What is required for me to ship charity goods to Haiti?

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By: Omari Wooden

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, a major earthquake struck southern Haiti. Many U.S. residents and organizations are generously donating food, water, medicines, and other supplies to aid in the relief efforts. In order to facilitate the movements of these goods, we offer the following guidance that applies to any goods not requiring a license, such as food, clothing, and medicines.

Schedule B Numbers

There are four Schedule B numbers that can be used when exporting humanitarian goods. Those numbers are found in Chapter 98 of the Schedule B book, under subheading 9802.

  • 9802.10.0000 Food products
  • 9802.20.0000 Medicinal and pharmaceutical products
  • 9802.30.0000 Wearing apparel (including footwear and headwear)
  • 9802.40.0000 Donated articles, not elsewhere specified

Any shipment valued over $2,500 per Schedule B number or that requires a license must be filed in the AES. However, if the shipment is valued less than $2,500 per Schedule B number and does not require a license, then the low value exemption (NOEEI FTR 30.37(a)) can be used. In this case, food, clothing, and medicines do not require a license; however, medical equipment and tools may require an export license.

The Export Information Code to be reported is “CH” for shipments of goods donated for relief or charity.

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The value to be reported is the market value. If that value is not known, estimate how much you would receive if you sold the goods. The value should be consistent with the goods being exported, to avoid confusion and possible delays with U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers at the port of export.

There are different ways to file your export information. The most common is to report through the Census Bureau’s free Internet based filing system calledAESDirect. We have provided training videosto help you get started with AESDirect. Another option is to file with a forwarder or agent who may be more familiar with export licensing and regulations.

With so many individuals and first time exporters shipping donated goods to Haiti, the exporting process may seem overwhelming. However, we at the Census Bureau are available to help make the process as smooth as possible.

If you need more information, we are available at 800-549-0595. Select menu Option 1 for help with the AES, Option 2 for Classifications, and Option 3 Regulations. You can also send us an email at askaes@census.gov or askregs@census.gov.

Please continue to support those in Haiti during this time of tragedy. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

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12 Responses to What is required for me to ship charity goods to Haiti?

  1. pay stub template says:

    The same problem happened in Chili, Santiago and Valparaiso. I think we will have more in a short future if we still facing the global warming problem.

  2. Trevor says:

    There is an export liscence needed for such a disaster? They need food they need tools why make it hard to give it to them.

  3. Global Reach Omari says:

    Export and import requirements must exist even through times of disaster. Requirements are not designed to hinder the importation or exportation of charity items such as food, medicine and equipment. However, export and import requirements for both the United States and foreign countries must be met. The staff of the Foreign Trade Division at the US Census Bureau is here to assist companies and individuals with the requirements to avoid any possible delays.

  4. Amanda Mason says:

    Dear you must first contact the shipment owner in Haiti to insure the details required for exporting charity goods. Secondly, there would be some duties that you have to pay while exporting but as far as in disasters, I think those duties aren’t imposed or been lessen.
    You are doing a very Noble thing and I respect you for such act.
    Amanda Mason

  5. Amanda Mason says:

    I don’t think so export license is required for charity products. You are helping others not selling.

  6. mido says:

    thank you very nice topic

  7. Michael says:

    I am a inventory manager for a chain of car dealerships in Georgia. After hearing about the transportation nightmare now in Haiti, the owner of my company has expressed interest in donating cars (read: tax benefits!) to Haitian orphanages. Now, used car donations is nothing new for us as we do it for tax purposes nearly every year, but I’m not sure where to get started on figuring this out as far as donating to Haiti. Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks.

  8. Global Reach Omari says:

    Great to hear about your interest in donating used cars to Haiti! The whole exporting process for charitable goods can be daunting, but the International Trade Administration has trade specialists within your state that can help you through the process. Select the city in Georgia that is closest to you and pick from one of the trade specialists listed. He or she will be able to guide you through the exporting process.
    Another source you may want to consider is the National Customs Broker Freight Forwarder Association’s website and search for a member near you. There are freight forwarders who specialize in used vehicles and charitable donations. A freight forwarder can assist you in the documentation and the logistics of shipping the cars so that you don’t want to deal with it.
    When you get to the export filing portion, you know where to come if you need help! Good luck to you!

  9. Tom jones says:

    We will be sending money since we don’t know what else to send and that will allow them to decide what needs to be bought 🙂

  10. Donate A Car To says:

    There are many organizations providing the shipping for the cars, other vehicles and also for the accessories donated by the donors, Some of the organizations or charities are paying for these and some shipping companies are providing this for free of cost.

  11. Chantal Moisse says:

    We will schedule a food drive in the next 3 months to support a foundation with over 500 needy children in Haiti (VVHF – FEJ). We will need support and help with the Freight Forwarding fees and shipping cost of containers to destination. Would you be able to put us in contact with any organization able to assist with the above or guide us accordingly?

    Thank you very much for your prompt reply.

    • Global Reach Omari says:

      @ Chantal,
      I won’t be able to directly recommend any particular companies, but you can start your search with the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA). They have a national directory of forwarders and you may be able to find one in your area to assist you. Their website is http://www.ncbfaa.org.

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