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When shipping (by an international courier company) to the US items purchased abroad, is there any difference in the US customs duty, between sending the items in multiple small packages versus one large package?

  • First, I would like to know if there is a higher chance that a smaller package will not be checked at the US customs, hence no duty will be charged.

  • Second, assuming that all packages are checked at the US customs, is there any difference in the total duty charged in each case (multiple small packages vs one large package)?

It can be assumed that the seller of the items is legitimate, and he will truthfully specify on each package what its content is.

closed as off-topic by David Richerby, Traveller, bytebuster, Ali Awan, Giorgio Mar 19 at 14:40

  • This question does not appear to be about traveling within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about international postage, not travel. – David Richerby Mar 18 at 16:36
  • @DavidRicherby The question is about customs, not postage. As such it is very relevant to traveling, and matches several customs-related tags, as well as is in accordance with past related questions. – rapt Mar 18 at 17:11
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    @rapt Welcome to Travel! So to confirm, you've purchased these items while traveling overseas and are having them shipped home? See this page for some info. – mkennedy Mar 18 at 17:19
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    @rapt The question is about what happens when you send a parcel; this site is for questions about what happens when you travel. The fact that both unaccompanied parcels and travellers' luggage are subject to customs does not mean mean that parcels are travel. – David Richerby Mar 18 at 17:22
  • @mkennedy Yes. Thank you for the link. – rapt Mar 18 at 22:44
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First, I would like to know if there is a higher chance that a smaller package will not be checked at the US customs, hence no duty will be charged.

Depends. Let's say you have 4 snow globes. It's not odd at all that they would be packaged separately. I would make sure the boxes are unsealed so they can verify that's what they are.

If it's not logical that you would divide them up (i.e. you don't typically buy one of them) I would leave them together

Second, assuming that all packages are checked at the US customs, is there any difference in the total duty charged in each case (multiple small packages vs one large package)?

Duty is assigned on product type and value, not quantity. Unless it's a restricted quantity category (i.e. pharmaceuticals, tobacco, alcohol, etc) it's not really a factor.

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