Purchases of supplies and equipment from companies located outside the United States can present unique requirements.
Dollar limits and procurement methods (i.e., Procurement Card, Department Purchase Order, or PO Requisition) are the same as for goods and services purchased inside the United States. These methods are described in the Purchasing section of this site?
Currency Exchange Rates
Prices quoted by international companies are frequently in currencies of their own country of origin. These must be translated into an approximate value in United States Dollars (USD) for the department's Department Purchase Order or PO Requisition. Currency Exchange Rates are available online.
The estimated USD amount should be used in the department's Department Purchase Order or PO Requisition, along with a note in the Comments field referencing the foreign currency amount and the currency rate used for the conversion. Since exchange rates vary daily, the USD amount entered is only an estimate: the current exchange rate would be used to pay the invoice when it arrives. Payment is accomplished through the PSC Payable Services, usually through an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).
Equipment Arrival, U.S. Customs and Customs Brokers
Upon arrival in the United States, international orders must often be cleared through U.S. Customs before delivery to the University. The University's Identifier Number with Customs is our FEIN # 84-6000555. If the shipment is small, and is sent via one of the air courier services such as Federal Express or DHL, the carrier will frequently handle clearance through Customs and include charges for this service on their invoice. If the shipment is large, and is not through one of the air courier services, then the University must arrange for clearance through Customs using a Customs Broker.
The University uses several Customs Brokers including, but not limited to:
Gateway Custom House Broker Ltd.
4755 Paris St.
Denver, CO 80239
Phone 303.371.7868 Fax 303.371.7908
Charles M. Schayer & Co.
3839 Newport St.
Denver, CO 80207
Phone 303.399.5160 Fax 303.329.9604
Charges including U.S. Customs Duty and Duty-Free Delivery
The Customs Broker will have some minimal charges for their services and related paperwork which can be paid using the Procurement Card. In addition, U.S. Customs assigns a Classification Number to the shipment according to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule. The Classification Number frequently has a duty associated with it, reflected as a percentage of the equipment value, which must be paid before the shipment can be cleared.
For large-dollar equipment purchases, the user can consider completing and submitting Form ITA-338P: Request for Duty-Free Entry of Scientific Instruments or Apparatus. After preliminary approval - usually within four to six weeks of receipt of the application - Customs assigns the application a Docket Number. This needs to be provided upon the shipment's arrival in the U.S. in order for the Duty to be waived. (Final approvals of the application can take several months and must be made by the Department of Commerce and Customs.) Additional information is available on the Department of Commerce web site.