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From parcel to antiques: how to send to America everything you need

It is as easy to send a parcel to America as from America to any of the countries of the former CIS. Photo:

Although they say that everything can be purchased in America, there are things that cannot be found in the states "in the afternoon with fire." Among them are Russian books and personal belongings that the newly arrived immigrants want to bring to America. And if the sending of things from the USA to the countries of the Soviet space is often spoken about, the opposite direction - from another state to America - is a less open topic. ForumDaily will tell you how to securely send everything from a small parcel to a container to the USA.

There are several ways to send letters and parcels to the United States: the postal service of the state you are shipping from and the shipping company. The first method is usually cheaper, the second is more expensive, but more reliable. Although it all depends on the specific case. New companies appear on the market almost every year, but among the old and proven ones are UPS, USPS, FEDEX, DHL and EMS.

Companies offer various delivery methods and terms, weight and size restrictions, a different number of reception points, the presence or absence of assistance in the preparation of documents and other options.

I am sending you a letter

Roman Makeev sent 2 letters from Russia to America, which half a year lay in the mail and were returned back.

“One letter was opened, sealed with“ Russian Post ”scotch tape and returned back. The second, obviously, was opened over the steam and sealed again. Then I also sent the package, but from America to the Moscow address of the company East-West inventors alliance... Got it. But the reverse money transfers never came. For several years now, I have been unsuccessfully trying to force the police to bring Russian Post to justice. An unreal job, ”Roman complains.

Post of Russia

Despite this, "Russian Post" is the easiest and cheapest way to send a package to America from Russia.

The postal service website has a calculator in which you can calculate the cost of delivery for anything - from a small letter without tracking to a large package of 30 kg.

For example, the smallest package (small package) should weigh no more than 2 kg. The sum of measurements of its length, width and height should not be more than 90, see. Maximum side is not more than 60, see. A parcel can be insured by declaring its value. The recipient can also make a cash on delivery or order air forwarding.

Prices vary depending on the service and type of shipment. For example, a registered parcel from Moscow to the United States will cost from 210 ($ 3,58) to 800 rubles ($ 13,63). Delivery time is 1-2 days.

When sending a letter weighing up to 20, the Russian Post calculator gives the cost of 35 rubles ($ 0,60) and promises that the letter will reach the 2 of the day. The price does not include an envelope and sticking of stamps. A registered letter before 20 r will cost 150 rubles ($ 2,56). Send advised straight from the post office.

Books must be sent using a parcel called “Special bag“ M ”” (M-bag) (in the Russian Post the weight of such a shipment is from 5 to 14 kg), or using a “parcel” (Printed Matter) - up to 5 kg. No customs declaration is required for such shipments.

To send a parcel using the “Post of Russia”, you must first make sure that you do not send anything prohibited, then pack the parcel according to packaging requirements, fill in the form accompanying address CP 71 and CN customs declaration 23. If an inventory of the investment is necessary, an inventory form is filled out. Notice of delivery is taken at the post office. Parcel and all forms are transferred to the post office employee.

Packaging is an additional cost. You can pack the parcel yourself, according to all the rules, or use the package offer by mail. The cost of a box starts from 150 rubles ($ 2,56), the cost of plastic bags with valves starts from 15 rubles ($ 0,26).

Sofia Gubaidullina constantly sends items from her native Kazan to America. Basically, these are medical books and all kinds weighing up to 20 kg. The girl says that everything comes in a timely manner and without problems.

“I often send myself 3-4 packages for 20 kg. On the website of the Post of Russia I look at everything that is impossible, and send what I can. In the mail, I do an inventory of all things. Price depends on weight and insurance. For example, 20 kg and insurance for 1 000 dollars cost 5 600 rubles ($ 95.41), and the package reaches an average of 45 days. Brought to the doorstep United States Postal Service", - Sofia Gubaidullina shares her experience.

Sophia specifies that each time her packages are checked: bags of seeds are opened, chocolate is passed through a roller, pockets are turned in clothes. Sofia believes that customs officers are doing the right thing.


EMS (Express mail service), which has branches in all major cities of Russia, offers higher rates: from 1170 rubles ($ 19.96) for sending documents, the weight of which does not exceed 100 g, in the USA. Sending a weight of 1 kg in the same direction will cost the sender 1950 rubles ($ 33,22).

The maximum weight for international parcels that can be sent by EMS is 30 kg. The sum of the length and perimeter of the largest cross-section of the parcel should not exceed 300 cm.

As stated on the EMS website, all delivery times for shipments are calculated depending on the route, the weight of the package, and additional services (cash on delivery, customs duties, etc.)

EMS offers free packing materials - envelopes and bags, which can be obtained from the courier or post office. The packaging service itself is paid separately by mail, if required.

Examine all the shipping service information before shipping. Photo:


Post of Ukraine

You can also use the services of the Post of Ukraine (Ukrposhtamt) to send letters and postcards, as well as regular parcels. Sending a simple letter weighing up to 20 g will cost 0,60 cents by road and 0,70 cents by air. The cost of air mailing a parcel weighing up to 100 g costs $ 1. For a parcel weighing 1-2 kg, you will have to pay 12 dollars.

Preliminary rates for small parcels and letters can be viewed here, and the tariffs for sending parcels less than 10 and more than 10 kg - here.

Yulia Strongovsky says she sent a package from Ukraine by regular mail, and she got lost.

“Almost 18 kg of favorite things and my notes were lost forever. I was stupid not to insure the package. I quarreled with the postmaster for a long time, but it did not help. It is especially disappointing that the shipment was not cheap - 1600 UAH (about $ 200 at the rate of 2011), ”the girl shares her experience.

Yulia sent the package by Ukrainian mail and was very sorry. Photo: from the personal archive of Julia

Big load

And if a large number of companies are engaged in sending small parcels, and you can organize the shipment yourself, then with large and commercial cargo it is a little more difficult to do it. In this case, forwarding companies come into play, whose competence begins where the postal criteria end - parcels over 30 kg or something that does not belong to personal belongings.

“Freight forwarders transport both large and commercial cargo - from small business and food products to large-sized equipment for factories. Such companies usually do not seek to compete with small carriers in terms of price, but rather provide a range of services, understanding the intricacies of each cargo. And, believe me, there are quite a few of them. We prepare for any shipment in the same detail as a lawyer prepares for a court case, doing a lot of preparatory work. We figure out what kind of goods we will transport and what taxes are paid upon import or export in order to calculate customs clearance; we fill in the documents correctly, taking into account the translation of the original units of measurement into those that are used in the state where the cargo is going; we prepare all certificates and properly pack the cargo. Optimization plays a significant role, because we will always show you how and in what way is the best way to carry out the shipment in order to reduce costs and save time, "says the founder of the forwarding company Portitor Dmitry Nesterenko.

Dmitry specifies that the customer can send the goods himself, but it will be more expensive than using the services of a shipping company. Indeed, in this case, it will be necessary to separately hire a translator, a broker for paperwork and a packer, as well as to insure the goods.

Dmitry Nesterenko tells why it is important to turn to specialists if you are sending a large load. Photo: from the personal archive of Dmitry Nesterenko

Ksenia Sycheva had a chance to face a large shipment: she sent 25 boxes with personal items from Russia to America. The whole process, the girl and her father were engaged in their own.

“They sent the most precious thing to the heart, something that is not exactly there to meet. There were about 25 boxes of 60 * 40 * 40 size, with a total weight of 300 kg. We then paid 120 thousand rubles ($ 2044). We wrapped all the boxes with a foil wrap, and on top of it we also had cling film and black opaque garbage bags. All boxes were marked with echelons according to the priority of dispatch and made a register for ourselves so as not to miss anything. 21 boxes were sent with the help of Express Fly, the rest - with the help of EMS, ”says Ksenia Sycheva.

Ksenia said that all the boxes reached the destination in integrity and security.

Ksenia Sycheva successfully coped with the shipment of a large cargo to America. Photo: from the personal archive of Ksenia Sycheva

However, Ksenia is one of the few who decides to send a large number of things on her own, without resorting to the services of a forwarding company. After all, organizing such a large cargo, filling out declarations correctly and packing everything according to the rules is not an easy task.

In the case of America, there are 2 types of large cargo delivery: by air (by plane) or container by sea. Each of these options has its own nuances. For example, sea shipping is the most cost-effective delivery option, but takes much longer than air delivery.

If you decide to contact the forwarding company, you need to provide information about the cargo (including description and dimensions) and all documents that you have (for example, certificates for products or invoice), specify the cost of cargo, designate the place of delivery. The cost of the company forwarder determines depending on the complexity of the delivery.

An important point is the insurance and packaging of cargo, because along with equipment, furniture or things, there may be cargoes that require a certain temperature or other special conditions.

“Any carrier, like transportation, is insured. Depending on the degree of risk, insurance costs from 0,02% to several percent of the value of the cargo. If the factory has poorly packed the goods, a good shipping company gives recommendations on packaging and temperature conditions, selects the right container. Even in matters of containers, there are nuances, because they are new and old. When cargo travels by sea in an old container, the constant change of weather outside causes an undesirable difference that can affect the quality of the transported items. For example, new containers have valves that act out differences. You need to look at which container your goods are loaded into. A separate conversation is a cargo with a special temperature regime, like cosmetics or food, ”says Dmitry Nesterenko, founder Portitor.

Questions to company representatives Portitor can be set by phone:

+ 3 (712) 490-5451 (Russia).

or by mail:


Immigrants are often interested in how to collect old paintings, books, family relics and other things that are considered antiques from their home state. Sending items of cultural value also has its own nuances.

Quietly, without permission Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, you can export from Russia any antiques, whose age does not exceed 50 years. In other cases, it is necessary to obtain a certificate from the Ministry of Culture that the objects are not of cultural and historical value. Only the legal owner of the items or his authorized representative has the right to export antiques.

Export customs duty for the export of cultural property is not charged, but you should definitely pay the Ministry of Culture a certain percentage of the value of antiques.

In Ukraine, with the export of antiques, things are simpler, because after the entry into force of the new Customs Code, the list of goods allowed for export has expanded. Now you can absolutely free to export antiques with a total value of up to 10 thousand euros.

But this law does not apply to all things: among exported items there may be those for the export of which a fee is established and special documents are needed for their execution. Such antiques must be declared (in writing) and the export tax should be paid for it. In this case, it will be necessary to submit documents confirming the right to export (move) issued by the relevant authorities.

Sending antiques is a whole business that needs to be sorted out. Photo:

Pictures, tapestries, engravings, toys, clothes, details of historical costumes and other things after 1950 of the “release” can leave Ukraine without special permissions and without paying duties.

Antique musical instruments, icons, old paintings and furniture should be arranged in the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine. In this case, these documents will become an official confirmation that these objects are not the artistic, historical or cultural value of the state and can be exported outside the country.

In this case, the import of antiques (including elements from the shell of a turtle, ivory - the item must be at least 100 years old) and art objects in the USA, special permission is required.

“Since antiques are not subject to duties, many ignorant people want to save money, and write in the declaration that they are importing antiques, and when they are exported they have problems, because, as it turns out, they needed an export permit. The situation is different - they were able to take it out, but when imported into another state, they fell under luxury taxes at customs and must pay a considerable amount. Therefore, you need to treat the transportation of cultural property very carefully, ”warns the expert of the forwarding company, Dmitry Nesterenko.

Customs does not give good

Remember that before sending something to the United States, you should check if this item is on the list of prohibited goods. It includes:

  • All alcohol and intoxicants;
  • Contraceptives or abortion facilities, as well as printed works on the subject;
  • Fish, fruits and vegetables that quickly deteriorate, as well as substances that emit a bad smell;
  • Live or dead animals (except bees, leeches and silkworms);
  • Medicines, therapeutic and cosmetic products;
  • Animal products;
  • Plants and plant products;
  • Weapons, including knives, the blade of which opens automatically; ammunition; explosive or flammable substances;
  • matches;
  • agricultural products (coffee, cotton, fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, seedlings, lentils, nuts, cones, acorns, chestnuts, seeds, silage, oils, sugar, cereals, tobacco and tobacco products);
  • offenses of an abusive nature;
  • intoxicating agents (opium, morphine, cocaine and other drugs);
  • tickets, announcements or circulars about lotteries;
  • lottery; imitations of checks and stocks, used and canceled postage stamps, coupons, bills, notes, issued by the State Treasury, gold and silver certificates;
  • postage stamps and vignettes of value, whatever it may be;
  • furs and skins; feathers with the skin of any birds;
  • cosmetics;
  • diagnostic tools;
  • items of any kind that violate US copyright laws;
  • items made by prisoners;
  • radioactive substances;
  • mailings with attachments of printers and cartridges;
  • knives, spurs, or any other cutting tools for use in conducting combat for animals.

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