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Interactive EAR

Chapter VII

§ 740.12 Gift parcels and humanitarian donations (GFT).

This version is the current regulation | Last updated: April 11, 2024

1 Many foreign countries permit the entry, duty-free, of gift parcels that conform to regulations regarding contents and marking. To secure this advantage, the sender should show the words “U.S.A. Gift Parcel” on the addressee side of the package and on any required customs declarations. Information regarding the foreign postal regulations is available at local post offices. Senders of gift parcels who wish information regarding import duties of a foreign country should contact the nearest Commercial Office, Consulate or Embassy of the country concerned.

Example to paragraph (a)(2)(i)(B) of this section. A watch or piece of jewelry is normally sent as a gift. However, multiple watches, either in one package or in subsequent shipments, would not qualify for such gift parcels because the quantity would exceed that normally given between individuals. Similarly, a sewing machine or bicycle within the value limit of this License Exception may be an appropriate gift. However, subsequent shipments of the same item to the same donee would not be a gift normally given between individuals.

(a) Gift parcels—(1) Scope. The provisions of paragraph (a) authorize exports and reexports of gift parcels by an individual (donor) addressed to an individual, or a religious, charitable or educational organization (donee) located in any destination for the use of the donee or the donee's immediate family (and not for resale). The gift parcel must be provided free of charge to the donee. However, payment by the donee of any handling charges or of any fees levied by the importing country (e.g., import duties, taxes, etc.) is not considered to be a cost to the donee for purposes of this definition of “gift parcel.” 1

(2) Commodity, value and other limitations—(i) Item limitations—(A) Prohibited items. (1) For Cuba no items listed on the Commerce Control List other than items listed in § 740.19(b) of the EAR may be included in a gift parcel.

(2) For all destinations, no items controlled for chemical and biological weapons (CB), missile technology (MT), national security (NS), nuclear proliferation (NP) or encryption items (EI) reasons on the Commerce Control List (supplement no. 1 to part 774 of the EAR ) may be included in a gift parcel.

(3) Items prohibited for destinations in Country Group D:1 or E:2. For destinations in Country Group D:1 or E:2, military wearing apparel may not be included in a gift parcel regardless of whether all distinctive U.S. military insignia, buttons, and other markings are removed.

(4) Gold bullion, gold taels, and gold bars are prohibited as are items intended for resale or reexport.

(B) Eligible items. For all destinations, eligible items are food (including vitamins); medicines, medical supplies and devices (including hospital supplies and equipment and equipment for the handicapped); receive-only radio equipment for reception of commercial/civil AM/FM and short wave publicly available frequency bands, and batteries for such equipment; clothing; personal hygiene items; seeds; veterinary medicines and supplies; fishing equipment and supplies; soap-making equipment; as well as all other items of a type normally sent as gifts between individuals (including items listed in § 740.19(b) of the EAR ) except for those items prohibited in paragraph (a)(2)(i)(A) of this section. Items in gift parcels must be in quantities normally given as gifts between individuals.

(ii) Import requirements. The commodities must be acceptable in type and quantity by the recipient country for import as gifts. Commodities exceeding the import limits may not be included in gift parcels.

(iii) Frequency. (A) Except for gift parcels of food to Cuba, not more than one gift parcel may be sent from the same donor to the same donee in any one calendar month.

(B) There is no frequency limit on gift parcels of food to Cuba.

(C) Parties seeking authorization to exceed the frequency limit due to compelling humanitarian concerns (e.g., for certain gifts of medicine) should submit a license application in accordance with §§ 748.1, 748.4 and 748.6 of the EAR to BIS with complete justification.

(iv) Value. The combined total domestic retail value of all commodities and software in a single gift parcel may not exceed $800. This limit does not apply to food sent in a gift parcel to Cuba.

(v) Ineligible recipients. (A) No gift parcel may be sent to any of the following officials of the Cuban government: Ministers and Vice-Ministers; members of the Council of State; members of the Council of Ministers; members and employees of the National Assembly of People's Power; members of any provincial assembly; local sector chiefs of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution; Director Generals and sub-Director Generals and higher of all Cuban ministries and state agencies; employees of the Ministry of the Interior (MININT); employees of the Ministry of Defense (MINFAR); secretaries and first secretaries of the Confederation of Labor of Cuba (CTC) and its component unions; chief editors, editors and deputy editors of Cuban state-run media organizations and programs, including newspapers, television, and radio; or members and employees of the Supreme Court (Tribuno Supremo Nacional).

(B) No gift parcel may be sent to any member of the Politburo.

(C) No gift parcel may be sent to organizations administered or controlled by the Cuban Government or the Cuban Communist Party.

(3) How to export gift parcels. (i) A gift parcel must be sent directly to the donee by the individual donor, or for such donor by a commercial or other gift-forwarding service or organization. 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 donee, regardless of whether sent by the donor or by a forwarding service.

(ii) 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.

(b) Humanitarian donations—(1) Scope. The provisions of paragraph (b) authorize exports or reexports by groups or organizations of donations to meet basic human needs when those groups or organizations have experience in maintaining a verifiable system of distribution that ensures delivery to the intended beneficiaries.

(2) Basic human needs. Basic human needs are defined as those requirements essential to individual well-being: health, food, clothing, shelter, and education. These needs are considered to extend beyond those of an emergency nature and those that meet direct needs for mere subsistence.

(3) Eligible donors. Eligible donors are U.S. charitable organizations that have an established record of involvement in donative programs and experience in maintaining and verifying a system of distribution to ensure delivery of commodities and software to the intended beneficiaries. Eligible distribution arrangements may consist of any one or more of the following:

(i) A permanent staff maintained in the recipient country to monitor the receipt and distribution of the donations to the intended beneficiaries;

(ii) Periodic spot-checks in the recipient country by members of the exporter's staff; or

(iii) An agreement to utilize the services of a charitable organization that has a monitoring system in place.

(4) Donations. To qualify for export under the provisions of this paragraph (b), the items must be provided free of charge to the beneficiary. The payment by the beneficiary, however, of normal handling charges or fees levied by the importing country (e.g., import duties, taxes, etc.) is not considered to be a cost to the beneficiary for purposes of this paragraph (b).

(5) Ineligible commodities and software. The following commodities and software are not eligible:

(i) Commodities and software controlled for national security, chemical or biological weapons, and nuclear nonproliferation, missile technology or crime control reasons (see supplement no. 1 to part 774 of the EAR );

(ii) Exports for large-scale projects of the kind associated with comprehensive economic growth, such as dams and hydroelectric plants; or

(iii) Exports to Cuba of medical items excluded by § 746.2(b)(1) of the EAR .

(6) Eligible items. Eligible commodities and software are those listed in supplement no. 2 to part 740.

(7) Additional recordkeeping requirements. In addition to the recordkeeping requirements in part 762 of the EAR , donors must keep records containing the following information:

(i) The donor organization's identity and past experience as an exporter of goods to meet basic human needs;

(ii) Past and current countries to which the donative programs have been and are being directed, with particular reference to donative programs in embargoed destinations;

(iii) Types of projects and commodities involved in the donative programs;

(iv) Specific class(es) of beneficiaries of particular donated goods intended to be exported under this License Exception; and

(v) Information concerning the source of funding for the donative programs and the projected annual value of exports of humanitarian donations.

[61 FR 64282, Dec. 4, 1996. Redesignated at 61 FR 68579, Dec. 30, 1996; 62 FR 25458, May 9, 1997; 69 FR 5690, Feb. 6, 2004; 69 FR 34566, June 22, 2004; 72 FR 3945, Jan. 29, 2007; 72 FR 43531, Aug. 6, 2007; 73 FR 35, Jan. 2, 2008; 73 FR 33673, June 13, 2008; 73 FR 49328, Aug. 21, 2008; 74 FR 45988, Sept. 3, 2009; 79 FR 32624, June 5, 2014; 80 FR 2289, Jan. 16, 2015; 81 FR 71366, Oct. 17, 2016; 82 FR 51985, Nov. 9, 2017]