PPP20 Importing and Exporting Goods and Services

Effective 9/27/2011
Replaces 6/8/10


Insure the Wisconsin Department of Administration Bureau of Procurement, UW System Purchasing, and UW-Madison Purchasing rules, regulations and guidelines as well as United States Customs laws and regulations are followed when importing or exporting goods & services. This includes purchasing and transporting products or services in a foreign country for use in a foreign country, purchasing from a foreign country for shipment to the United States, or purchasing in the United States for use in a foreign country.


Consignee: The person to whom the shipment is being delivered
Consignor: The person who is sending the shipment

Customs Broker: The UW has established contractual relationships with firms that can clear freight through US Customs on our behalf as well as arranging full service dock to door freight services (import or export). These firms are listed below under references. See also: www.scarbrough-intl.com/


Departments should contact our customs broker before the shipment is made to determine what paperwork is required. A University of Wisconsin Purchase Order and a vendor supplied Commercial Invoice and Packing List or Manifest is required for all import shipments.

3.1 The department person who calls the customs broker should identify the type of service required.
Our customs broker will assist the department in the following types of service:

3.1.1 Answering questions related to import commodity licensing requirements, duty status or other import/export subjects.

3.1.2 Foreign to United States- Obtaining clearances, checking for potential problems, and providing incoming routing information and rates.

3.1.3 United States to Foreign – Obtaining competitive rates, routing information, and providing all necessary export services.

3.1.4 Foreign to Foreign – Providing the department with foreign contacts who can assist in the process.

3.1.5 Providing information on any restrictions or special conditions that apply to the purchase and/or shipment of the commodity.

3.2 The following information must be provided to our customs broker on all shipments:

3.2.1 Complete name and address of person initiating shipment.

3.2.2 Department name and complete telephone number.

3.2.3 Origin and destination points of shipment.

3.2.4 Detailed description of shipment, its origin and in layman’s terms, what it is used for.

3.3 Exporting a shipment – There are many companies that can ship internationally (FedEx, UPS, DHL etc). However one of our contracted customs brokers must be contacted when the export is valued at or above $2500, when sending to countries such as Libya, Cuba, N, Korea, Iran, Iraq, Serbia, Sudan, or Syria, when the exported item requires an export license, when the shipment is going to Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, or the former Pacific Trust Territories, or when the export contains rough diamonds regardless of value. In these cases specialized documents must be processed by the customs broker regardless of the freight carrier.  These requirements apply to items that are hand-carried as well as items that are exported via a freight carrier.
Regardless of what carrier is selected, or whether the items are shipped by freight carrier or hand-carried by UW staff, the customs broker will minimally need the following information:

      1. Description of the commodities
      2. Name of the consignee and address including zip code
      3. Method of shipment
      4. Date available for pick-up
      5. Desired arrival date
      6. Number of pieces, dimensions of cartons, weights
      7. Payment terms
      8. Other special instructions

Contact the University Export Control Office (exportcontrol@grad.wisc.edu) to determine if an export license is required for your shipment. The department will need to work with the Export Control Office to prepare and apply for an export license through the United States Department of Commerce or Department of State.  Vendors shipping directly to a foreign site will be responsible for obtaining the export license.

3.4 Our customs broker will charge for their services, in addition to their fees there are additional pass through fees and charges that will appear on your final invoice. These charges vary widely and departments should request a quote and ask what additional fees or charges might apply that are not on the quote. Please be aware that expedited services not originally requested can be very expensive. If a blanket order is not in place, a purchase order should be issued for the services reflecting the customs broker’s quote.  Note:  When hand-carrying items valued at > $2500, you must contact our customs broker with the above information (commercial invoice is recommended) one day before leaving the country.


When Purchasing Services creates the order to a foreign vendor, the UW Customs Broker will be identified on the purchase order.
4.1 The department must provide the following information:

  • Contact name at the University
  • Contact phone number
  • Department(s) & ship to information if different
  • Street Address
  • City, State, Zip

4.2 Vendor must furnish set of DUTY FREE APPLICATION FORMS with the vendor portion completed if applicable to this purchase. (Duty Free Entry for Scientific Equipment)

4.3 If insurance is not provided in freight charges, the department should contact Risk Management for UW-Madison insurance coverage (608) 262-0375 and provide necessary information (product, replacement dollar value and purchase order number).
This applies to all dollar levels.


he department must contact our customs broker when:

5.1 The department receives notification of arrival of shipment and customs broker is not identified on paperwork, shipment needs special attention, shelf life of product is short, shipment under quarantine, special delivery requirements, or if new information is required (duty status, transportation, etc.).

5.2 A shipment needs special attention. Our customs broker can expedite with advance notice from the University.

5.3 A shipment needs to be located. The customs broker will need the Master Airway Bill Number (MAWB) and House Air Bill Number (HAWB) for an air shipment. For an ocean shipment they will need the Master Ocean Bill Number (MOBL), the House Bill Number (HOBL), and the name of the vendor’s Freight Forwarder.

5.4 New information is received regarding the importability or duty status on commodities being imported.


The following documents or procedures must be used or followed when:

6.1 Federal funds are used: Transportation across the ocean must be via a United States Flag carrier.

6.2 Duty free status is requested: If a commodity or its equivalent is not manufactured in the United States, a duty-free status may be applied for from the United States Commerce Department provided by the vendor (See 4.2). The application form should be obtained prior to processing the order, if possible. The customs broker must be notified that a duty-free status application is in process; a copy of the front page and docket number will be required. The U.S. Commerce Department will assign a docket number that will hold the transaction open until a decision is reached on the application. This will not hold up delivery of the shipment but merely delays duty payment until the decision is reached.
If the department fails to notify the customs broker of its duty-free application, they will pay the duty fees automatically and close the transaction. This voids the application.

6.3 Port of entry – Chicago: Generally, shipments will clear customs in the ports routed to as defined on the Bill of Lading. If the customs broker determines that Milwaukee is preferred port of entry, they will notify Purchasing Services or the department.
When UW-Madison pays the freight (FOB Shipping Point), it is best to compare costs and transit times before deciding how to route a shipment. Our customs broker will assist in this area.

6.4 Items returned for repair: The customs broker must be contacted for assistance to avoid duty costs on equipment. A repair declaration will be required from the vendor.

6.5 Temporary Import Bond (TIB) is needed: A TIB is used for importing a commodity on a temporary/trial basis (e.g., software for review) and only when the customs fee exceeds $100. Notifying the customs broker immediately will guarantee customs fees are only paid once. TIBs are effective for up to one year, are good for one destination only, have a processing fee, and may be renewed for 3 years on a yearly basis. When the commodity is returned, the customs broker must be notified to avoid additional duty costs and to be provided with the Vendor’s Freight Forwarder name so the customs broker can provide proof of delivery.
TIBs are not used on equipment used for production for a year and then shipped back.

6.6 Carnet is needed: Designed to simplify customs procedures for shipping exhibits, trade show items, etc. A carnet eliminates extensive customs procedures and long delays at customs. Goods covered under a carnet cannot be sold abroad but can be moved through customs without paying tariffs and excise taxes or purchasing a bond. (This is not a substitute for an export license.) The customs broker will facilitate the carnet application process.

6.7 Marine Cargo Insurance: As an agency of the State of Wisconsin the UW is self-insured for its owned and non-owned transit risk exposure. We must however purchase a separate transit policy for shipments of high value when the UW is responsible during shipment (see the FOB Matrix listed below in the reference section).
The value of items being shipped must be reported to the Bureau of State Risk Management on a per shipment basis. Property shipped to a given location and subsequently returned would be considered two shipments and should be reported separately for each way.  For UW-owned property, all shipments, overseas and domestic that are valued at $50,000 and greater are required to be reported via the online form.  All domestic carry-on equipment/instruments with values of greater than $50,000 should also be reported.
Please visit http://doawi.wi.gov/shipment_report.asp for additional information, or contact Risk Management.


International Freight & Customs Brokerage Services:
Scarbrough International Ltd.
612 Supreme Drive
Bensenville IL 60106
Contact: Kathy Golabek
1300 Michael Drive, Ste B
Wood Dale, IL 60191
Direct: 630-787-4535
FAX: 630-568-6225

Patrick Colligan, North Regional Manager (Chicago)
Email: pcolligan@scarbrough-intl.com
Phone: 630-787-4502 Cell:  816-863-4304 Fax: 630-595-3430 Fax
For current shipment status information go to: www.scarbrough-intl.com/
Username: uwmad
Password: bucky1
Kyle Morris, Director of Inbound Cargo
Email: kmorris@scarbrough-intl.com
Phone: 816-584-2460

Secondary Brokerage Company:
UPS Supply Chain Solutions
490 Supreme Drive
Bensenville, IL 60106
(630) 787-3089 (phone)

UPS contact for questions:
UPS International Support

7. Reference Information

FOB Matrix with tabs for Inco. Terms.
Duty Free Import Application Form for scientific equipment:

INCOTERMS Chart of Responsibility

International Travel Carry On Guide
Forms required when traveling abroad with additional items outside the scope of what a normal traveler might take on a trip.

Glossary, Forms and other Tools