U.S. Customs Clearance

Policy ID


Effective Date

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Last Revised

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


Finance & Administration

Office of Primary Responsibility


Office(s) of Secondary Responsibility

Summary of Policy

Prior to placing an order for any foreign made products that require U.S. Customs Clearance, please contact Cameron O'Brien, Sourcing Manager, at (603) 646-2896 to ensure that the appropriate entry procedures are followed.

Affected Parties

All Groups

Policy Statement

Prior to placing an order for any foreign made products that require U.S. Customs Clearance, please contact Cameron O'Brien, Sourcing Manager, to ensure that the appropriate entry procedures are followed.

A completed Dartmouth Purchase Requisition with all supporting documentation from the vendor must be sent to Procurement Services at HB 6114, including the complete vendor name, address, telephone and fax number, and contact name if available.

Documentation must also be provided if any comparable domestic source is available.

You must submit a separate Purchase Requisition to cover all import costs through Dartmouth's Customs Broker, DHL/Danzas.

  • Request for Duty Free Entry of Scientific Instruments or Apparatus, Form ITA-338P, MUST be completed and sent to U.S. Customs Service before or at the time of order placement.
  • U.S. Customs will determine whether the item(s) ordered meet the requirements for duty free entry.
  • Please contact Procurement Services to request a copy of this form.
  • If this purchase exceeds the $5,000 limit for "Sole Source Justification", a completed Sole Source Justification Form with supporting documentation of competitive bids must accompany the Purchase Requisition.

To qualify for duty free entry:

  • Applicant institution must be a nonprofit organization.
  • Applicant institution must be established for science or education.
  • Instrument or apparatus cannot be used commercially within five years of purchase date.
  • Instrument cannot be paralleled in scientific value by any domestic instrument.
  • Other materials that qualify for duty free entry:
  • Books and other articles.
  • Engravings, sculptures and other works of art.
  • Visual and auditory materials.
  • Examples of commercial use:
    • Distribution or sale of the instrument by the applicant institution.
    • Use by or for the primary benefit of a commercial entity.
    • Use of the instrument for demonstration purposes in return for a fee or other valuable consideration.
    • Use of the instrument for the treatment of patients is considered noncommercial.

Examples of explanation of the term "instrument":

  • Materials or supplies used in the operation of instruments and apparatus such as paper, cards, tapes, ink, recording materials, expendable laboratory materials, apparatus that loses identity or is consumed by usage or other materials or supplies.
  • Ordinary equipment for use in the building, construction or maintenance; or equipment for use in supporting activities of the institution, such as its administrative offices, machine shops, libraries, centralized computer facilities; or religious facilities; support equipment such as copying machines, glass working apparatus and film processors.
  • General-purpose equipment such as air conditioners, electric typewriters, electric drills or refrigerators.
  • General-purpose computers and any accessories to the computers that are not eligible for duty free treatment. Scientific instruments containing embedded computers that are to be used in a dedicated process or in instrument control as opposed to general data processing or in computation, are however, eligible for duty free consideration.
  • Instruments initially imported solely for testing or review purposes which were entered under bond under tariff item 864.30, subject to the provisions of Headnote 1(a) of Subpart C, Part 5, Schedule 8 TSUS and must be exported or destroyed within time period specified in that Headnote.