General Lab Information

Shipping Internationally

Activities that involve the transfer of project information, equipment, materials, or technology out of the U.S. by whatever means may be subject to export controls and may require export license(s) depending on the item, destination, recipient, and end-use.

The shipment of a controlled physical item from the United States to a foreign country, such as a piece of scientific equipment or biological material, may require an export license. Be sure to secure license approval or verify a license exception can be used prior to shipment for all controlled items. Contact the Export Control Office for more information,

To help ensure there are no Customs delays, seizure of goods, or inadvertent violation of federal export laws, review the information below which describes the basic requirements for international shipping and hand carry of items abroad. Incorrect shipping paperwork can lead to delays in shipments, lost time and lost opportunity. Failure to obtain an export license when required could result in fines of $250,000 to $1million per violation and prison time for criminal convictions. False export declarations fines are $10,000 per violation. Customs fines vary by country and can also include seizure or detention of goods.

Before shipping internationally, contact the Export Control Office at for assistance in determining whether an export license is required, and securing a license when needed.

Commercial / Pro Forma Invoice Requirements

A Commercial Invoice is required for all exports. You may also see this referred to as a Pro Forma Invoice. Even though you may not be selling the item you are shipping, if it is not a personally owned item, you will need a Commercial Invoice. A Commercial Invoice (or Pro Forma invoice) is generated by the information provided in the Shipping Memo request.

Information Required on Export Commercial / Pro Forma Invoices

Note: All items in the shipment must be declared on the invoice

  • Date Commercial (Pro Forma) Invoice is created
  • Shipping Memo Number
  • Complete Name and Address, including company/country of the Shipper (Exporter of Record) and Ship-To (Importer of Record/Consignee)
  • Complete and concise description of the goods shipping, e.g., do not state “electronic equipment”, state what kind of “electronic equipment”; incorrect description: “crystal”, correct description: “Iron-antimony bismuth metal alloy crystal”
  • Country of Origin of the item (country of manufacture)
  • Quantity, accurate number of each piece shipping
  • Weight listed in kilograms
  • Value of Product: Unit Price and Extended Total Price (Must indicate accurate value that can be readily supported if asked by authorities)
  • Total Commercial (Pro Forma) Invoice amount
  • Destination Control Statement (dependent on export authorization):
    • For exports with no export license requirements, include the following: “These commodities, technology, or software were exported from the United States in accordance with the Export Administration Regulations. Diversion contrary to U.S. law is prohibited.”
    • If your items are being exported under an export license a different Destination Control Statement is required, contact the Export Control Office ( for the applicable Destination Control Statement
  • Electronic Export Information (EEI)
    • If no EEI filing is required, for shipments valued under $2,500, the following statement must be on the Commercial (Pro Forma) Invoice:
      “No EEI required - no individual Schedule B number valued over $2,500"
    • If there is no EEI filing for any other reason, contact the Export Control Office for the proper Exemption Number (

Automated Export System (AES)

AES Electronic Export Information (EEI) must be filed for exports valued over $2500 (per Harmonized System (HS) code) or if an export license or license exemption/exception is being used. EEI filing is required whether it is shipped, or hand carried. If an EEI is required, the AES ITN ((International Transaction Number) proof of filing transaction number) must be listed on the airway bill. The export declaration EEI can be filed through an authorized freight forwarder or through the AES online system through the Export Control Office,

United States Postal Service (USPS)

It is important to take time to prepare a letter or a package that will be mailed to a foreign country. When mailing to a foreign country exporters may be asked to complete the Postal Service form 2976-A Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note or the Postal Service form 2976 Customs Declaration CN 22 - Senders Declaration. For more information on sending items or information internationally, please visit USPS webpage International Mail Delivery Services. In addition, the USPS Publication 613 "Shipping International Packages" is available at USPS locations as a resource.

Some international mail shipments may not require a specific form. However, the individual mailing the letter or package is still responsible to ensure compliance with export control laws and regulations. In addition, all international mail exports require review prior to shipment to ensure they are not being exported to an entity or individual on the Restricted Party Lists. Please contact the Export Control Office for review,