Restrictions on Mailing Items to Iran Have Been Lifted!
Recent complications in shipping gifts to friends and family in Iran may finally have been resolved. Following NIAC’s correspondence with several government agencies detailing our concerns and urging a solution, we are pleased to report that the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have taken steps to restore the ability to ship permissible items to Iran via the U.S. Postal Service.
Since late 2017, NIAC received reports from Iranian Americans who had shipments to Iran turned away from the U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”) in spite of long-standing U.S. policy to permit mail and low-value gifts to be shipped to Iran.
NIAC requested clarification from relevant government agencies and subsequently requested a formal rule change to rectify the situation. The United States Census Bureau and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have now confirmed with NIAC that the USPS has been advised by both agencies to “forego rejecting or returning gift items [intended for Iran that are] within the scope of the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (“OFAC”) general license, where the only issue is the lack of evidence that the mailer has filed electronic export information.”
In short, it appears that government agencies have reverted back to the enforcement of regulations that existed prior to August 2017. Iranian Americans should once again be able to ship permissible items to Iran via the U.S. Postal Service.
NIAC would like to extend our gratitude towards all agencies involved in rectifying this situation – in particular, the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
We do still believe more must to be done to ensure that Iranian Americans are not inadvertently barred from sending shipments to Iran in line with U.S. policy. While the Postal Service has been advised to not reject or return items shipped to Iran, the policy that such items technically require a “Electronic Export Information” filing remains in place. While this should no longer have practical implications, NIAC is continuing to engage relevant government agencies to eliminate this policy altogether to prevent further complications in the future.
If you have sought to ship items to Iran and had those packages denied transfer or returned in recent weeks, please contact us through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through our main office phone (202-386-6325).