DEBRA MITCHELL | U.S. Postal Service
On September 8, 2009, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a Federal Register final rule revising existing restrictions on exports of gift parcels. It also authorized exports to Cuba of certain donated consumer communications devices, including certain computers and software, mobile phones, and satellite receivers.
The only U.S. Postal Services available for authorized exports to Cuba are First-Class Mail International, International Priority Airmail, International Surface Air Lift, and the Priority Mail International flat-rate envelope and small flat-rate box. All of these services have a maximum weight of 4 pounds.
Eligible gift parcels for Cuba may include any of the following:
food (including vitamins)
medical supplies and devices (including hospital supplies and equipment for the handicapped)
receive-only radio equipment and batteries
personal hygiene items
veterinary medicines and supplies
fishing equipment and supplies
all other items of a type normally sent as gifts between individuals except for certain items prohibited. Items in gift parcels must be in quantities normally given as gifts between individuals.
Even if Commerce Department regulations permit an article to be sent out of the United States in a gift parcel, the article might still be subject to a Cuban import prohibition. Articles included in gift parcels may be subject to detention or seizure upon arrival in Cuba.
A gift parcel must be sent directly to the recipient by the individual donor. Each gift parcel must show, on the outside wrapper, the name and address of the donor, as well as the name and address of the recipient. Each parcel must have the notation “GIFT-Export License Not Required” written on the addressee side of the package and the symbol “GFT” written on any required customs declaration.
Except for gift parcels of food, not more than one gift parcel may be sent from the same donor to the same recipient in any one calendar month. There is no frequency limit on gift parcels of food to Cuba. The combined total domestic retail value of all commodities in a single gift parcel may not exceed $800. This limit does not apply to food sent in a gift parcel.