Things to know about importing to Duke

The Office of Export Controls can also help answer questions you may have about importing research materials to Duke.  Here's some basic things to keep in mind:

  • All physical items entering the U.S. from overseas will require clearance by U.S. Customs before they are delivered to you.
  • Depending on the commodity, classification code (HTS), and/or value, a formal customs entry in the name of a designated Importer of Record (IoR) may be required.  This generally requires more paperwork and is handled by a licensed customs broker (LCB).
  • If a formal entry is required there will be paperwork and information required from both shipper and the IoR.
  • If the shipment is being delivered by a courier company (e.g. FedEx, UPS, DHL) that company will generally also act as both the IoR and the LCB.
  • In certain cases these courier companies may not be best suited to handle the customs entry and a third party LCB should be used instead.  Contact us if you have questions about this process.
  • In order to clear goods/materials on Duke's behalf, a third party LCB must have a Power-of-Attorney (POA) on file that is signed by the Office of Export Controls.  Please contact us if you are ever asked to provide a signed POA to a third party LCB.
  • Duke's nominated LCB is LOGISTICON INC.. (see below).  Duke has a permanent POA on file with them.
  • In addition to Customs there are many other U.S. agencies that regulate the import of certain materials into the U.S. (see below).  Not only do these agencies have their own processes for physical inspection of the goods/materials upon arrival, often times they will require you to obtain an import permit.  Contact us if you need assistance with import permit applications or are unsure about whether you need to apply for one.
  • Any and all paperwork associated with an import transaction must be physically retained (i.e. hard copies) for a period of five years from the date of customs entry

Special Note for Foreign Fieldwork:  If you are traveling aboard for fieldwork and intend to return to the U.S. with field samples, keep in mind that you are both exporting from the country where your field work takes place and importing the materials into the U.S. This applies even if you are hand-carrying the materials. Be sure to research any foreign export requirements well in advance. You may even need to obtain a collection permit from the host country's appropriate authority. Bottom line: Plan ahead!

Duke University's nominated customs broker:

331 West Main Street, Suite 302
Durham, NC 27701
919-381-5001  |

Note: For billing purposes you MUST provide LOGISTICON with a Duke PO# at the time of service. Contact if you have any questions.

End-user certificates/statements

If you are importing a piece of research material or equipment and the foreign supplier sends you an "End-User Certificate" please contact Receipt of such a document is often times an indicator that export-controlled items are being sent to Duke University. The Office of Export Controls should be given the opportunity to review and sign End-User Statements before they are submitted to the supplier.

Other federal agencies that regulate US imports
  • APHIS (Requires permits for plant/animal pathogens and other plant/animal-related materials)
  • CDC (Requires permits for materials containing biological agents infectious to humans – includes live animals and their products)
  • Fish & Wildlife (Requires permits for endangered/protected species of plant & animal wildlife)
  • FDA (Inspects certain food & drug materials upon entry - prior notice sometimes required)
  • EPA (Certification for certain toxic chemicals may be required upon entry)
  • DEA (Requires permits to import certain controlled substances)
  • OFAC (Enforces embargoes and sanctions on specific countries/entities)
  • ATF (Licenses required for munitions and related items permanently imported)
  • DDTC (Licenses required for military & defense-related items)