

Solids:
Special form
Other forms

 
10
-3 A1
10
-3 A2

 
0.1 A1
0.1 A2

 
10
-4 A1
10
-4 A2

Liquids:
Tritiated water:
< 0.1 Ci/liter
0.1 Ci to 1.0 Ci/liter
> 1.9 Ci/liter
Other liquids

 
 
 
 
 
10
-4 A2

 
 
 
 
 
10
-2 A2

 
 
100 Curies
10 Curies
0.1 Curies
10
-3 A2

Gases:
Tritium2
Special form
Other forms

 
2 Curies
10
-4 A1
10
-4 A2

 
20 Curies
10
-3 A1
10
-3 A2

 
2 Curies
10
-4 A1
10
-4 A2

1 For mixture of radionuclides, see 49 CFR 173.433(d).
2 These values also apply to tritium in activated luminous paint and tritium adsorbed on solid carriers.

  • Radiation-emitting products. Any radiation-emitting electronic product which does not comply with an applicable standard prescribed pursuant to 42 USC 263, unless covered by an exemption.  

Organic chemicals

  • Narcotics; opium, opiates and the derivatives thereof, and any narcotic, hallucinogenic, stimulant, or depressant drug listed as a controlled substance.
     
    General. Adulterated or misbranded foods, drugs, diagnostic or therapeutic devices, cosmetics, articles containing them, or any new drug for which no approved application is in effect, which are subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 25 June 1938, as amended, and in violation of section 801 of that Act. 

Pharmaceutical products

  • Sera. Adulterated or misbranded foods, drugs, diagnostic or therapeutic devices, cosmetics, articles containing them, new drugs, biological products, infectious substances, serums and radiation-emitting electronic devices, articles intended to prevent conception or produce unlawful abortion, as well as prints of all kinds furnishing information on that subject.
     
    General. Adulterated or misbranded foods, drugs, diagnostic or therapeutic devices, cosmetics, articles containing them, or any new drug for which no approved application is in effect, which are subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 25 June 1938, as amended, and in violation of section 801 of that Act. 

Fertilizers

  • Bird guano, without heat treatment and permit. Soil conditioners/amendments, except peat, prohibited as soil.

Tanning or dyeing extracts; tannins and their derivatives; dyes, pigments and other colouring matter; paints and varnishes; putty and other mastics; inks

Essential oils and resinoids; perfumery, cosmetic or toilet preparations

Soap, organic surface-active agents, washing preparations, lubricating preparations, artificial waxes, prepared waxes, polishing or scouring preparations, candles and similar articles, modelling pastes, "dental waxes" and dental preparations with a basis of plaster

Albuminoidal substances; modified starches; glues; enzymes

The articles prohibited by article 20 of the 1989 Washington Postal Parcels Agreement, and article 41 of the 1989 Washington Universal Postal Convention, i.e. explosives, flammable materials such as pyrophoric, flammable, or combustible liquids, and flammable solids, oxidizers, corrosives, liquid or solid, compressed gases and poisons. 

Explosives; pyrotechnic products; matches; pyrophoric alloys; certain combustible preparations

  • Explosives, inflammable materials, and mechanical, chemical or other devices of compositions which may ignite or explode, including caps and loaded metal cartridges. Matches.

Miscellaneous chemical products

The articles prohibited by article 20 of the 1989 Washington Postal Parcels Agreement, and article 41 of the 1989 Washington Universal Postal Convention, i.e. explosives, flammable materials such as pyrophoric, flammable, or combustible liquids, and flammable solids, oxidizers, corrosives, liquid or solid, compressed gases and poisons.
 

Plastics and articles thereof; rubber and articles thereof 

Plastics and articles thereof

The articles prohibited by article 20 of the 1989 Washington Postal Parcels Agreement, and article 41 of the 1989 Washington Universal Postal Convention, i.e. explosives, flammable materials such as pyrophoric, flammable, or combustible liquids, and flammable solids, oxidizers, corrosives, liquid or solid, compressed gases and poisons.
 

Raw hides and skins, leather, furskins and articles thereof; saddlery and harness; travel goods, handbags and similar containers; articles of animal gut (other than silk-worm gut) 

Raw hides and skins (other than furskins) and leather

Other animal products. These products are admitted only if processed in a manner approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture either in a foreign country or the United States. Specific requirements vary with the product. 

Furskins and artificial fur; manufactures thereof

  • Furs or skins of ermine, fox kolinsky, marten, mink, muskrat and weasel which have originated in the Russian Federation or in the People's Republic of China; also such furs or skins, regardless of origin, which have been dressed or dyed in either of the countries named.
     

Wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal; cork and articles of cork; manufactures of straw, of esparto or of other plaiting materials; basketware and wickerwork

Wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal

  • Charcoal briquettes.

Cork and articles of cork

  • Ground cork.
     
    Parcels containing straw, grasses, and other plant material used as packing for other articles should not be accepted for transmittal to the United States. Approved packing materials include the following if free of soil and when they have not previously been used with living plants:
     
    – buckwheat hulls;
    – charcoal;
    – coral sand from Bermuda (when free from surface soil and certified as such by the Director of Agriculture in Bermuda);
    – excelsior;
    – ground cork;
    – ground peat;
    – perlite;
    – polymer stabilized cellulose;
    – sawdust;
    – shavings;
    – sphagnum;
    – vegetable fibre when free of pulp (including coconut fiber and Osmunda fiber, but excluding sugarcane and unmanufactured cotton fibre).
     
    Note: Parcels accepted for transmittal to the United States which contain or are contaminated with plant material the entry of which into that country is not authorized may be destroyed or returned to the country of origin as prohibited material in accordance with existing regulations.
     

Pulp of wood or of other fibrous cellulose material; waste and scrap of paper or paperboard; paper and paperboard and articles thereof

Printed books, newspapers, pictures and other products of the printing industry; manuscripts, typescripts and plans

  • Any articles whatever which violate the copyright law of the United States and articles bearing names or marks violating registered United States trademarks, unless imported with the written consent of the trademark owners.
  • Tickets, advertisements or circulars of lotteries. Chain letters known as "snowball letters".
  • Reproductions of obligations or securities of any Government including all bonds, certificates of indebtedness, National Bank currency, Federal Reserve notes, Federal Reserve Bank notes, coupons,
  • U.S. notes, treasury notes, gold certificates, silver certificates, fractional notes, certificates of deposit, bills, checks, or drafts for money drawn by or upon authorized officer of the U.S. stamps and other representatives of value, of whatever denomination, issued under any Act of Congress, and cancelled, unless sent by registered mail (International Tracked & Signed)
  • U.S. stamps; except as permitted by Section 504 of Title 18, United States Code.
  • Imitations of postage stamps except that black-and-white illustrations of the following are admitted for philatelic publications:

– foreign revenue stamps if from plates so defaced as to indicate that the illustrations are not adapted or intended for use as stamps;

– foreign postage stamps;

– United States postage stamps of a size less than three-fourths or more than one-and-a-half times that of a genuine stamp.

(a) The following are admitted free of customs duty:
 – any admissible article other than tobacco products and perfume containing alcohol sent as a bona fide gift, provided that the total volume of such articles received by one person in one day does not exceed US$25;
 – any admissible article other than tobacco products have a value less than $10 unless it appears to be a part of a larger shipment sent separately for the purpose of evading the Customs Regulations;
 – samples which are to be used in the United States only for soliciting orders for products of foreign countries if the value of a sample does not exceed $1 or if the sample is marked, torn, perforated, or otherwise treated, in such a manner that it is unsuitable for sale or for use otherwise than as a sample;
– books, bound and not bound pamphlets;
– printed matter suitable for use in the production of such books as would themselves be free of duty;
– printed matter issued by literary or scientific institutions for their subscribers or exchange;
– printed matter of individuals, not advertising matter, for gratuitous private circulation;
– international customs forms (carnets), and parts thereof, in English or French (whether or not in additional languages);
– newspapers;
– periodicals;
– music in books or sheets;
– maps, atlases and charts;
– photographs, engravings, etchings, lithographs and wood cuts, and pictorial matter produced by relief or stencil printing process, sound or not bound, printed over 20 years at time of importation;
– printed matter printed by a lithographic process on paper not over 0.020 inches thick is generally dutiable at the rate of 6 cents per pound; other printed matter susceptible of authorship is dutiable at the rate of 2% ad valorem, and otherwise dutiable at the rate of 7,5% ad valorem.
(b) Tea is exempt from duties, but is subject to examination by the Customs with a view to ascertaining its purity, quality and fitness for consumption. However, this verification is not necessary for samples of tea imported in articles originating in producing countries, up to the weight of 2 pounds when not intended for sale.
 

Textiles and textile articles

Wool, fine or course animal hair; horsehair yarn and woven fabric

  • Wool, unless relatively free of blood and manure.
     

Articles of stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica or similar materials; ceramic products; glass and glassware

  • Asbestos.
  • In sift-proof packaging.
     

Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, metals clad with precious metal and articles thereof; imitation jewellery; coin

Registered articles (with the exception of small packets) containing coins, manufactured or unmanufactured platinum, gold or silver, or other precious articles, as well as any values payable to the bearer, are not excluded from the mails, but if found liable to duty they are treated in accordance with the provisions of the Customs Laws. 

Cash is prohibited to be sent to the USA unless sent by Registered mail - specifically International Tracked & Signed.
 

Base metals and articles of base metal

Tools, implements, cutlery, spoons and forks, of base metal; parts thereof of base metal

Special markings required on certain articles of foreign origin imported in to the United States

(a) Watch movements and similar time-keeping mechanisms must have cut, engraved or die-sunk conspicuously and indelibly on one or more of the top plates or bridges the following: name of country of manufacture, name of maker or purchaser, in words the number of jewels and number and classes of adjustments. Those markings may, if necessary, be applied after importation.
(b) Dials for the foregoing, whether or not attached thereto, must have the name of the country of manufacture indelibly and conspicuously stamped, cut, engraved or die-sunk on an exposed part thereto. This marking may, if necessary, be applied after importation.
(c) Cases, containers or housings for any of the foregoing movements or mechanisms, other than simple shipping containers, must have the complete name of the maker or purchaser and the country of manufacture conspicuously and indelibly cut, engraved, or die-sunk on the inside of the back cover. This may be done after importation if necessary.
(d) Clocks, clock movements and devices for measuring speeds, distances or cumulative quantities or for controlling the speed of mechanical devices must have cut, engraved or die-sunk conspicuously and indelibly on the most visible part of the front or back plate the name of the country of manufacture, the name of the maker or purchaser and the number of bearing jewels if any. This may be done after importation if necessary. Cases, containers or housings for any of the foregoing, whether attached thereto or imported separately, must have stamped, cut, engraved or die-sunk conspicuously and indelibly on the back the name of the country of manufacture. This may be done after importation if necessary.
(e) Subject to the exceptions prescribed by law, the following articles must be marked legibly and conspicuously to indicate their origin by die-stamping, cast-in-the-mould lettering, etching (acid or electrolytic), engraving, or by means of metal plates which bear the prescribed marking and which are securely attached to the article in a conspicuous place by welding, screws or rivets (TD 53455):
– knives having a folding or movable blade;
– knives with fixed blades, including forks, steels and cleavers;
– clippers, shears and scissors, and blades thereof;
– safety razors and parts thereof, for safety razor blades;
– surgical needles including hypodermic needles, other surgical instruments and dental instruments, scientific and laboratory instruments and apparatus, surveying and mathematical instruments, and drawing instruments made wholly or partly of metal, and parts thereof; also pliers, pincers, nippers and hinged tools for handling wire, finished or unfinished;

– thermostatic containers constructed with a vacuum or partial vacuum to maintain the temperature of the contents, or blanks and pistons of such articles. 
 

Optical, photographic, cinematographic, measuring, checking, precision, medical or surgical instruments and apparatus; clocks and watches; musical instruments; parts and accessories thereof

  • Articles intended to prevent conception or produce unlawful abortion, as well as prints of all kinds furnishing information on that subject. 
  • Radiation-emitting electronic products.
     
    Radiation-emitting products. Any radiation-emitting electronic product which does not comply with an applicable standard prescribed pursuant to 42 USC 263, unless covered by an exemption. 
     
    Special markings required on certain articles of foreign origin imported in to the United States
    (a) Watch movements and similar time-keeping mechanisms must have cut, engraved or die-sunk conspicuously and indelibly on one or more of the top plates or bridges the following: name of country of manufacture, name of maker or purchaser, in words the number of jewels and number and classes of adjustments. Those markings may, if necessary, be applied after importation.
    (b) Dials for the foregoing, whether or not attached thereto, must have the name of the country of manufacture indelibly and conspicuously stamped, cut, engraved or die-sunk on an exposed part thereto. This marking may, if necessary, be applied after importation.
    (c) Cases, containers or housings for any of the foregoing movements or mechanisms, other than simple shipping containers, must have the complete name of the maker or purchaser and the country of manufacture conspicuously and indelibly cut, engraved, or die-sunk on the inside of the back cover. This may be done after importation if necessary.
    (d) Clocks, clock movements and devices for measuring speeds, distances or cumulative quantities or for controlling the speed of mechanical devices must have cut, engraved or die-sunk conspicuously and indelibly on the most visible part of the front or back plate the name of the country of manufacture, the name of the maker or purchaser and the number of bearing jewels if any. This may be done after importation if necessary. Cases, containers or housings for any of the foregoing, whether attached thereto or imported separately, must have stamped, cut, engraved or die-sunk conspicuously and indelibly on the back the name of the country of manufacture. This may be done after importation if necessary.
    (e) Subject to the exceptions prescribed by law, the following articles must be marked legibly and conspicuously to indicate their origin by die-stamping, cast-in-the-mould lettering, etching (acid or electrolytic), engraving, or by means of metal plates which bear the prescribed marking and which are securely attached to the article in a conspicuous place by welding, screws or rivets (TD 53455):
    – knives having a folding or movable blade;
    – knives with fixed blades, including forks, steels and cleavers;
    – clippers, shears and scissors, and blades thereof;
    – safety razors and parts thereof, for safety razor blades;
    – surgical needles including hypodermic needles, other surgical instruments and dental instruments, scientific and laboratory instruments and apparatus, surveying and mathematical instruments, and drawing instruments made wholly or partly of metal, and parts thereof; also pliers, pincers, nippers and hinged tools for handling wire, finished or unfinished;
    – thermostatic containers constructed with a vacuum or partial vacuum to maintain the temperature of the contents, or blanks and pistons of such articles. 
     

Arms and ammunition; parts and accessories thereof

  • The transportation of caps and of metal cartridges and of matches is not permitted. Firearms capable of being concealed on the person. Knives
     
    Knives with a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle, or by operation of inertia, gravity or both, are mailable only when sent to:

    (a) the following designated supply or procurement officers and employees ordering, procuring, or purchasing such knives for use in connection with the activities of their respective governments or organizations:
    i - civilian or armed forces supply or procurement officers and employees of the Federal Government;
    ii - supply or procurement officers of the National Guard, the Air National Guard, or the Militia of a State, Territory, or the District of Columbia;
    iii - supply or procurement officers or employees of the municipal government of the District of Columbia or of the government of any State or Territory, or of any country, city or other political subdivision of a State or Territory;
    (b) manufacturers of such knives, or bona fide dealers therein, in connection with a shipment made pursuant to an order from any person designated in 124.55 of the Domestic Mail Manual.

 

Here is an indication of restricted items for mailing to United States of America. For further information, or further clarification please refer to the United States Postal Service website 

Please also refer to the Universal Postal Union - full prohibitions and restrictions list - PDF 7MB 

You must not send any item addressed to a country in which the item is unlawful or prohibited. When an item is restricted you must comply with the restriction. Prohibitions and restrictions vary from country to country, and can sometimes apply to items which you may think are ordinary. The information above is provided in good faith, but Royal Mail is not responsible for it, and it should be viewed as a guide only. Specific restrictions and changes may be enforced at short notice, so for clarification please contact the destination country's trade, postal, and customs authorities as appropriate. Business customers are strongly recommended to do this.

Please remember that Royal Mail also prohibits and restricts certain categories of items. For more information visit royalmail.com/prohibitedgoods

 

Restricted items

• Live animals; animal products
• Bees. Live adult honeybees from Canada are unrestricted to United States destination. Experimental shipments from the countries are authorised under permit when addressed to the Bee Disease Laboratory, Agricultural Research Center,U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland 20705.
• Silkworms. Shipments of silkworms bearing tags or labels issued by Plant Protection and Quarantine Division,U.S. Department of Agriculture.
• Insects and reptiles. Dead insects and reptiles, when thoroughly dried or in a preservative.
• Meat. General rule:
All meat (beef, pork, mutton or poultry) or meat products can enter if fully cooked in a hermetically-sealed container so as to be shelf stable without refrigeration.
All cured and fully dried meat or product derived from ruminants or swine, originating in any country where rinderpest or foot-and-mouth disease exists must be accompanied by an official processing certificate of the country of origin, indicating specific United States requirements.

Cured and dried pork from countries declared by the United States as infected with hog cholera, swine vesicular disease and African swine fever is prohibited or permitted to go to a United States Department of Agriculture approved establishment for further processing before release.

Permits. The following products can only move in the mails under a permit. To obtain additional information, write to Permit Office, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Veterinary Service, Federal Building, Hyattsville, Maryland 20782.

Animal casings require a certificate from the animal health official in the country of origin.
– Edible animal products. These products are prohibited unless such products are imported for pharmaceutical or biological purposes with authorisation of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Veterinary Services of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal Products.
– Other animal products. These products are admitted only if processed in a manner approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture either in a foreign country or the United States. Specific requirements vary with the product.
– The importation of feathers on skin of any bird is prohibited, except the following:
– importation of clean feathers (without skins);
– importation for scientific or educational purposes;
– fully manufactured artificial flies used for fishing;
– the feathers and skins of certain species of birds imported under permit issued by the United States Secretary of the Interior for use in the manufacture of artificial flies for fishing or for millinery purposes, and must go to an establishment approved by the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture   for further processing. This applies to feathers-on-skin from any species of birds from a country known to be infected with exotic Newcastle disease.
• Vegetable products
• Certain plants and plant products listed when originating in certain countries or regions are subject to prohibitions or restrictions of plant quarantines or regulatory orders of the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture.   

• Animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products; prepared edible fats; animal or vegetable waxes
• General rule:
(a) All meat (beef, pork, mutton or poultry) or meat products can enter if fully cooked in a hermetically-sealed container so as to be shelf stable without refrigeration.
(b) All cured and fully dried meat or product derived from ruminants or swine, originating in any country where rinderpest or foot-and-mouth disease exists must be accompanied by an official processing certificate of the country of origin, indicating specific United States requirements.
(c) Cured and dried pork from countries declared by the United States as infected with hog cholera, swine vesicular disease and African swine fever is prohibited or permitted to go to a United States Department of Agriculture approved establishment for further processing before release.
General. Adulterated or misbranded foods, drugs, diagnostic or therapeutic devices, cosmetics, articles containing them, or any new drug for which no approved application is in effect, which are subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 25 June 1938, as amended, and in violation of section 801 of that Act.
• Prepared foodstuffs; beverages, spirits and vinegar; tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes
• Preparations of meat, of fish or of crustaceans, molluscs or other aquatic invertebrates Residues and waste from the food industries; prepared animal fodder As a result of new regulations issued by the Food and Drug Administration under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, as from 12 December 2003, all shipments of articles of food to the United States must be preceded by a prior notice of shipment. This applies to articles shipped for commercial purposes or as gifts. Articles of food include (but are not limited to) food for humans or animals, dietary supplements, nutritional supplements, vitamins, food and color additives. Articles of food which are non-commercially prepared by an individual in his own residence and sent to another individual as a (non-commercial) gift are exempt from submission of this prior notice. This prior notice may be submitted and a prior notice confirmation number obtained via the Internet at:

www.access.fda.gov/index.html#prior   
Mail shipments containing food articles for which a prior notice conformation number has not been entered on the customs declaration may be returned to the sender or (if no return address is included) destroyed. Should you require information on what must be submitted with a prior notice, consult the 
Food and Drug Administration’s website   
Person to contact:
Joseph L. McCallion
Deputy Director
Division of Import Operations and Policy (HFC–170)
Food and Drug Administration

According to the Compliance Policy Guide, revised June 2004, issued by the US Food and Drug Administration, the requirement of prior notice does not apply to food arriving by international mail, food carried by or otherwise accompanying an individual, food made by an individual in his/her personal residence and sent as a personal gift for non-business reasons to an individual in the United States or food imported or offered for import for non-commercial purpose. Examples of foods imported or offered for import that may be covered by this non-commercial category are:
– food in household goods, including military, civilian, government agency and diplomatic transfers;
– food purchased by a traveller and mailed or shipped to the traveller's U.S. address by the traveller;
– gifts purchased at a commercial establishment and sent by the purchaser. If the commercial establishment posts the goods on its behalf, the prior notification will still apply. Businesses wishing to send manufactured food products via UPU member countries must continue to obtain a prior notification reference number from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To obtain the required information, they can access the website: 
Food and Drug Administration’s website   
• Mineral products
• The articles prohibited by article 20 of the 1989 Washington Postal Parcels Agreement, and article 41 of the 1989 Washington Universal Postal Convention, i.e. explosives, flammable materials such as pyrophoric, flammable, or combustible liquids, and flammable solids, oxidizers, corrosives, liquid or solid, compressed gases and poisons.
• Products of the chemical or allied industries
• Radioactive material, includes only those which are classified as limited quantities of radioactive materials, except instruments, articles and devices or articles containing natural uranium or thorium, provided that the activity content of any package, instrument or article does not exceed limits set out in section 2.4 
UPU list of USA prohibitions and restrictions.   
• Radiation-emitting products. Any radiation-emitting electronic product which does not comply with an applicable standard prescribed pursuant to 42 USC 263, unless covered by an exemption.
• Organic chemicals & Pharmaceutical products
– 1 General. Adulterated or misbranded foods, drugs, diagnostic or therapeutic devices, cosmetics, articles containing them, or any new drug for which no approved application is in effect, which are subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 25 June 1938, as amended, and in violation of section 801 of that Act.
– 2 Biological products. Any biological product which has been propagated or manufactured and prepared at an unlicensed establishment or any establishment holding a suspended or revoked licence. Any biological product which is not properly marked in accordance with 42 USC 262, Public Health Service Act, Biological Products.
– 3 Infectious substances. Infectious substances (substances containing viable micro-organisms or their toxins which are known, or suspected, to cause disease in animals or humans), not exceeding 50 milliliters only if packed in the following manner:
– i the primary container must be packaged in a securely sealed and watertight test tube, vial, etc., enclosed in a second sealed and watertight durable container;
– ii the space at the top, bottom and sides between the primary and secondary containers must contain cushioning material to absorb the entire contents in case of leakage. These containers must be enclosed in fiberboard or equivalent strength shipping containers;
– iii all infectious substances which may cause disease in domestic animals require a permit issued to the importer by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, Washington, D.C. 20250.
– 4 Serums. All serum, vaccine, virus or other biological products intended for the treatment of domestic animals; all vector, cultures or collections of organisms or viruses, or their derivatives, that may introduce or disseminate diseases of animals, require a permit issued to the importer by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, Washington, D.C. 20250.
– 5 Radiation-emitting products. Any radiation-emitting electronic product which does not comply with an applicable standard prescribed pursuant to 42 USC 263, unless covered by an exemption.
• Tanning or dyeing extracts; tannins and their derivatives; dyes, pigments and other colouring matter; paints and varnishes; putty and other mastics; inks. See Note 1 below
• Essential oils and resinoids; perfumery, cosmetic or toilet preparations. See Note 1 below
• Soap, organic surface-active agents, washing preparations, lubricating preparations, artificial waxes, prepared waxes; polishing or scouring preparations, candles and similar articles, modelling pastes, "dental waxes" and dental preparations with a basis of plaster. See Note 1 below
• Albuminoidal substances; modified starches; glues; enzymes. See Note 1 below
• Miscellaneous chemical products. See Note 1 below
Note 1

The articles prohibited by article 20 of the 1989 Washington Postal Parcels Agreement, and article 41 of the 1989 Washington Universal Postal Convention, i.e. explosives, flammable materials such as pyrophoric, flammable, or combustible liquids, and flammable solids, oxidizers, corrosives, liquid or solid, compressed gases and poisons.
• Plastics and articles thereof; rubber and articles thereof
• Plastics and articles thereof
The articles prohibited by article 20 of the 1989 Washington Postal Parcels Agreement, and article 41 of the 1989 Washington Universal Postal Convention, i.e. explosives, flammable materials such as pyrophoric, flammable, or combustible liquids, and flammable solids, oxidizers, corrosives, liquid or solid, compressed gases and poisons.
• Raw hides and skins, leather, furskins and articles thereof; saddlery and harness; travel goods, handbags and similar containers; articles of animal gut (other than silk-worm gut)
• Other animal products. These products are admitted only if processed in a manner approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture either in a foreign country or the United States. Specific requirements vary with the product.
• Wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal; cork and articles of cork; manufactures of straw, of esparto or of other plaiting materials; basketware and wickerwork
• Cork and articles of cork
• Parcels containing straw, grasses, and other plant material used as packing for other articles should not be accepted for transmittal to the United States. Approved packing materials include cork and cork products if free of soil and when they have not previously been used with living plants:
Note: Parcels accepted for transmittal to the United States which contain or are contaminated with plant material the entry of which into that country is not authorised may be destroyed or returned to the country of origin as prohibited material in accordance with existing regulations.
• Pulp of wood or of other fibrous cellulose material; waste and scrap of paper or paperboard; paper and paperboard and articles thereof
• The following are admitted free of customs duty:
– books, bound and not bound pamphlets;
– printed matter suitable for use in the production of such books as would themselves be free of duty;
– printed matter issued by literary or scientific institutions for their subscribers or exchange;
– printed matter of individuals, not advertising matter, for gratuitous private circulation;
– international customs forms (carnets), and parts thereof, in English or French (whether or not in additional languages);
– newspapers;
– periodicals;
– music in books or sheets;
– maps, atlases and charts;
– photographs, engravings, etchings, lithographs and wood cuts, and pictorial matter produced by relief or stencil
• printing process, sound or not bound, printed over 20 years at time of importation;
• printed matter printed by a lithographic process on paper not over 0.020 inches thick is generally dutiable at the rate of 6 cents per pound; other printed matter susceptible of authorship is dutiable at the rate of 2% ad valorem, and otherwise dutiable at the rate of 7,5% ad valorem.
• Articles of stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica or similar materials, in sift-proof packaging.
• Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, metals clad with precious metal and articles thereof; imitation jewellery; coin
• Registered articles (with the exception of small packets) containing coins, manufactured or unmanufactured platinum, gold or silver, or other precious articles, as well as any values payable to the bearer, are not excluded from the mails, but if found liable to duty they are treated in accordance with the provisions of the Customs Laws.
• Base metals and articles of base metal
• Special markings are required on certain articles of foreign origin imported in to the United States
• Watch movements and similar time-keeping mechanisms must have cut, engraved or die-sunk conspicuously and indelibly on one or more of the top plates or bridges the following: name of country of manufacture, name of maker or purchaser, in words the number of jewels and number and classes of adjustments. Those markings may, if necessary, be applied after importation.
• Dials for the foregoing, whether or not attached thereto, must have the name of the country of manufacture indelibly and conspicuously stamped, cut, engraved or die-sunk on an exposed part thereto. This marking may, if necessary, be applied after importation.
• Cases, containers or housings for any of the foregoing movements or mechanisms, other than simple shipping containers, must have the complete name of the maker or purchaser and the country of manufacture conspicuously and indelibly cut, engraved, or die-sunk on the inside of the back cover. This may be done after importation if necessary.
• Clocks, clock movements and devices for measuring speeds, distances or cumulative quantities or for controlling the speed of mechanical devices must have cut, engraved or die-sunk conspicuously and indelibly on the most visible part of the front or back plate the name of the country of manufacture, the name of the maker or purchaser and the number of bearing jewels if any. This may be done after importation if necessary. Cases, containers or housings for any of the foregoing, whether attached thereto or imported separately, must have stamped, cut, engraved or die-sunk conspicuously and indelibly on the back the name of the country of manufacture. This may be done after importation if necessary.
• Subject to the exceptions prescribed by law, the following articles must be marked legibly and conspicuously to indicate their origin by die-stamping, cast-in-the-mould lettering, etching (acid or electrolytic), engraving, or by means of metal plates which bear the prescribed marking and which are securely attached to the article in a conspicuous place by welding, screws or rivets (TD 53455):
– knives having a folding or movable blade;
– knives with fixed blades, including forks, steels and cleavers;
– clippers, shears and scissors, and blades thereof;
– safety razors and parts thereof, for safety razor blades;
– surgical needles including hypodermic needles, other surgical instruments and dental instruments, scientific and laboratory instruments and apparatus, surveying and mathematical instruments, and drawing instruments made wholly or partly of metal, and parts thereof; also pliers, pincers, nippers and hinged tools for handling wire, finished or unfinished;
– thermostatic containers constructed with a vacuum or partial vacuum to maintain the temperature of the contents, or blanks and pistons of such articles.
• Optical, photographic, cinematographic, measuring, checking, precision, medical or surgical instruments and apparatus; clocks and watches; musical instruments; parts and accessories thereof
• Radiation-emitting products. Any radiation-emitting electronic product which does not comply with an applicable standard prescribed pursuant to 42 USC 263, unless covered by an exemption. The same special markings requirements as for base metal and articles of base metal set out above apply
• Clocks and watches and parts thereof
• The same special markings requirements as for base metal and articles of base metal set out above apply
• Arms and ammunition; parts and accessories thereof
• The same special markings requirements as for base metal and articles of base metal set out above apply
• Firearms
1 Marking. Each article containing a firearm (i.e. any weapon which expels projectiles by explosive force, mechanical action, air or gas pressure) must be marked on the outside "FIREARM" in capital letters at least 1 inch (2.54 cm) high and of corresponding width.
2 Concealable firearms:
The following firearms are classed as capable of being concealed on the person: pistols and revolvers; shotguns having barrels less than 18 inches (45.72 cm) long; rifles having barrels less than 16 inches (40.64 cm) long; shotguns or rifles which have been shortened to a total length of less than 26 inches (66.04 cm) or adapted in any manner so as to be concealed on the person. Such firearms are admitted only if address to be used in the exercise of their official functions to officer of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps or Organised Reserve Corps; to officers of the National Guard or Militia of a State, Territory or District; to officers of the United States or of a State, Territory or District whose official functions consist in serving warrants for arrest or commitment; to employees of the Postal Service; officers and employees of enforcement agencies of the United States; to custodians charged with guarding properties of the United States or of a State, Territory or District; or to manufacturers of firearms or bona fide dealers. The mailer must also be a manufacturer, dealer or person in one of the above-named authorised categories.
Articles containing concealable firearms must be plainly marked, in addition to the word firearm, with the addressee's qualifications, for example, "For Army Officer", "For Dealer", etc., as the case may be. The shipment must be accompanied by an affidavit attesting that the addressee really belongs to one of the classes authorised to receive firearms by mail, with a certificate from a competent authority in the United States that the arms are really intended for legitimate purposes.
The addressee of every article containing a concealable firearm, except for manufacturers or dealers known to the postmaster, is required to present himself at the post office and establish his identity before taking delivery. The name and address of each person receiving a firearm by mail is reported by the postmaster to the police authorities of the locality.
3 Permits. A permit issued by the Department of State must be presented by the addressee to the customs authorities for the importation of rifles, carbines, revolvers and pistols, except those of 0,50 caliber (1,27 cm) or less manufactured prior to 1898; also for all machine guns, machine pistols and fully automatic rifles.
4 Antique firearms. Antique firearms manufactured prior to 1898, sent as curios or museum pieces, are exempt from the foregoing restrictions.
• Knives
Knives have a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle, or by operation of inertia, gravity or both, are mailable only when sent to the following designated supply or procurement officers and employees ordering, procuring, or purchasing such knives for use in connection with the activities of their respective governments or Organisations:
i civilian or armed forces supply or procurement officers and employees of the Federal Government;
ii supply or procurement officers of the National Guard, the Air National Guard, or the Militia of a State, Territory, or the District of Columbia;
iii supply or procurement officers or employees of the municipal government of the District of Columbia or of the government of any State or Territory, or of any country, city or other political subdivision of a State or Territory; manufacturers of such knives, or bona fide dealers therein, in connection with a shipment made pursuant to an order from any person designated in 124.55 of the Domestic Mail Manual.

Additional information

Sending food 

If you’re shipping food or beverages to the USA as a business, you need to file a Prior Notice of Imported Foods with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

This applies to articles shipped for commercial purposes or as gifts. Articles of food include (but are not limited to) food for humans or animals, dietary supplements, nutritional supplements, vitamins, food and colour additives.  

Electronic customs data 

When you send mail from the UK to destinations that are in a different customs union, we require you to provide electronic customs data. 

The easiest way to provide your customs declaration is through one of our automated shipping solutions, like Click & Drop, Pro Shipping or API shipping.  

Find out more about electronic customs data 

Learn how to grow your business in the USA

Royal Mail prohibitions and restrictions 

USPS shipping restrictions 

Universal Postal Union list of restricted articles for all countries 

More questions about what you can send to the USA? Email a Public Information Officer from the US Customs and Border Protection website.

Remember to use the correct address format 

You can use just the first half of the ZIP code, although the full version is preferred. 

Put the country name on the last line, in capitals. You can use the abbreviation USA.

 

Examples: 

Mr Joe Engle 

1612 Dexter Street 

FORT WAYNE IN 46805 

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 

 

Mr Bill Harrison 

347 L’Enfant Plaza SW 

WASHINGTON DC 20260-6500 

USA 

 

Please write the addressee's mobile telephone number on your parcel, in case we need to contact them about their delivery.

Attach a customs label

You’ll need to apply a customs declaration form to your package. 

If you buy postage online with Click & Drop the label will be generated automatically, and we will also send customs data in advance of your parcel. 

Alternatively, customs declaration labels are available online or in a Post Office® branch. 

  • For items with a value up to £270, you will need customs form CN22 (pdf, 394.05 KB)
  • For items with a value over £270, you will need customs form CN23 (pdf, 227.98 KB) and clear plastic wallet SP 126, also available at any Post Office® branch. 

Help with customs and sending items abroad

Next steps

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USA exporting guide