Shipping to USA – 4 key details you should know.


courier-servive-usaShipping to USA? Canada’s greatest trade partner is the USA, and while most heavy volumes will travel by Truck or Rail, there is a large demand for Courier Services. Most shipments under 68 kg will travel via Courier Services, so you can imagine the volumes these represent daily. There are many details you should know when using Courier Services to the USA, but here are 4 key details to be familiar with when shipping to USA.

  1. Customs Clearance. When shipping to USA via Couriers Services, your courier of choice will offer customs clearance as part of their services. Because of the sheer volume of shipments that travel and require customs clearance, Couriers have a clearance process that is unique to them. There is a process for shipments with a value under $2,500 USD and another for shipments above 2,500 USD. These are referred to as Low Value Shipments vs High Value Shipments.
  2. Low Value Shipments. These are usually cleared through a manifest presentation through the customs system. These manifests are created with the information obtained from the Customs declaration you provided at time of shipping to USA. This declaration is most commonly presented by way of a Commercial Invoice or Proforma Invoice. These must include basic information such as the full name and address of both the sender and receiver, with a detailed description of the product with the value and country of origin (where the goods were made). The manifest is presented, and Customs will identify those they may want more details on, while the rest will be released and processed for delivery.
  3. High Value Shipments. These are presented to customs formally. As the sender, you need to supply the same declaration as above in addition to the US Importers Tax Identification number, often referred to as their IRS number. In the case of a shipment to a private individual, Customs will require the Importers Social Security Number. I’ve included a link to better explain the need for the Importers Tax information. More information.
  4. Customs Fees. The standard fees for Imports to the USA are Duty and MPF (Merchandise Processing Fees). While duty varies by type of commodity and origin, the MPF is based on a fixed percentage of the value of the product imported with a minimum and maximum charge. See here.Note that for values under $800 USD, most commodities will be assessed no duty or MPF, as well exporters that include a NAFTA Certificate can also be exempt of any customs fees.


While the above is simply meant to provide some insight when using Courier Services to the USA, you should contact Globex Worldwide Courier, your Expert Courier Services Specialist at to learn more.

Scott Curran – SWA
Globex Worldwide Courier