Things to Know About Importing to Duke

The Office of Export Controls can also help answer questions you may have about importing research materials to Duke.  Here's some basic things to keep in mind:

  • All physical items entering the U.S. from overseas will require clearance by U.S. Customs.
  • Depending on the commodity classification code (HTS) and/or $ value, a formal entry may be required.  This generally requires more paperwork and is handled by a licensed customs broker.
  • If a formal entry is required there will also be paperwork and information required from both shipper (exporter) and receiver (importer).
  • In order to clear goods/materials on Duke's behalf, a licensed customs broker must have a Power-of-Attorney (POA) on file that is signed by the Office of Export Controls.  Please contact us if you are being asked to provide a signed POA.
  • Duke's nominated licensed customs broker is Waters Shipping Co. (see below).  Duke has a permanent POA on file with them.
  • In addition to Customs there are many other U.S. agencies that regulate the import of certain materials into the U.S. (see below).  Not only do these agencies have their own processes for physical inspection of the goods/materials upon arrival, often times they will require you to obtain an import permit.  Contact us if you need assistance with import permit applications or are unsure about whether you need to apply for one.


Special Note for Foreign Fieldwork:  If you are traveling aboard for fieldwork and intend to return to the U.S. with field samples, keep in mind that you are both exporting from the country where your field work takes place and importing the materials into the U.S.  This applies even if you are hand-carrying the materials.  Be sure to research any foreign export requirements well in advance.  You may even need to obtain a collection permit from the host country's appropriate authority.  Bottom line:  Plan ahead!


Duke University's Nominated Customs Broker:


CV International, Inc. (CVI)

2307 Burnett Blvd | Wilmington, NC | 28401 | USA

P  910.763.8491  |  F 910.769.0382 |



Other Federal Agencies That Regulate US Imports:

APHIS (Requires permits for plant/animal pathogens and other plant/animal-related materials)

CDC (Requires permits for materials containing biological agents infectious to humans – includes live animals and their products)

Fish & Wildlife (Requires permits for endangered/protected species of plant & animal wildlife)

FDA (Inspects certain food & drug materials upon entry - prior notice sometimes required)

EPA (Certification for certain toxic chemicals may be required upon entry)

DEA (Requires permits to import certain controlled substances)

OFAC (Enforces embargoes and sanctions on specific countries/entities)

ATF (Licenses required for munitions and related items permanently imported)

DDTC (Licenses required for military & defense-related items)