US Customs Declaration for Electronics Kits


#1

I just had a customer order returned to be by the U.S. Postal office due to my customs declaration. This order, which I was shipping via the US Postal Service from the US to Canada, declared the contents as an “Electronics Kit”, primarily because that is what it is. You know, resistors, transistors, capacitors and a PCB all intended for the user to solder together themself. I have been using this description for years and has never had a problem. But this time the US Postal service returned it with the note that the problem was: “Vague content description - ‘Electronics Kit’? Be more specific.”

Does anybody have any experience with shipping an electronics kit internationally from the US? What do you declare the contents as?

Thanks!


#2

I ship all over the world using hobby electronics kit. Hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come.

Perhaps look up the HS code and include that?


#3

I already use HS code 854290. I don’t know how I could have better described the contents. I will try using the word “hobby” too. Thanks!


#4

This is a new thing. I have sent out hundreds of packages over the last few years and last week I had one sent back to me by US customs before it even left Miami. I am assuming that something has changed. Customers are upset though and a bit wary of re-ordering. I did leave off the HS code on all my orders so I am going to include that now. I think something fishy is going on.


#5

Mine was rejected as well. Does anyone know how electronics kit should be declared to pass US customs?


#6

I have started putting on a description of the actual contents rather than the intended use and I also added the HS code. So now I have PCBs HS Code 84733040. I have not had any further problems. I do have some kits to send out soon so that might be a challenge.

Maybe this: HTS Code: 8542.90
Parts For Electronic Integrated Circuits And Microassemblies


#7

I got one rejected a few weeks ago as well. Put down electronics parts initially. The second time around I listed bq25703a module and it went through.


#8

This is still happening to me. I now use the description “Electronics Hobby Kit” and I just got another returned because “description was not sufficient to determine if it meets US export requirements”, even though I use a pretty specific HS Tariff code 854290. Should I list actual parts in the electronics kit?


#9

Just happenned to me, shipping small electronic kit to Canada from the US. Shipped numerous others before without incident. Will try again with more detailed description.


#10

Didn’t happen to me yet (>1000 international shipments). Knocking wood.

Pre-COVID, I sometimes noticed that packages got stuck at outbound airports for longer than usual, which I suspected to be due to manual inspection.

I always attach a separate commercial invoice that includes full product name and a short description in general terms of what the device does (“dAISy AIS Receiver, navigation radio receiver, receive-only”).

Adding an export control classification number (ECCN) may also be beneficial, especially when shipping to countries that the US sees as “problematic”. If your kit doesn’t have a microcontroller or fancy parts, EAR99 NLR is probably ok. Determining the correct ECCN gets a bit more complicated for intelligent or specialized devices.