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Import/Export

United States to Italy


Country or Territory Regulations Topics:

Commodity Specific Stipulations

There are special stipulations on the following commodities when shipping to Italy. If you plan to ship one of the commodities listed below, be sure to adhere to the following stipulations in order to avoid delays and holds at customs.

Products Of Animal Origin are goods which contain at least partly material derived from the body of an animal. These products can be divided in food or non-food.

Food means any substance, whether processed, semi-processed or raw, which is intended for human consumption, but does not include cosmetics or substances used only as pharmaceuticals.

Non-Food (not intended for human consumption) includes animal by-products, animal feed, samples for testing or research purposes (food-grade or non-food grade), and in vitro diagnostics (IVD).

Animal products and animal by-products are often subject to a veterinary inspection. These products can only be accepted under a special contract for International Special Commodities (ISC). In addition those products must undergo veterinary checks at an approved Veterinary Border Inspection Post (BIP) when entering the EU & EFTA countries or territories (EU regulations are aligned for EU countries or territories and NO; IS; CH; LI).

For UPS shipments arriving in the EU by air, Cologne is the first point of arrival /BIP. Inspections will be processed at Cologne but final customs clearance process will be issued in the destination country or territory.

Additional charges for Vet-inspection will be applicable  see Brokerage Services and Charges.

Import requirements:

Generally, each type of Product of Animal Origin has specific import requirements that must be met. Food which is subject to veterinary inspections must:

Come from an EU listed Third Country or Territory (no safeguard measures in place)

Come from an EU approved establishment . Registered producers are listed under the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/food/international/trade/third_en.htm

Be accompanied by appropriate Health Certificate(s), signed by a veterinarian of the competent authority of country or territory of export. Photocopies of the Health Certificate will not be accepted.

Be appropriately packaged and labelled, indicating the nature, ingredients, quantity/ weight, the country or territory of origin and manufacturer.

Any foodstuff coming from non-approved establishments, sent as samples for testing purposes, can only be imported with a permit/license from a respective national veterinary authority. The permit/license must be send to the border inspection point responsible for the veterinary inspection. Delays may occur as the license needs to be provided already at the time of inspection.

Any non-compliant shipment must be returned at shippers expense immediately. The following exemptions apply to non-commercial shipments / gift shipments or purchased by private individuals for private consumption):

Meat, meat products, animal fat - max. 10 kg from Faroe Island and Greenland.

Fish and fish products (with intestines and organs removed) - max. 20 kg from all third countries or territories; no limitation from Faroe Islands.

Other animal products (for example, honey, egg, frog, live mussels - max. 10 kg from Faroe Islands and Greenland, and max. 2 kg from all other third countries or territories).

Roasted coffee can be imported with an import permit of the Ministry of Health.

Importer must provide a health permit (issued by Health Minister Border Office) that can be requested through UPS with additional costs.

Commercial imports of roasted coffee must be compliant with Italian requirements regarding labelling of goods (detailed description of the content, expiration date, etc.).

Customs accepts a maximum of 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs.) of roasted coffee for packing test or similar purposes without an import permit but the importer must provide a written declaration or confirmation of the usage.

Commercial imports of roasted coffee must be compliant with Italian requirements regarding labeling of goods (detailed description of the content, expiry date, etc.).

Commercial shipments of cosmetics must be compliant with EU requirements regarding labeling. It needs to be labelled in Italian to be imported with a detailed description of the ingredients of goods (e.g content, expiry date etc.).

Importer must provide a health permit (issued by Health Minister Border Office) that can be requested through UPS with additional costs.

Cosmetics without an import permit must be abandoned or returned on shippers expense.

Private individuals can import small quantities of cosmetic products without an import permit. Customs usually accept a maximum of two different kinds and a maximum of two items of each kind.

Cheese, milk, and milk products are considered Animal Products. Please refer to Animal Products.
Please see Medicine section
Customs requires that private consignees provide a written declaration stating that the goods are for "personal use only".

Commercial importers must provide a declaration stating that "Italian royalties have been paid" to competent authorities.

Customs requires that private consignees provide a written declaration stating that the goods are for "personal use only".

Commercial importers must provide a declaration stating that "Italian royalties have been paid" to competent authorities.

A Health Certificate is required by the importer, if the food is originally produced in a non-European Union country or territory. Small quantities of food within a gift shipment can be imported without a Health Certificate.

Small quantities of samples for testing purposes can be imported without a Health Certificate.

Based on the EU regulation 2009/669/EC certain foodstuffs (for example tea with origin China) imported from certain third countries or territories are subject to increased level of official controls due to contamination risks of these products by aflatoxinson and pathogens. These controls are carried out at Designated Point of Entries (DPE) defined by each member state.

The import of feed and food originating in or consigned from Japan following the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power station and not subject to vet inspection can only be imported into the EU through Designated Point of Entries (DPE). They must be accompanied by a declaration attesting that the goods are either harvested or processed before March 11, 2011, originated from a prefecture other than the ones affected by higher levels of radiation or if originated from an affected prefecture have been subjected to laboratory analysis determining the level of certain radionuclides (regulation 2011/297/EC).

Food supplements are considered to be medicine. Please see "Medicine".
The European Union (EU) has placed an import ban on Honey from certain countries or territories.

Before shipping Honey to a European Union country or territory, it is highly recommended to contact your local chamber of commerce or your importer for detailed information.

If the importation is allowed by the European Union, the shipment must be accompanied by an original health certificate provided by the shipper/producer, otherwise, importation will not be possible. Furthermore, a vet inspection at the first point of arrival into the EU is required, even for sample shipments.

Brokerage accessorial charges will apply and an import delay may occur.

If the shipper fails to verify the import regulation of the destination country or territory and sends honey which is prohibited by the European Union, then all charges that may apply for the respective shipment will be billed back to the shipper.

The Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) prohibits shipments containing leather products made from non-domesticated animals and not covered by a CITES certificate.This applies also to watches with leather straps.

Goods accompanied by a CITES document cannot be cleared at the UPS ports of entry because the locations are not assigned by the Italian Agricultural Resources.

For leather goods not covered by CITES, the consignee must declare that the leather is not from a protected animal species. The invoice or the importer's additional declaration must include the Latin scientific name of the animal.

Commercial shipments of medical devices must be compliant with EU requirements regarding labelling. It needs to be labelled in Italian for import (detailed description of the content etc.).

Importer must provide a health permit (issued by Health Minister Border Office) that can be requested through UPS with additional costs. Delays may occur.

Medical devices must also fulfil the requirements of the product safety regulations of the European Union. For further information please see the info regarding 'Declaration of Conformity' under header 'Additional Import Documentation'.

Shipments of medicine require a health permit (issued by Health Minister Border Office) that can be requested through UPS with additional costs. Delays may occur.

Private importers, in addition, must provide a prescription from an Italian doctor stating the medicine will be taken under the doctor's supervision. In case an alternative pharmaceutical product (also different than the shipped one) for the same disease is available in Italy, import will not be allowed.

For Nutritional supplements, the prescription needs to show details of the dosage/amount which cannot exceed 8 weeks supply.

Shipments of military equipment are acceptable to NATO bases only.

Shipments directed to NATO bases have to be transferred under bond. Finished weapons are excluded from this procedure.

Weapons or parts of weapons can only be cleared with a valid import license provided by the importer. If the UPS import sites are not stated within the license the shipments cannot be cleared. Weapons cant be forwarded under bond in case of a missing license or a license not stating the UPS import site.

This service can be offered under a special contract only.

Customs requires that private consignees provide a written declaration stating that the goods are for "personal use only".

Commercial importers must provide a declaration stating that "Italian royalties have been paid" to competent authorities.

Nutritional supplements are considered to be medicine. Please see "medicine".
Customers must use an authorized UPS / MBE (Mail Boxes Etc) Store, UPS Customer Center or ISC Approved Shipper to ship personal effects.

The UPS Store, Mail Boxes Etc, UPS Customer Center or ISC approved shipper will be required to identify personal effect shipments on the shipping label by placing "Personal Effects" in the Reference Field of a UPS "smart" label or in the Special Instructions Field of a UPS waybill. They must also clearly indicate 'Personal Effects' shipment on the Commercial Invoice.

Personal Effects are classified as used items (owned for a minimum of 6 months) intended for the consignee's personal use. Any items intended for any other use, such as wholesale or retail sales, business purposes, or for distribution are not considered personal effects and cannot be shipped on this basis. "Personal Effects" must be clearly stated on the invoice and goods description.

All of the following documents must be scanned into DIS/SIR and originals on the package:

An inventory list with estimated values with the reason for importation (holidays, move, relocation) A confirmation that the goods are older than 6 months and that they are intended for personal use only A photocopy of passport or ID card

Any items intended for any other use, such as wholesale or retail sales, business purposes, or for distribution are not considered personal effects and cannot be shipped on this basis.

Excisable goods (for example, perfume, alcoholic drinks, tobacco), medicine and perishable food can not be cleared as personal effects.

Personal effects shipments are not allowed in combination with Return Services.

According to the customs legislation living plants, parts of plants, fruits, vegetable and seeds are considered to be plants. Plants require a phytosanitary inspection and can only be cleared at the UPS port of entry Venice (VCE) as this location is assigned by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural Resources to issue the import permit.
Small quantities of mutilated samples with a low value (under 22.00 EUR) can be imported without paying duty and VAT. For samples not mutilated duty and VAT applies.

Invoice must clearly display complete description of goods; descriptions like samples or similar are not accepted.

In order to avoid wrong customs declarations at import, it is mandatory that the exporter provide very detailed information about the shoes (for example, what kind of leather, what material used for soles and uppers, what kind of shoes (sport shoes, sandals, boots), who is to wear the shoes (children, women, men).
The value of the data carriers and the value of the intellectual property are subject to import VAT. The invoice amount has to cover both.
Please refer to DVDs section.
Most of modern test reagents for diagnostic research are built on antibodies which are generated from animal tissue. There are two types of antibodies, the monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal antibodies.

Monoclonal antibodies are generated in vitro. Tissue from animals are taken (e.g. blood) and infected with certain substances or pathogens. The blood cells react with the production of antibodies which are than harvested and used for the production of the test kits. Due to the in vitro production and the controlled way of production those types of test kits are not subject to veterinarian control if it is a commercial production.

Polyclonal antibodies are gained from living animals like rabbits. They are infected with the substances / pathogens and the animals are producing antibodies. The antibodies are harvested from the blood stream of the animals. Test reagents with polyclonal antibodies are subject to vet inspections.

Shipment documents (commercial invoice or declaration on letterhead) should include:

 the place of origin of the material

 the quantity of the material, in weight or volume

 a description of the material/ animal source

 catalogue number and price (if available)

 additives (e.g., sodium azide, glycerol), their source (e.g., whole serum, supernatant, ascites), and purification, if any.

 protocols  the recommended protocol or datasheet indicating any unique fixation, detergent, blocking, or incubation conditions.

 the intended use (commercial/ manufacturing; research/ testing)

 the name and address of the shipper

 the name and address of the receiver

Commercially packaged, ready-to-use In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) containing products of animal of origin, do not require a Vet-inspection, if compliant with Directive 98/79/EC on In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices. A declaration of conformity (CE-marking) must be provided for each individual commodity (e.g. reagents, test kits, immunosorbent assays such as ELISA kits.

Data shipments require an invoice with the character of the USB stick (storing intercompany data) and the value of the USB Stick.
Vitamins are considered to be medicine. Please see "medicine".

Prohibited or Restricted Commodities

In addition to the commodities which UPS prohibits to all countries or territories served (listed here), it is prohibited to ship the following commodities to Italy.

Shipping of alcoholic beverages is only permitted with ISC contract service.

The UPS service is limited to the import of wine and sparkling wine up to 15% alcohol where no excise duty applies (0% excise duty rate). Alcoholic beverages where excise duty applies can not be cleared at the UPS import sites. The same rule applies for alcohol within gift shipments.

Commercial importers must provide a health permit to import alcohol. Private importers can import wine for their personal consumption without a health permit only in very small quantities (maximum 5 litres) and according to Customs.

Alcoholic beverages (where no excise duty applies) cant be sold and delivered to under aged persons (under 18 years). The consignor is responsible to verify the age of the consignee prior to shipping.

Additional rules apply on the import of wine and wine products. Please check under wine.

Antiques can be imported. To apply for the reduced VAT rate the importer need an expertise from the Fine Arts authority. To be classified as antique the commodities has to be older than 100 years. Delays and additional costs may apply.
Artwork can be imported. To apply for the reduced VAT rate the importer need an expertise from the Fine Arts authority. Delays and additional costs may apply.
Endangered plants and animals protected by the multilateral treaty of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), must be accompanied by a valid CITES Certificate.

All import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system.

Shipper needs to provide the following documentation:

Invoice with the scientific name and CITES certificate.

Delays and additional charges may apply. Products of animals or plants subject to CITES can only be accepted under a special contract for International Special Commodities (ISC).

Goods accompanied by a CITES document can be cleared only at the UPS port of entry Venice [VCE].

Original Fumigation certificate must be provided by shipper to destination.

Importer must provide a health permit (issued by Health Minister Border Office) that can be requested through UPS with additional costs.

UPS provides International Dangerous Goods service for shipments to Italy from selected European countries or territories by contract (ISC) only. Imports are subject to permission by the approriate Italian authorities.
Double-sided knives need a police permit to be imported. Swords dont need a permit if they are made for ornamental purpose only. Swords which can be used as weapons need a police permit.
Mineral or petroleum oils in chapter 27 of the Harmonized Tariff Code cannot be cleared in Italy.
The European Union (EU) has implemented specific conditions and detailed procedures for the import of plastic kitchenware (HS-Code 3924 1000 11) made of polyamide and melamine and originated in or consigned from China or Hong Kong (regulation 284/2011). Tableware (for example, plates, flatware, cups) are excluded from the restrictions. The reason for the new regulation were notifications and alerts by the European 'Rapid Alert System'- kitchen tableware was recognized which exceed the thresholds of aromatic amines and formaldehyde released into food.

Based on the regulation, controls must be performed at the point of introduction into the EU by the competent authorities. They include documentary checks on all consignments and identity or physical checks (including laboratory checks) on 10% of the consignments. All consignments of kitchen tableware (HS code 3924 1000) originated or consigned from China or Hong Kong must be accompanied by a declaration confirming that it meets the requirements concerning the release of primary aromatic amines and formaldehyde. The declaration shall be accompanied by a laboratory report that the consignments fulfill the requirements.

The goods and declaration must be examined at the first point of introduction into the EU.

The consignments shall be notified at the first point of introduction at least two working days in advance.

Our main points of entry (Cologne, Germany and East Midlands, United Kingdom) are not competent to perform the checks and forwarding under bond is prohibited without the checks. Products covered by the new regulation and destined to the EU can't be accepted by UPS. Exporters should clearly state on the invoice the material and the country or territory of origin of plastic kitchenware to avoid holds on commodities not subject to the regulation.

Products made in Iran are prohibited in our service due to a current embargo.
Seeds require a phytosanitary inspection and can only be cleared at the UPS port of entry Venice [VCE] as this location is assigned by the Italian Ministry of Health.
The introduction, placing on the market and the holding in the territory of the Republic of Italy of plants and plant products and other items listed shall be prohibited if they originate in the countries or territories indicated below.

Its forbidden to introduce in all the European countries or territories: Soil and soil as such, consisting entirely or partially of earth and of organic solid substances, such as parts of plants, humus, including peat and bark, with the exception of that composed of only peat.

Countries or Territories of origin forbidden: Turkey, Belarus, Moldova Rep., Russian federation, Ukraine, Third countries or territories not included in continental Europe, exception for Egypt, Israel, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia.

Tobacco products cannot be cleared at UPS.

The same rule applies for tobacco products within gift shipments.

UPS does not offer the service of importing weapons.

Shipping of Wine is only permitted with ISC contract service.

The UPS service is limited to the import of wine and sparkling wine up to 15% alcohol where no excise duty applies (0% excise duty rate).

Importer must provide a health permit to import Wine; health permit (issued by Health Minister Border Office) can be requested through UPS with additional costs. Delays may occur. Private importers can import wine for their personal consumption without a health permit only in very small quantity (maximum 5 litres) and according to customs.

The labels of bottles have to show:

The category of the product (e.g. wine, sparkling wine, liquor wine)

Quantity, brand

The actual alcoholic strength by volume, an indication of provenance, an indication of the bottler or an indication of the producer or vendor in case of sparkling wine and other product categories of sparkling wine.

The protected designation or protected geographical indication if the wine has such a protection.

Invoice must clearly display:

Harmonized code, origin, quantity and type of packaging (i.e. bottles, cans) and alcoholic strength by volume.

The import of wine is also regulated by a market organization of the European Union with rules on labelling and presentation of wine and additional documentation:

Certificate showing drawn up by a competent body, included on a list to be made public by the Commission, in the products country or territory of origin.

An analysis report drawn up by a body or department designated by the products country or territory of origin, in so far as the product is intended for direct human consumption.

No certificate or analysis report need be presented for products originating in and exported from third countries or territories in labelled containers of not more than five litres fitted with a non-reusable closing device where the total quantity transported, whether or not made up of separate consignments, does not exceed 100 litres.

The rules are laid down in EU regulation 2009/491. The regulation can be checked on the EU website http://eur-lex.europa.eu/homepage.html


NOTE: Information provided by UPS is provided AS IS, may not be current, and does not constitute legal advice. In no event shall UPS be liable for any errors in the information, forms or features made available by UPS, or by any third party site linked to from UPS. Selection and completion of proper forms for any given shipment is the sole responsibility of the shipper. All shipments are subject to the UPS Terms and Conditions of Service in effect at the time of shipping for the country or territory of origin.
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