HOW TO SEND GIFTS TO THE USA

OUR GUIDE ON HOW TO PACKAGE & POST PARCELS TO THE USA
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Overview

Tape measure

Consider cost factors such as size and weight of the gift

Calculator

Use a cost calculator if you’re unsure

Purpose fit box

Use a purpose fit packaging box

Commercial invoice

Get the right customs invoice (Prof forma or Commercial)

Labelled box

Securely attach all paperwork to the outside of your parcel

Value

Be mindful of the value. Anything over $100 could require duty & taxes

Calendar

Send early to avoid delays, especially over US holiday periods

Secure package

Wrap the package securely with bubble wrap and appropriate boxing

Sending gifts to the USA from the UK can be a godsend, especially if you have family or friends who live in the USA. We all know it’s not always possible to get across the pond to celebrate those special occasions with them. Work commitments and family life (not to mention the cost of plane tickets) can get in the way of you spending weddings, milestone birthdays and Christmases together.

Sending gifts to the USA is one way you can show your loved ones you are thinking of them on their special day. It may be cheaper than you think to send a gift to the USA – our parcel delivery prices start from £38.59 and your gift could reach your recipient in as little as 3 days


How much will it cost to send a gift to USA?

Weight of parcel being delivered to United States of America Worldwide Air Prices
1kg £41.32* Book
5kg £63.13* Book
10kg £90.40* Book
25kg £176.13* Book
*Prices quoted in the table above are based on 10 x 10 x 10cm dimensions and all pricing quoted in this article is based on a Depot Drop off and Worldwide Air delivery from mainland UK to the state of New York, USA, with £50 contents cover included. Prices outside of the state of New York may incur additional fees.
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How is the cost calculated?

How much your parcel costs to send to the USA will depend on the International service you choose, as well as the weight of your parcel. We will either use the actual weight or the volumetric weight, depending on which one is more.

The volumetric weight tells us how much the parcel could hold and is calculated by: length x width x height in centimetres (cm) divided by 4000. For ease, we have a handy volumetric calculator which you can use to work this out.

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Top tips to keep costs down

Volumetric weight takes into account your parcel size and the weight it could hold. Which means even if you’re sending an item which is light, popping it into a large box will still effect the price you pay. To keep costs down, we recommend using purpose-fit boxes – as a rule of thumb, there should be 6cm of space between the item and the box’s walls.

Customs advice and support

Any parcel or gift delivery to the USA will need to be accompanied by a customs invoice. This tells customs agents what is inside the parcel and is used to calculate if any duties and taxes are payable.

There’s two types of invoices: pro-forma (for gifts and personal items) and commercial (for goods sold). As part of the booking process, we’ll gather all of the information we need to generate the correct type of invoice. To avoid delays, you should provide a detailed description of the item you are sending. Always include: what the item is, what it is made from and what it will be used for.

Once you’ve paid for your delivery, 5 copies of the customs invoice will print with your shipping label. Securely attach all paperwork to the outside of your parcel – we recommend using a clear envelope to protect your invoice from the elements.


Do I need to pay duty or taxes on gifts sent to the USA?

You can send gifts to America up to the value of $100 free of duty and taxes. Just make sure that the gift is sent to a residential address (not a business address) and that you select ‘Gift’ as your reason for sending in the ‘Customs’ section of our booking form.

The gift allowance of $100 is per individual so it is possible to send a consolidated gift package worth more than this to a family in the USA. When preparing your consolidated gift package, make sure you follow the below advice:

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Wrap each item individually

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Label items clearly with the recipient’s name

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Provide the total value

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In the description, give the recipient’s name, the nature of the item you are sending and the value, for example:

To Jane Smith – cotton t-shirt $15, leather bag $80

To John Smith – silk shirt $60, leather wallet $30

It’s important to note that if one item exceeds the $100 threshold, the entire parcel will be liable for duty. For more customs advice, take a look at the US Customs and Border Protection website.


Holidays in America

When sending a gift to celebrate a public holiday, for example Independence Day or Thanksgiving, remember to send in plenty of time in order to avoid delays.

2021 US Federal National Holidays

Date

 

Friday - 1 January

New Year’s Day

Monday - 18 January

Martin Luther King Day

Monday - 15 February

Presidents' Day

Monday - 31 May

Memorial Day

Friday - 4 July

Independence Day

Monday - 6 September

Labour Day

Monday - 11 October

Columbus Day

Thursday - 11 November

Veterans Day

Thursday - 25 November

Thanksgiving Day

Friday - 24 December

Christmas Day Holiday

Friday - 31 December

New Years Day Holiday

*Public holidays in the USA may affect our estimated transit times.

Please note – federal and state holidays in 2021 which may affect delivery times to USA: Jan 1, 18 / Feb 15 / May 31 / Jul 4 / Sep 6 / Oct 11 / Nov 11,25 / Dec 24,31


Sending birthday gifts to the USA: Ideas & Inspiration

Struggling for gift ideas? Why not send your loved one a taste of the UK with some quintessentially British food? Cadburys chocolate, Walkers crisps or McVities biscuits may seem like cupboard-staples to us, but would make an exciting gift for someone who isn’t able to easily pick up a packet at their local supermarket. When sending food, make sure it’s unopened, in its original packaging and has a shelf life of over 6 months.

Take a look at some more gift ideas below:

Picture frame

Photo book or framed photo

Local gift ideas

Something locally produced
(for an authentically British gift)

Books

Their favourite book
(often the UK version will have different cover artwork)

Clothes

Clothes
(especially if the brand isn’t available in the USA)

Before sending your gift, make sure you check out our list of prohibited and restricted items to ensure it is allowed through our network.


How to package your gift to the USA

Your parcel will travel thousands of miles and will be handled at various stages throughout its journey (a parcel sent to the USA will travel over 3,000 miles in just 3 days). Packaging your parcel correctly can avoid delays and damages in transit.

To ensure your parcel is secure, we recommend using a double box, wrapping each item in bubble wrap, filling any unused space with packaging chips and sealing with strong parcel tape. For more tips, take a look at our guide on how to waterproof and package your parcel.

Remember, your parcel may need to undergo extra customs checks (where the agent will look inside the parcel). Unfortunately, if your parcel is chosen for extra checks, any gifts wrapped in paper will be ripped open. To avoid disappointment, we suggest using a gift bag or hamper instead – this will look pretty when your recipient opens the present, but the item will still be easily accessible to customs agents.

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