Shipping a Care Package Item to the United States

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Sending care packages is a unique way to celebrate joyous occasions such as the birth of a child or a wedding engagement, it could also be sent to comfort someone who is going through a difficult trial such as recovery from a chronic illness. This has gained further popularity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, as restrictions such as lockdowns and social distancing have made it impossible for anyone to purchase items from physical stores. For instance, Apple Inc. decided to send care parcels to their employees based in China during the COVID-19 pandemic when a continuous lockdown was in force.

In fact, prior to the pandemic, service providers such as GiftBasketsOverseas had already created a trend for those in Hong Kong looking to send gifts to their relatives in the United States. With the growing diaspora of Chinese nationals in the United States, more people are sending care packages to their family members overseas. From an assortment of edible treats to novelty items, sending care packages has created an entirely new segment in Hong Kong’s e-commerce industry. Here are some guidelines you need to know when shipping a care package from Hong Kong to the United States, and how a reliable courier service can help ensure your parcel is shipped safely and arrives right on time.

Popular care package ideas

A place of intangible cultural heritage, Hong Kong is one of the most festive places in the world. Apart from annual celebrations such as the Lunar New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival, people love to send gifts to their friends and family on special occasions. A survey conducted by SurveyMonkey showed that 68% buy gifts as an expression of their love. As such, many businesses have established a “ship a care package” service with plenty of options to choose from.

Here are some care package ideas you can consider for your loved ones in the United States:

  • Chinese New Year: Costume in Chinese style, non-perishable CNY packaged snacks  like cookies and candies

  • Mid-autumn Festival: Packaged mooncakes, paper lanterns for memorabilia

  • Christmas: Packaged candies, soft toys, personalised gifts

If you’re sending care packages containing food, you’re advised to contact our team to check whether they will be admissable into the US.

Duty and tax are waived as long as your package is worth US$200 and below. Plus, you’d also need to complete a declaration for free entry for personal effects (CBP Form 3299) for items over US$200. However, it is also wise to pay attention to other shipping regulations before shipping goods over to the United States. We outline the important ones below:

  • Apparel: Package should include the manufacturer’s name, fibre content, country of origin and care instructions. Any clothing or footwear that contains dog and cat fur is prohibited from entry.

  • Alcohol & tobacco: All alcohol and tobacco products sent as gifts are subjected to duty.

  • Household goods/personal effects: Unless they have been used for over a year, household goods are subjected to duty. 

  • Counterfeits: Fake goods cannot be shipped. 

Shipping a care package from Hong Kong to the United States

When you send a shipment overseas, you need to indicate the total value of your shipment, include a complete list of items and their respective values, while leaving your and your recipients contact details. And here are some essential tips and information before shipping a care package to the United States.

The first issue to consider is customs clearance. Like any other item, shipping a care package requires suppliers or intermediaries to provide a list of documents to prove that the item conforms to local regulations. Typically, the list includes the following documents:

  1. Commercial Invoice

  2. Packing List

  3. Certification of Origin

  4. Letter of Credit or other payment terms

  5. Bill of Lading or Airway Bill from Hong Kong to the United States

Should you be sending a care package as a gift, you won’t have to pay any duties unless the total value of your shipment goes beyond US$100. However, any alcohol or tobacco products will be subject to duty charge. Also, you must ensure all your paperwork is in order and make all duty payments to ensure seamless transit.

If you are shipping fragile products or items of high value in your care package, consider insurance to protect them from damage or loss. When you ship with DHL Express, shipment insurance would typically cost about HK$60 or 2.10% of the insured value, whichever is higher.

How DHL Express ensures seamless shipping

There are many options and decisions to make when it comes to shipping a care package from Hong Kong to the United States. However, our convenient and versatile international delivery services can handle everything for you. 

Through DHL Express, customers can effortlessly ship parcels overseas. With our Track and Trace feature, customers can track their shipments quickly and know when their shipments will arrive. Open a DHL Express business account and start shipping with us today.