Exports to USA

Why export to USA?

  • In 2013 315 million consumers, five times the amount in Britain, bought £40 billion of goods exported from the UK
  • USA is the number one consumer of British goods, with Germany coming in at number two
  • Conversely, the UK is the seventh biggest supplier of exports to USA (2.6% of the market)
  • With English as a shared language and similar cultures, communication is simple
  • USA has a GPD of $49,800 in 2013, which means high spending power

At Unsworth we offer weekly export services to USA from the UK with transit times of 8 days.

Do not hesitate to contact a member of our team at +44 (0) 20 8988 8068 or email hello@unsworth.uk

Required documentation when Shipping to USA from UK:

  • Bill of Lading

You will need at least three of these documents, with two to be sent to the consignee at port of destination. If there are no payment or ownership issues then your goods can move with an express bill or an express release. This can avoid any potential delays that come with shipping with a full bill of lading (e.g. cargo cannot be released until the original has been received by the carrier in your buyer’s country).

All exports to USA must be declared to Customs when leaving the EU, which Unsworth UK are happy to arrange.  All exports to USA also require a pre-departure message to be sent, known as the Export Control System (ECS), as well as the Export Accompanying Document (EAD) which is used to comply with Customs cargo security procedures. This document also acts as the exporter’s official evidence of export.

  • Export Controls

Depending on what goods you intent to export to USA, certain classes of goods fall under National and EU regulations, e.g. military goods. A full list of controlled goods can be found on the UK GOV website.

If you need to contact the ECO with any export control-related queries, you can call them on 020 7215 4594 or email eco.help@bis.gsi.gov.uk.

Packing requirements for exports to USA

  • Marking of goods

Each item must be marked with the English name of the country of origin, unless your goods are exempt. Details of these exemptions can be obtained from US consulates. There are also certain regulations regarding the labelling of food, medicines, drugs and cosmetics. Full details are available from the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, tel: 00 1 202 326 2222, website: www.ftc.gov.

  • Packing material

Exports sea freight to USA are subject to ISPM 15 regulations, which means exporters who use wood or timber packing materials to ship goods must ensure the wood is either clearly marked with the International Phytosanitary mark (IPPC logo) or a Phytosanitary Certificate must be present. This is to show that the wood has been heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide. 

  • Cargo notification regulations

USA is one of the many countries to adopt a mandatory Cargo notification system. This is either completed by the masters of vessels, the airline, or by ourselves. It must be received in advance of loading/departure of the goods to the customs office of entry. Goods arriving without pre-notification may be denied entry or face severe delays in customs clearance.

  • Supply Chain Security Approval

When exporting to USA, it is important to note that there are a number of schemes in place.

  • Certificates of Security

This must be issued for every shipment entering USA by sea freight.

  • Import Security Filling (ISF)

Full compliance for submitting pre-departure information to the US Customs Border and Protection agency (CBP) is mandatory. Importers must submit the relevant information electronically via the Automated Manifest System or the Automated Broker Interface prior to the vessels entry into the USA.

  • Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)

This is the US Customs and Border Protection’s system that allows customs facilitation whilst protecting border security.

If you need Sea Freight to USA services, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team at +44 (0) 20 8988 8068 or email hello@unsworth.uk


Top UK exports to USA by category 2010–2012

Abbreviated Harmonised Code Product Classification Exports in £millions FOB
2010 2011 2012
27 Mineral fuels, oils and products of their distillation 5530 5290 4591
84 Machinery, mechanical appliances and parts 5414 6541 7037
8411 Turbo jets 2798 3208 3312
8409 Diesel engines 229 326 349
8429 Bulldozers, plant, JCB, etc 110 314 310
8431 Parts for use with plant machinery 8425 to 8430 204 241 239
30 Pharmaceutical products 5003 4730 4201
3002 Human and animal blood, sera, vaccines 492 201 258
87 Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock and parts 3569 3228 3843
8703 Vehicles for carrying people 2861 2640 2595
8708 Parts and accessories for large vehicles 319 303 624
29 Organic chemicals 2671 2929 2615
2933 Heterocyclic compounds with nitrogen 1061 955 336
2934 Nucleic acids and their salts 931 1043 1179
85 Electrical machinery and parts; TV and sound, radar 2040 2137 2019
8517 Equipment for telephones 291 332 232
88 Aircraft, spacecraft, and parts thereof 1820 1899 2187
90 Optical, photo, measuring, precision, medical instruments 1994 2193 2283
97 Works of art, antiques, collectors items 1532 1608 2363
9701 Paintings 933 1063 1600
9703 Statues 309 211 341
9706 Antiques of >100 years old 209 231 271
22 Beverages, spirits 877 1181 1380
71 Precious stones and metals 1323 1731 1448
7110 Platinum 375 554 678
7113 Artefacts of jewellery and parts thereof 251 317 279
28 Inorganic chemicals 978 720 837
39 Plastics and plastic products 509 530 548
38 Miscellaneous chemical products 497 514 458
3822 Diagnostic or laboratory reagents 290 297 251
73 Articles of iron and steel 237 296 488
72 Iron and steel 344 499 396
94 Furniture, bedding, lighting 203 269 338
33 Essential oils and soaps 176 169 207
40 Rubber and articles thereof 167 188 194
03 Fish and molluscs 145 225 176

Source: HMRC www.uktradeinfo.com, which can be accessed for deeper eight-digit code searches with monthly trends.