Shipping Samples

US Customs and Border protection says that samples are the “materials used for taking orders” and that samples items should not be able to be used or sold. Shipping samples should not be a dreaded hassle as some people seem to think. It is actually very much like any other shipment only the cost is usually free so there are not as many chances for discrepancies. One important thing is that the commercial invoices for samples should be clearly marked “SAMPLES” so there is no way to confuse them as regular products. If there are other issues that should be declared such as hazardous materials, it is important that this is expressly stated as well since it can make a difference in the shipment. Anything that is administered by the FDA or other agencies would also need to be declared as such. For the FDA this would include food and drink items as well as soaps and perfumes and those types of samples. For the most part, samples can be brought in through US Customs as free samples and would be duty free under the law. If samples are not free, and cost more than the limit allowed by US Customs, then they would be charged as any other product would be. Usually people might send these types of samples to their customers and the customer would then be responsible for shipping as well as any duties incurred. Before shipping any samples, it is important to read through the guidelines for that product so that all laws are covered and there will be no delays should your package be stopped by customs. If you have trouble or are not able to do so, your freight forwarder should be able to assist.