What are the US cheapest exports

Advisory: Package from or to the USA

Table of Contents

  1. Prohibited Goods That Cannot Be Sent to the United States
  2. Postage for USA shipments
  3. Delivery times USA
  4. Documents required for American customs
  5. Gift packages to the USA
  6. Shipping personal items
  7. How can I track a USA package?
  8. Amazon shipments from the US with WNdirect.com
  9. USPS sorting centers

Key facts at a glance

Deutsche Post letters and DHL parcels sent in Germany to the USA are sent to the recipient using USPS. DHL Express parcels are an exception; these are also delivered by DHL Express in the USA.

USPS is sometimes mistakenly confused with the parcel service UPS. However, they are different companies. UPS has its own transport network in Germany and America. UPS packages from or to the USA remain in the UPS transport network at all times and are not handed over to DHL or USPS.

There is a rare exception for letter-like parcels with the shipping method "UPS Mail Innovations". Some mail order companies in the US use this shipping method; the delivery in Germany is carried out by Deutsche Post.

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Prohibited Goods That Cannot Be Sent to the United States

DHL prohibits the dispatch of dangerous goods in foreign parcels. This includes, for example, rechargeable batteries, batteries and devices (e.g. eBook readers, smartphones or toys) with built-in rechargeable batteries. Hairspray, perfume and nail polish are also prohibited. You can find an extensive list in the comments at the end of this article.

In addition, US customs have banned certain goods from being imported. The following list shows a selection of prohibited items that you should never put in your USA package. The list is not complete and without guarantee. For exact details, see the US Customs website here.

  • Alcohol (also no perfume and no sweets with alcohol filling)
  • tobacco
  • Surprise eggs (generally all sweets that are combined with toys)
  • Plants / animals under species protection
  • Medicine and drugs
  • Fireworks, chemicals and other explosives
  • Counterfeit products
  • Pornographic Products
  • Weapons and ammunition

Incidentally, non-flammable, harmless liquids and drinks are allowed in packages. There is no ban like on passenger flights. Due to changes in air pressure in the aircraft hold, use stable containers that will not burst.

In addition, read our guide on shipping batteries and rechargeable batteries abroad and our tips on shipping groceries to the USA.

If you have any doubts as to whether the importation of a particular product is allowed or prohibited, it is best not to pack the product in the package. Even if only a single item in your package is affected by the import ban, it can mean that you receive the entire delivery back as a return.

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Postage for USA shipments

What does a letter to the USA cost?

A standard letter weighing up to 20 grams from Germany to America costs 1.10 euros. A compact letter up to 50 grams costs 1.70 euros, a large letter up to 500 grams 3.70 euros and a maxi letter up to 1kg costs 7.00 euros postage (as of 1/2021).

Since 2019, Deutsche Post has banned the dispatch of goods in international letters. To send items to the USA that are not documents, the parcel or parcel shipping method must be used.


What does a DHL package cost to the USA?

A DHL parcel M to America up to 2kg costs 15.89 euros. A package up to 5kg costs 36.99 euros, a 10kg package costs 53.99 euros and a 20kg package costs 75.99 euros. (Status: 1/2021).

► According to the practical experience of the Paketda editorial team, UPS parcels are faster than DHL parcels and therefore more expensive. The price surcharge compared to DHL is approx. 20 to 40 euros per package. The faster the delivery should arrive at the recipient, the higher the postage. Paketda recommends the "UPS Expedited" tariff with a delivery time of approx. 1 week. For comparison: experience has shown that DHL standard parcels need 3 weeks to the USA.

Hermes enables parcel shipping to the USA via a subsidiary. The price level is comparable to DHL premium packages. Parcelda has tested parcel shipping with Hermes to the USA: more about this here.

DPD and GLS do not offer parcel shipping to the USA for private customers.

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Tip: When deciding on a parcel service, don't just consider the price. The more important and urgent the transport, the more a reliable delivery should be worth to you. When shipping with Deutsche Post DHL, your package in the USA will be handed over to the state postal company USPS.

This handover usually works smoothly. However, some Paketda customers report losses or severe delays at the border and in customs clearance in the USA. Experience has shown that DHL and USPS cannot expect comprehensive customer service in such cases. On the one hand because the number of mail items is too high to take care of every single one, on the other hand because responsibility is often shifted back and forth between the postal companies.

When you send a package to the USA with UPS, the package always stays in the same transport network. There is no handover to a cooperation partner. The elimination of such a transfer point makes the transport safer and is also fully documented in a uniform shipment tracking system.

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Delivery times USA

Average delivery times from Germany to the USA:

  • DHL package: 17 days
  • DHL parcel: 13 days
  • DHL goods post: 17 days
  • UPS: 9 days
  • Postcards: 10-20 days
As of 4/2021, without guarantee. Postcard data from Postcrossing.com. Detailed results: 17track.com

How long does a DHL package take to the USA?

DHL packages with the Premium additional service are exported by air freight and take around 2-3 weeks to the USA. Standard parcels by sea freight can be en route for 2 months. Source: www.dhl.de.

Every year from November to February there are capacity bottlenecks for DHL shipments to the USA. Premium packages can then also be on the road for several months. At this time of year, Paketda recommends shipping with UPS or Hermes. Please read the following articles on this subject: USA premium parcels exported by ship instead of air freight | 250,000 parcels backlog at USPS


How long do letters take between Germany and the USA?

Letters and postcards between Germany and America take 3 to 7 working days, according to Deutsche Post, that is 1 to 2 weeks (source: deutschepost.de). According to Paketda’s practical experience, 2 to 2.5 weeks are realistic.

A blue priority sticker is recommended on letters sent to the USA so that they can be airmailed to their destination within the USA. The sticker is available free of charge in post offices or here to print out. No priority sticker is required for parcels.

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Documents required for American customs

Tip 1: The best way to buy a parcel label is via online franking. There you will be guided through the creation of the necessary customs forms, and at the end all accompanying documents for your package will be printed out. This is easiest for inexperienced customers.

Tip 2: When sending a private customer parcel with Hermes to the USA, the customs data is transmitted digitally, so that annoying paperwork is completely eliminated.

► When sending a package or parcel to the USA, a so-called customs declaration is required. The form is available in the variants CN22 and CN23. For low-value DHL parcels, CN22 is sufficient; for DHL parcels, CN23 is always necessary. Please read our detailed guide to the customs declaration.

All goods contained in the package must be listed in the customs declaration. In addition, the value of the goods must be specified so that the customs in the destination country can calculate the duties (taxes / customs).

The so-called commercial invoice fulfills a comparable purpose. It is always necessary for UPS packages and for DHL packages, provided that the recipient has paid the sender money for the package (e.g. from an eBay sale).

A special case is the so-called proforma commercial invoice (proforma invoice). This is a "virtual" invoice that the sender creates for customs purposes only. Example: You wanted to give your aunt a used watch as a present in the USA, but you no longer have a purchase receipt to determine its value. You estimate the value at 200 euros and create a proforma invoice for it. Your aunt won't pay you 200 euros, but thanks to the proforma invoice, US Customs knows what the value of the watch is. [The customs officers may also google the watch to see if you have guessed the value correctly.]

A so-called Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) is charged for customs clearance. It is between $ 2 and $ 9 (no guarantee). Source: help.cbp.gov.

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Gift packages to the USA

In the case of gift packages, the recipient shouldn't really know how expensive the gifts are. However, this cannot be avoided when sending parcels to the USA. Unfortunately, you have to list the exact value of each individual item on the customs declaration.

The following information comes from the website of the American Embassy (as of 11/2020). Please make sure that they are up-to-date there.

► When sending a gift to the United States by parcel, the recipient does not have to pay taxes or duties as long as the gift parcel does not exceed $ 100 in value. It is not possible to split a large shipment into multiple small packages to get below the $ 100 limit for each.

The shipping costs actually count towards the total value of the package. However, the Paketda editorial team knows several cases in which parcels from Germany were imported duty-free into the USA, even though the total value of the package contents + postage was more than 100 dollars. However, there is no guarantee of this. If US Customs levy import duties, there is an additional $ 5.50 customs clearance fee.

Important to know: If a package contains textiles, these cannot cost more than 250 dollars. In addition, the package must not contain any alcohol or tobacco. Alcohol is often found in perfumes, cosmetics and sometimes in sweets, so it is better to avoid these products.

The total value of a package cannot exceed $ 2,000 according to US Customs. German customs require an electronic export declaration from 1,000 euros. Parcelda therefore advises against exporting parcels worth more than 1,000 euros.

In practice, a goods value of a maximum of 500 euros is recommended because DHL parcels are insured up to this amount as standard. Higher insurance is optionally available for a surcharge in the DHL online franking system.

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Shipping personal items

Many users inquire at Paketda how they can send personal items (e.g. clothes, shoes, glasses, household items, etc.) to the USA without paying customs there. Often parents want to send something to the USA for their children who are on a student exchange.

Recommendation: Make a note of the addition "Personal effects of the recipient" on the customs declaration. This means "recipient's personal items".

It is also recommended that the sender and recipient of the package have at least the same last name so that US Customs can assume a relationship.

It would be ideal if there were purchase receipts made out in the name of the parcel recipient for the items sent. But that is seldom the case. As proof of value, it is still advisable to copy existing purchase receipts and attach them to the outside of the package (use a transparent delivery note pocket).

The Paketda editorial team has already given the above tips to numerous users so that they will probably work. Nevertheless, we cannot accept any liability. A user gave us the following experience report:

I have declared the items as "used personal items" as recommended, to be precise as "Luggage (used personal items for traveling)" and have given each individual item a rather low value, because who would use a lot for one, for example Toothbrush pay? The total value was 44.04 euros, so together with the postage costs of 75.99 euros, significantly more than $ 100. Customs only opened the transparent cover with the customs declaration, but not the package itself. It all arrived safely and completely on the west coast of the USA after a mail delivery time of 19 days.

Special case 1: When a US citizen sends personal items back to the US, the following declaration is required on the customs declaration: "American Goods Returned". However, this does not apply to Germans who send something to the USA. Source: www.cbp.gov.

Special case 2: If someone moves from the USA to Germany and would like to send personal items to Germany, the customs form 0350 ("Removal goods") must be enclosed with each package. The form should be in a transparent envelope on the outside of the package. Paketda recommends that you also put a CN23 customs declaration in the transparent pouch.

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How can I track a USA package?

When shipping with Deutsche Post DHL, your letter, registered mail, parcel or parcel will be handed over to USPS. Experience shows that USPS tracking updates faster than DHL tracking.

Parcelda therefore recommends that you use this USPS tracking service from the time your parcel arrives in the USA. From DHL tracking, you can switch directly to USPS with the button "Shipment tracking abroad".

The consignment number CY123456789DE (for parcels) or RM123456789DE (for letters / parcels) assigned in Germany remains unchanged during the entire transport route.

The same applies to shipments from America to Germany. The US shipment number in the format CX123456789US or RX123456789US works at www.dhl.de or www.deutschepost.de/briefstatus.

Delays often occur at the transfer interfaces between DHL and USPS. It happens, for example, that the arrival of a parcel in Frankfurt is already signaled in USPS tracking, but nothing can be seen in DHL tracking. The delays often only last a few days, but in extreme cases 2 to 3 weeks.

Note: DHL parcels to the USA are exported via the IPZ Frankfurt (pre-station: Rodgau). After your parcel has been processed in Frankfurt with the status "The shipment is being transported to the destination country and handed over to the delivery organization", it can take 1 to 2 weeks for the next transport status to appear. There is no need to worry if the tracking has not been updated for some time. At peak times before Christmas, the export can even take 4 weeks because some USA parcels are then exported by ship.

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Amazon shipments from the US with WNdirect.com

A user from the Paketda forum gave us important information about the traceability of Amazon shipments from the USA, which are sent there as "Prime International". We are happy to pass the tips on to other users below:

  • Consignment numbers from Amazon USA with the shipping method "Prime International" begin with AW ...
  • Amazon collects the import duties during the online order so that the customer does not have to pay anything upon delivery.
  • The shipments are sent with WNdirect.com. However, DPD is incorrectly displayed on the Amazon website.
  • In Germany, the shipment is handed over to DPD, GLS, Hermes or DHL.
  • To inquire about the German parcel service and the German shipment number, contact [email protected] or wndirect.com/en/contact

Paketda recommends: To be on the safe side, do not send shipments from the USA to post offices or packing stations. They are only supplied by DHL and not by other parcel services. According to the terms and conditions, DHL even prohibits the dispatch of dutiable shipments to packing stations and branches (Paketda reported on this in August 2016).

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USPS sorting centers

The state postal company USPS operates the following sorting centers for international mail and parcel traffic (ISC = International Sorting Center).

  • ISC New York (USJFKA), JFK International Airport, Building 250, Jamaica, NY 11430-9998 (view on Google Maps)
  • ISC Miami FL (USMIAA), 11698 NW 25th Street, Miami FL 33112-9997 (view on Google Streetview)
  • ISC San Francisco (USSFOA), 660 W. Field Road, San Francisco, CA 94128-9741 (view on Google Maps)
  • ISC Los Angeles (USLAXA), 5800 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90009-9998 (view on Google Streetview)
  • Foreign Exchange Center Jersey City (USJECA), New Jersey International / BMC, 80 County Road, Jersey City, NJ 07097-9998 (view on Google Maps)

The location abbreviations in brackets may appear in the shipment tracking.

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More Paketda articles about USA and USPS:



Questions from users about shipping to the USA

05/16/2021 • RX171036261DE
Hello, I have a subscription for a Merchendise Box at a shop in the USA, so far I have never had to pay customs duties ... read on

05/12/2021 • xxxxxxxxx
Hello, I would like to send a package to the USA, but after I sent one with DHL in October last year, it was only in January ... read on

05/11/2021 • LH136756868US
My package is said to have been at Frankfurt Airport since April 15, 2021. Nothing happened. No notification received. ... Continue reading

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Published on and last updated on. | Author: Steffen Persiel


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