Mailing Packages Abroad

In the past, some students have had difficulties with the delivery or sending of packages from their home to the schools abroad. The following suggestions from our colleges abroad may help make the process easier.

The customs offices of most countries charge customs fees for every package entering the country according to the value mentioned on the attached shipping documents. In most cases, such fees are not justified as many packages contain private, used items such as clothing sent from parents to the students abroad. The schools advise that parents and friends who attempt to ship such items abroad declare only a minimal amount of value and that they list such contents as used, private clothes, etc. on the shipping documents, making sure that any original packaging materials be taken off the items in order to demonstrate that the package contains used items and not new ones that could be used for resale abroad (as the customs officers will assume). This may help avoid any unnecessary charges. Of course, it is necessary to comply with any instructions given by postal authorities when items are shipped abroad.

Another shipping problem concerns the shipment of medications and pharmaceutical items. Most governments require an import license for all medication and this requirement may even concern non-prescription medications that can be purchased over the counter at US pharmacies. The typical procedure to obtain this license usually takes some weeks and is very complicated.

The schools advise that students take any necessary prescription medications with them in a quantity to last the academic year along with the written prescription from their doctor. Non-prescription or over-the-counter items or their equivalent can usually be found in pharmacies abroad. Students should purchase such items after they arrive, or a supply should be brought from home. If medicines are shipped, it is important not to package them with the above mentioned items of personal clothing as this may cause the entire package to be delayed. In past cases, such packages have not been allowed to proceed to the students until the medicines have been removed and destroyed, which is a waste of money and time.