FCC Guide: Sending Electrical Items to the USA

What Electrical Items Can I Send to the USA?

Sending electrical items to the USA may sound straightforward; however, it is a category that has strict import regulations. As well as attaching the normal customs invoice to your item, you also have to attach a declaration to the Federal Communications Commission. This is known as the FCC 740 form.

According to the FCC, any device that carries a radio frequency must be made known to them. This procedure was implemented to protect both the environment and humans. To declare an electrical item, you must fill out a designated form, which gives the reader all the information that they need to be able to understand the capability and potential dangers of the item.

FCC Regulations for Shipping Electrical Items

FCC Regulations form

The FCC insists that any item containing Radio Frequency (RF) technology must be clearly documented when shipped into the USA. RF technology is defined as any electronic product that uses electromagnetic radiation as a form of communication. The Federal Communications Commission identifies two separate forms of radiation (or radiators); intentional radiators and unintentional radiators.

Intentional Radiators

Intentional radiators are any electrical item that directly uses electromagnetic radiation as a form of communication. This category includes laptops, mobile phones and drones; amongst many other popular items. Intentional radiators can generally be classified as items that have the ability for Bluetooth connectivity, WiFi or transmitting radio frequency.

Unintentional Radiators

Unintentional radiators are classified as electrical items that emit electromagnetic radiation as a side effect of normal operation. Televisions, electric guitars and digital cameras are all considered unintentional radiators. While this may sound advanced for the average person looking to send a gift to a loved one, simply contact our customer support if you have any doubts.

Whilst these devices produce different radio frequencies that fall into separate FCC categories, they both fall under the FCC 470 form when passing through customs.

How to Fill FCC 740 Form

Man filling out FCC 470 form

Essentially, this form is a declaration that the electrical items that you are shipping to the States meets the regulations set out by the FCC.

Below, we will give you a few general pointers for correctly filling out the 740 form, but if you have any doubts, please contact the Federal Communications Commission directly.

The FCC Form 740 for Electronics Shipment requires you to enter:

  • Exact name of the product
  • Manufacturer’s name and address
  • Receiver’s & importer’s name and address
  • Signature and date
  • You are also required to choose from a list of options for what legality best describes the device
  • You must fill out a separate form for every electrical item that you send
  • In the Trade Name box, enter the name the product sells as

Note, in section 1, complete all information except Date of Entry, Entry Number and Port of Entry.

 

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How to Pack Electrical Items to Send to the USA

Packaging for shipping electronics to USA

  1. Start by placing your electrical item in an anti-static plastic bag
  2. Place your item in its original box if possible. If you do not still have this box, then find a similar alternative that will comfortably hold your item and prevent the item from moving around during transit
  3. Next, find a larger box in which the item’s original (or replacement) box will comfortably fit inside, along with packaging materials
  4. Line the bottom of the larger box with polystyrene chips or packaging paper
  5. Place your boxed item inside the larger box
  6. Pour more packaging materials inside the box, your goal is to fill the box to prevent the item from being able to move around during transit.
  7. Once you have filled the box, close it up and give it a good shake. If you can hear movement inside, you need to add more packaging materials.
  8. When you are happy with your full box, seal your box using packaging tape. Make sure every seam is well sealed and run the tape around the box, both horizontally and vertically, as well as along each seam, at last 3 times.

As with any item that you choose to send to America, you want to ensure that it arrives in one piece. Follow the steps above so you don’t have to worry about your expensive goods as they make their way around the world.

 

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