We now offer a class for Restricted Commodities & International Purchases/Customs - register in the LMS!

Any acquisition shipped from another country (including Mexico and Canada) is considered Restricted and needs to be routed to Procurement. Please select the Restricted Items drop down for “International Purchases” on your Gateway Requisition. We will talk to the supplier to determine which party is responsible for shipment and customs costs.

If the UC must pay for shipping and customs, AND is the Importer on Record, then we'll talk with you about using our UCOP contract supplier for Freight Forwarding & Customs Brokerage (see American CargoService below). We may also share information with you about Transit Risk Insurance.

*If* the vendor is paying for the entire shipment, including customs, AND the vendor is the Importer on Record, then the vendor's freight forwarder and customs broker is acceptable and you will not be invoiced from our customs broker. If the vendor is also insuring the shipment for the full value, then your department also will not have to file an application for Transit Risk Insurance.

For Export Control (shipping items outside the US to another Country), please contact Monica Woltmon (woltmon@research.ucsb.edu) in the Office of Research. Helpful information about Export Control and the UC can be found here.

Here are some of the reasons supporting the utilization of our UCOP Freight Forwarder and Customs Broker:

  • Combining freight forwarding with customs brokerage streamlines (speeds up) the shipment process
  • The various Federal Agencies (Customs, DEA, Homeland Security, BIS, DDTC, Treasury Department and others) are scrutinizing Universities for violating their large numbers of laws and regulations.
  • American CargoService is the only company with Power-of-Attorney to act on behalf of the University of California for import controls.
  • The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) holds the UC responsible and liable for cargo being imported to the United States for our acquisitions, so we must use a Customs Broker licensed by the CBP to handle this burden. They fill out paperwork and obtain a CBP bond to pass the equipment over the border.
  • Federal officials have expressed concern about academic research that could result in the disclosure of information that would be harmful to the national security interests of the United States. In addition, all international shipments of research materials must strictly comply with U.S. export control laws. Therefore, the University of California, through its faculty and staff, must ensure that it performs its research in a manner that complies with governmental regulations and university policy.
  • View an FAQ about customs brokers and the UC

Please be aware that the Customs Broker will invoice your department for these services, and remember to budget accordingly. NOTE: Any shipment coming into the US is subject to Customs fees, and& your department will be responsible for paying these fees.

Your department may need 2 different purchase orders: one for the equipment to the vendor, and one for the freight forwarding/customs clearance invoice from American CargoService.

FedEx may be used for these shipments, but ONLY for orders less than $2,500 and less than 99lbs.

Our UCOP Agreement supplier for freight forwarding, who has the Power of Attorney for the UC is:

American CargoService, Inc.
7800 Convoy Court
San Diego, CA 92111
UCOP Agreement # 085/OP/050

Download a checklist for using American CargoService.

American CargoService should be used as a Freight Forwarder for international shipments in which the UC is paying for shipment/customs. To obtain a quote, email the following to uc@acssan.com:

  1. Supplier shipping costs, if already quoted (so that they can provide an apples to apples quote
  2. Supplier shipping terms (incoterms)
  3. Supplier contact information (email address, phone #, rep's name)
  4. Supplier's quote #
  5. Your expected ship date
  6. When you need the quote by
  7. Shipping weights and dimensions (if you don't have this, the supplier can provide it to ACS directly)
  8. Any special considerations at delivery site, such as lift gate or special handling
  9. Value of the equipment

If you choose American CargoService as the frieght forwarder and/or Customs Broker, please send a copy of the purchase order to your equipment supplier to uc@acssan.com so that American CargoService is aware of the incoming equipment.