(U.S. Customs) A means of shipping and entering goods into the Customs Territory of the United States. Mail entry has several advantages as well as several limitations.
1) Duties on parcels valued at US$1,200 or less are collected by the letter carrier delivering the parcel to the addressee. 2) No formal entry paperwork is required on duty-free merchandise not exceeding US$1,200 in value. 3) There is no need to clear shipments personally if under US$1,200 in value.
Joint Customs and postal regulations provide that all international parcel post packages must have a Customs declaration securely attached giving an accurate description and the value of the contents. This declaration is obtained at post offices. Commercial shipments must also be accompanied by a commercial invoice enclosed in the parcel bearing the declaration.
Parcels and packages not labeled or endorsed properly and found to contain merchandise subject to duty or taxes are subject to forfeiture.
If the value of a mail importation exceeds US$1,250, the addressee is notified to prepare and file a formal Customs entry (consumption entry) for it at the nearest Customs port.
A mail entry limit of US$250 has been set for a number of articles classified in sub-chapters III and IV, chapter 99, of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. as an exception to the above US$1,250 limit. Items on this list include billfolds, feathers, flowers, footwear, fur, gloves, handbags, headwear, leather, luggage, millinery, pillows, plastics, skins, rubber, textiles, toys, games, sports equipment and trimmings.
Unaccompanied shipments of made-to-measure suits from Hong Kong require a formal entry regardless of value.
See entry; consumption entry.