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Import/Export

United States to Puerto Rico

Country or Territory Regulations Topics:

Commodity Specific Stipulations

There are special stipulations on the following commodities when shipping to Puerto Rico. 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.

It is legal to import coffee into Puerto Rico. Coffee grains must be processed and toasted or granulated. They cannot be ripe.

If the coffee is for personal use, a fee of US$2.50 per pound of ground coffee must be paid prior to the delivery of the shipment.

If the coffee is for commercial use, the consignee must provide a license from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

If the coffee complies with all requirements and inspection, the USDA will send the importer a detention slip. This slip informs the consignee of the fee to be paid for each pound of ground coffee and directs the customer to the Federal Customs office at Luis Munoz International Airport, where the indemnity is paid.

All medicine imported into Puerto Rico from the U.S. will not be delayed for inspection by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They will be handled as any other imports.

Commercial shipments of medicine pre-approved by the FDA require the following on the invoice:

  • Generic or common name of product
  • Scientific name of product
  • Name and address of manufacturer
  • Intended use of product

    Commercial shipments of medicine not pre-approved by the FDA require the following on the invoice:

  • Generic or common name of product
  • Scientific name of product
  • Name and address of manufacturer
  • Investigations New Drug Number or New Drug Application Number

    For more information, please contact the FDA Inspector in Puerto Rico, at 787-729-6725 LC#541.

  • Negotiable bonds and drafts are non-taxable.
    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.

    A Sanitary Certificate must be sent with the shipment. One can be obtained from the USDA.
    Customs defines textiles as samples if they are marked or mutilated. Marked samples must have the word “sample” stamped in contrasting permanent ink. Mutilated samples must have holes cut or punched into the material.

    Textile samples cannot exceed 183.0 cm (72.0 in.) in length.

    Textile swatches can be shipped without being marked, mutilated, or subject to quota only if they are smaller than 21.0 cm x 21.0 cm (8.0 in. by 8.0 in.).

    Write on the invoice whether the sample shipment is marked or mutilated.

    Marked samples cannot exceed US$800.49 per shipment.

    Customs requires formal entry and a textile visa for all non-mutilated textile shipments from the following countries or territories regardless of declared value:

  • Belarus
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Dominican Republic
  • Hungary
  • Jamaica
  • Kuwait
  • Lesotho - for value over US$250.00
  • Maldives
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • If samples, the invoice must state whether the goods are marked or mutilated, and must include a detailed description, fabric content, and country or territory of origin. Textiles shipments that meet the live entry criteria must adhere to strict Customs entry requirements and will automatically experience a delay in Customs clearance. A Live Entry is a Customs & Border Protection entry in which the duties must be paid at the time of entry. The majority of these shipments will be textiles from Asia Pacific, Central & South America, and Eastern Europe. These shipments are prohibited entry into the commerce of the United States in the absence of a valid, applicable Visa issued by the exporting country or territory.

    All textile products must contain labels stating the fabric content and the country or territory of origin. Labeling must be done prior to importation into the U.S.

    Textile shipments must have commercial invoices that contain the following information:

  • Detailed product description
  • Fabric content
  • Country or Territory of origin
  • Customs will hold textiles shipments without invoices or textile visas (where applicable), or with incomplete invoices at the port of entry. UPS assesses a storage fee of US$20.00 per day on these shipments. The fee starts 48 hours after first contacting the customer for the required information.

    Note: Any questions regarding specific textile information should be directed to UPS Supply Chain Solutions.

    Shipments of tires are subject to a recycling fee based upon their size.

  • US$1.65 per tire up to 17"
  • US$7.00 per tire for 17.5" to 24.5"
  • Shipments of tobacco products may be subject to inspection by the USDA.
    Puerto Rico law defines weapons as any "object that expels a projectile driven by the force of gas expansion." Therefore, firearms, pellet guns, and spear guns fall under this category. This also includes parts and pieces of weapons.

    Only licensed gun dealers and/or law enforcement agencies are allowed to import/export weapons.

    Any and all packages declared as containing weapons should be picked up by the consignee at the San Juan customer counter.

    Packages containing firearms/weapons will be inspected by the Puerto Rican Police Department.

    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 Puerto Rico.

    Electronic Cigarettes can only be shipped with an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract.

    Please refer to the US FDA website for additional information on E-Cigarettes and Products- http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm172906.htm

    Puerto Rico accepts hazardous materials from the United States on a contractual basis only.
    Products made in Iran are prohibited in our service due to a current embargo.

    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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