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Commercially prepared food

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs prior notice of all shipments to the U.S. that contain commercially prepared food.

This includes:

  • Items that contain food for human or animal consumption
  • Vitamins
  • Dietary supplements
  • Herbal remedies
  • Food additives or colour

Food items that a person has prepared in their own home and sent to another person as a non-commercial gift are exempt from the need for a prior notice. The sender must request the Prior Notice number electronically through the FDA Prior Notice System Interface and include the number on the customs documentation before shipping.

The FDA and U.S. Customs Border and Protection will use their own discretion and may consider not taking any regulatory action when:

  • There’s a Prior Notice violation
  • The commercially prepared food is being sent from one person to another person for non-commercial purposes

You ship these items at your own risk.

In spite of any product specification about liability coverage to the contrary, we’ll have no liability whatsoever for loss, delay, or damage of cross-border shipments containing food. Likewise, you can't buy liability coverage from us for cross-border shipments containing food.

You can visit the FDA website for more information.

We’re providing this information as a convenience only. All of this information is subject to change without notice, and we don't guarantee its accuracy or completeness. It's your responsibility to make sure that you are complying with all applicable requirements when you send or receive international mail items.