Shipping to US Government Sanctioned Countries and Regions

16 May, 2019
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In general, organizations shipping to US Government-sanctioned countries are required to have prior approval from the applicable export control agencies responsible for each country.

Shippers must check with the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and/or the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). The US Department of Commerce International Trade is also an excellent resource. United States Postal Service (USPS) employees are prompted at retail acceptance to verify with the shipper that they have obtained all of the necessary approvals before they are allowed to ship. While certain items are restricted or limited to these countries, there are also many types of items that can be sent to sanctioned countries without obtaining a specific export license or authorization.

Following is a list of sanctioned countries and the primary licensing authority for each:

  • Crimea (region of Ukraine): BIS & OFAC
  • Cuba: BIS
  • Iran: OFAC
  • North Korea: BIS
  • Sudan: OFAC; BIS for certain commodities
  • Syria: BIS

CRIMEA (Region of Ukraine)

Mail services to Crimea and certain other regions of Ukraine are restricted. The following items represent some of the limited types of shipments that may be allowed under U.S. law without the need for an export license:

  • Informational materials in any medium, including publications, films, photographs, music, and artwork.
  • Food, including vitamins, food additives, and nutritional supplements.
  • Medicine.

The following items are eligible to be sent to Crimea only as a gift parcel or humanitarian donation. Personal gifts are limited to $800 in value and one per month for each sender/recipient pair. Customers can send humanitarian donations that are intended to relieve human suffering. Shippers must complete the mandatory filing via AES Direct to obtain an ITN for the shipment. The shipper must also write the ITN on the customs declaration form. Please consult OFAC for lists of eligible and ineligible items.

  • Eligible agricultural commodities, seeds for food crops, natural fibers (e.g., cotton, wool, linen, silk, hemp, sisal) and fiber products, wood and wood products, and other plant or animal products.
  • Eligible medical supplies.
  • Replacement parts for eligible medical supplies sent on a one-to-one basis (i.e., one replacement part for one defective part). Replacement parts must be in limited quantities consistent with the intent to repair specific broken equipment (and not for resale or inventory). This does not cover shipments of medical devices themselves.

Note: When shipping goods as a humanitarian donation, be sure to check the “Humanitarian Donation” box in the content description section of PS Form 2976, in block 5 of PS Form 2976-A, or in block 2 of PS Form 2976-B.

USPS Products available: With BIS and/or OFAC approval, PMEI, PMI, FCMI, and FCPS (price group 4), IPA group 19; (ISAL is not available)

CUBA

Cuba does not accept packages that exceed $200 in value. The following items are some of the limited types of shipments that may be allowed under U.S. law without the need for an export license:

  • Informational materials in any medium, including publications, films, photographs, music, and artwork
  • Personal gifts, limited to one per month for each sender/recipient pair (Exception: The frequency limit does not apply to food donated in gift parcels.)
  • Humanitarian donations to relieve human suffering

For the following items to Cuba, shippers must complete the mandatory filing via AES Direct to obtain an ITN for the shipment:

  • Building materials, tools, and equipment for private buildings and agricultural activities
  • Tools, equipment, and supplies for private-sector entrepreneurs (e.g., curling iron for a hair salon)
  • Items donated for scientific, archaeological, cultural, ecological, educational, historic preservation, or sporting activities
  • Items to individuals or non-governmental organizations that promote independent activity and strengthen civil society
  • Items to improve telecommunications, including Internet access, infrastructure, and upgrades
  • Items for use by news media personnel

For a list of eligible agricultural commodities, see https://www.fas.usda.gov/sites/default/files/2014-04/schedulebeligiblecommodities06-28-06.pdf.

USPS Products available: PMEI, PMI, FCMI, and FCPS (price group 9); (IPA & ISAL are not available)

IRAN

The following items represent some of the limited types of shipments that may be allowed under U.S. law without the need for an export license:

  • Personal gifts up to $100 in value
  • Humanitarian donations to relieve human suffering
  • Informational materials in any medium, including publications, films, photographs, music, and artwork
  • Commercial sales of eligible agricultural commodities, including food for people or animals, seeds, vitamins, food additives, nutritional supplements, natural fibers (e.g., cotton, wool, linen, silk, hemp, sisal) and fiber products, wood and wood products, and other plant or animal products.
  • Commercial sales of many medicines and eligible medical supplies
  • Computers, mobile phones, smart phones, modems, peripherals, radio equipment, home satellite equipment, anti-virus software, and other personal communications hardware and software. For additional information regarding eligible shipments of personal communications hardware and software, see https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/Sanctions/Pages/faq_iran.aspx#gld1
  • Commercial sales of replacement parts for medical devices sent on a one-to-one basis (i.e., one replacement part for one defective part); Replacement parts must be in limited quantities consistent with the intent to repair specific broken equipment (and not for resale or inventory). This does not cover shipments of medical devices themselves.

USPS Products available: PMI, FCMI, and FCPS (price group 8); (IPA & ISAL are not available)

NORTH KOREA

Currently, no Goods may be mailed to North Korea. Mail that is sent must be addressed to Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

USPS Products available: FCMI (price group 6) (for mail only)

SUDAN

The following items represent some of the limited types of shipments that may be allowed under U.S. law without the need for an export license:

  • Personal gifts up to $100 in value
  • Humanitarian donations to relieve human suffering
  • Informational materials in any medium, including publications, films, photographs, music, and artwork
  • Commercial sales of eligible food items for people or animals, including vitamins, food additives, nutritional supplements, and bottled water
  • Consumer communications devices and software, including computers, mobile phones, smart phones, modems, peripherals, radio equipment, television and home satellite equipment, anti-virus software, and other personal communications hardware and software

USPS Products available: PMEI, PMI, FCMI, and FCPS (price group 7); (IPA & ISAL are not available)

SYRIA

The following items are some of the limited types of shipments that may be allowed under U.S. law without the need for an export license:

  • Food, including vitamins, food additives, and nutritional supplements
  • Medicine
  • Informational materials in any medium, including publications, films, photographs, music, and artwork

USPS Products available: PMEI, PMI, FCMI, and FCPS (price group 8), IPA group 19; (ISAL is not available)

References:
Bureau of Industry and Security https://www.bis.doc.gov/
OFAC Sanction List/lookup https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov/
USPS Pub 699 https://about.usps.com/publications/pub699.pdf
USPS International Mail Manual https://pe.usps.com/text/imm/welcome.htm

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