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Shipments & Exports

International shipping of items is perhaps the most traditional contemplation of an export. When shipping items abroad, please complete the International Shipment Form to assist in export review. Allow a minimum of 5 business days prior to your anticipated shipping date. If an export license is required, be aware authorization from the U.S. Government can take introduce delays. If you have reason to believe your item may be controlled, communicate with VEC early to allow adequate time. 


Before each shipment, it is important to consider:

  1. What are you shipping and is it export controlled?
  2. Where is the item going?
  3. Who is the end-user and what is the intended end-use?


Items that are restricted or prohibited for export are listed on the United States Munitions List (USML) and the Commerce Control List (CCL). To determine if your item is restricted or prohibited, you first need to know its classification. The USML Category Number is a listing of military and space items that are controlled by the Department of State on the USML. The ECCN is a categorization of “dual-use” items that are controlled by the Department of Commerce on the CCL. If you are unsure of your item’s classification, contact the manufacturer and request the information. Alternatively, contact VEC for assistance. Some examples of controlled items are here


These classification numbers identify reasons for control and indicate any licensing requirements to certain destinations. The level of control and to which destination can vary depending on the item. However, certain destinations are comprehensively sanctioned and virtually all interactions are prohibited without an authorized export license from the U.S. Government. These countries are:

  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • Sudan
  • Syria


It is important to consider who is receiving the item (and their associated entity). Some companies and individuals are denied or blocked parties and we are prohibited from doing business with them without a license. Always perform a Restricted Parties Screening (RPS) on the recipient, or end-user, and their associated entity to ensure they are not on one of the government maintained lists. Use the search tool at, or alternatively contact VEC for assistance. In addition, consider what recipient is going to do with the item. Any the ultimate purpose, or end-use that has a military or space application or any end-use that is contrary to national security requires extra review.


Special note: The U.S. Government restricts the shipping of bacteria, fungi, toxins, or viruses. For a list of controlled biological agents see the Restricted Biological Agents guide and for a list of controlled chemicals see the Controlled Chemicals guide.


Other Shipping Resources

Center for Technology Transfer & Commercialization, CTTC (MTAs)

Vanderbilt Environmental Health and Safety, VEHS (biological agents, chemicals, toxins, etc.)


Shipping Vendors


FedEx is Vanderbilt's approved international carrier. Please see the Vanderbilt Finance Gold Guide for updated vendor representative contact information.

It is important to note that there may be duties and fees associated with a foreign shipment and it may take several business days to secure the proper information. Please schedule and budget accordingly.

For more guidance on how to ship internationally with FedEx, refer to FedEx About EEI or contact FedEx customer service at 800-247-4747.

V. Alexander

If the shipment requires the expertise of customs broker, V. Alexander is Vanderbilt's approved vendor. Please see the Vanderbilt Finance Gold Guide for updated vendor representative contact information

For more guidance on how to ship internationally with V. Alexander, refer to their website or contanct the vendor representative

United States Postal Service

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) also requires that export controlled items shipped to an entity (company, organization, university, contact, etc.) in the US be reviewed prior to shipment to ensure they are not being exported to an entity on the Denied Persons Lists (DPL).

It is important to take time to prepare a letter or a package that will be mailed to a foreign country. When mailing to a foreign country exporters may be asked to complete:

For more information on sending items or information internationally, please visit USPS webpage International Mail Delivery Services. In addition, the USPS Publication 613 "Shipping International Packages" is available at USPS locations as a resource. To contact a Vanderbilt Post Office please click here.

Some international mail shipments may not require a specific form. However, the individual mailing the letter or package is still responsible to ensure compliance with export control laws and regulations.

In addition, all international mail exports should be reviewed prior to shipment to ensure they are not being exported to an entity or individual on the Denied Party Lists (DPL).


SPA > Export Compliance > Imports & Shipments