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International E-Commerce Shipping Guide from Australia & New Zealand to the United States

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on expanding your cross-border e-commerce business into the thriving USA market!

In this guide, we will delve into essential topics for success in the USA market. Join us on this insightful journey as we equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to thrive in this dynamic and lucrative environment.

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Max weight: 30kg
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Tracking: End-to-end
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Delivery aim: 5-7 business days
between major metro areas*

The USA Market Overview

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The United States is a lucrative market for you for expanding or venturing into with your e-commerce business. It has everything you need: a large population, high spending power, a high level of internet penetration, advanced technology, and more.

With a population of 341 million people and a diverse consumer market, it is an economic powerhouse that offers significant growth opportunities for your business. Given its extensive internet penetration, with over 74% of online purchases made last year, the United States stands out as a top destination for e-commerce businesses.

E-Commerce Market Insights

Online shopping is no longer just a trend.  According to Forbes, the retail e-commerce market in the United States is projected to reach US$6.3 trillion this year. Additionally, retail e-commerce sales in the country are expected to experience steady growth from 2024 through 2027, with an average increase of more than 10% year over year, as forecasted by eMarketer's forecast.


Factors Driving the E-Commerce Consumption and Growth in the United States

The USA customer base is highly internet-savvy.

Due to the pandemic, people have become increasingly familiar with the concept of online shopping. With 97.1% of the population having access to the internet, it is safe to say that e-commerce has become an integral part of daily life, offering convenience and time-saving benefits.

  • Mobile commerce is also on the rise, with over 50% of online purchases now happening through smartphones and tablets.
  • 62.2% of consumers will use social media to conduct brand and product research before purchasing online.
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Inflation hasn’t deterred consumers from spending.

Inflation hasn't deterred consumers from spending; in fact, it has prompted them to seek greater value by exploring alternative brands and retailers. Some are even venturing into overseas marketplaces in search of better-priced and higher-quality products.

  • According to a Mirakl poll conducted in January 2023,  rising prices are causing 86% of consumers to actively search for better value while shopping, resulting in decreased brand loyalty.
  • eMarketer forecasted that there will be 81.1 million US consumers making cross-border purchases in 2024.
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Growing trends of thrifting and being fashionably sustainable.

Among Gen Z, the online fashion resale channel is driving growth despite economic challenges. It is expected that more buyers will eventually turn to online fashion resale. By 2026, we can anticipate reaching 46.9 million buyers in this sector, according to eMarketer.

What does the future hold for fashion and beauty e-commerce1

Credit cards are the dominant online payment method.

  • Credit cards payment accounted to 45% of all e-commerce transactions in the United States.
  • According to Forbes, over half of people (53%) use digital wallets, and 51% of people would cease shopping with a merchant that does not accept digital wallet payments.

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Top E-Commerce Categories Segmentation by Popularity

  • Fashion apparel, footwear and accessories will continue as the top sales category in USA’s e-commerce.
  • Meanwhile, the household essentials category is projected to experience faster growth compared to the consumer electronics and home furnishings category.
  • The health, beauty, and personal care products are also expected to experience unprecedented growth over the next 5 years, according to the eMarketer.


Popular Online Shopping Platforms in the United States

In general, the most popular online shopping platforms in the United States are categorised into the following:

1. Marketplaces

There are various types of marketplaces in the United States that cater to different needs and niches. Here are a few examples:

  • General marketplaces offer a wide variety of products, often considered one-stop shops for consumers. Examples include Amazon, Walmart, Target, and eBay.
  • Niche marketplaces focus on specific product categories. An example is Etsy, which specialises in handmade and vintage items.


Refers to the official online store of a particular brand, meaning the business owns the website and sells directly to consumers without an intermediary. Some examples of the popular in the United States are,, and


Important Sales Season in the United States

In general, the most popular online shopping platforms in the United States are categorised into the following:

  1. Amazon Prime Day - usually in July, date varies yearly
  2. Back-to-school season - late August or early September
  3. Halloween - October 31st
  4. Single's Day - November 11th
  5. Black Friday - between November 23rd to November 29th
  6. Cyber Monday - the following Monday after Black Friday
  7. Green Monday - second Monday in December, a promotional day by eBay where Christmas shopping tend to peak as well
  8. Christmas - weeks leading up to Christmas on December 25th
  9. Boxing Day - December 26th



Shipping Information for E-Commerce Business

To ensure a seamless international shipping journey from Australia or New Zealand to the United States, it is important to comply with the customs and tax regulations. Below is some important information that you need to understand thoroughly:

Customs Regulations Overview in the USA

USA De Minimis

The USA De Minimis value is USD800. This means that any goods valued below USD800 will be exempted from duty, but if it is valued over USD800, then it is subjected to import duties and taxes in the USA. Personal effects such as clothing, jewelry, and photography equipment that are more than 1 year old are exempt from customs tax and import duties.

Any e-commerce purchase shipment that is valued under USD2,500, not subjected to quota, and does not fall under the restricted and prohibited items list, will enjoy a simplified clearance with minimal customs intervention. This does not apply to textile items above USD250 where duty will be incurred.

For commercial shipments, you need to comply with various requirements. These include providing information such as the country of origin and may involve special marking or labelling, which can vary depending on your commodity. Additionally, it is important to note that you need to include with your commercial shipments and some commodities may be subject to quota limits.


Required Customs Documents

Ensuring you have all the necessary documentation filled out accurately is crucial in getting your goods through customs clearance seamlessly. Inaccurate or poorly filled documents may cause shipment delays or being rejected. What you need to prepare:

1. Commercial Invoice

The commercial invoice is usually used to determine the true value of goods when assessing customs duties. Your invoice should include the following information:

  • Destination port
  • Full details of buyer and seller
  • Description of goods (itemised in English)
  • Amount of items
  • Date and terms of sale
  • Country of origin
  • Value (in USD and foreign currency)
  • All charges related to the merchandise (freight, insurance, cost of packing, etc.)
  • Any rebates, drawbacks, or bounties received upon exportation of the merchandise

2. Packing List

A detailed overview confirming the merchandise mentioned in the commercial invoice, including information on how the shipment was packed. This may include invoice number, date of shipment, mode of transport, carrier, type of package, etc.

3. Airway Bill

For air freight shipments, an airway bill is required to provide detailed information about the shipment and enable tracking.

Restricted and Prohibited Goods

There are certain commodities that are not allowed to be brought into the United States (prohibited items), while some require special licenses or permit from a federal agency before it can enter the United States (restricted items).

Restricted Items List

The following outlines a summary of some restricted goods that are prohibited from importation into the United States.  For the full comprehensive list of restricted and prohibited items, please refer to CPB's Importing to the U.S. Guide.


FDA works closely with the U.S. CBP to monitor imports of health and beauty related products.

  • Cosmetics
    • Imported cosmetics products are subject to examination by CBP at the time of entry.
    • Item will be denied entry if they appear to be misbranded, adulterated or are defective, unsafe and produced under unsanitary conditions. Find out more about the import refusals.
    • FDA conducts examination and collect samples of cosmetics products to verify the ingredients are suitable and safe for intended use.
    • If a certification is required for cosmetics containing colour additives, the FDA will verify the Colour Identification Number (CIN). Find out more on the FDA's Cosmetics Import Page.

Source: Cosmetics Importers FDA

  • Drugs

For imports of prescription medicines, investigational new drugs, OTC medicines, active pharmaceutical ingredients, it requires FDA’s review on the shipment. The import invoice should include:

    • FDA approval
    • Registration and listing
    • Premarket submission information
    • Declared manufacturer
    • Declared importer/consignee
    • Product description
    • Affirmations of compliance
    • Intended use codes

For more information, visit FDA’s Compliance Guidance on Human Drug Imports.


  • Certain electronic products require clearance by the FDA to enter the United States, usually those with radiation-performance standards. These items may only be imported with a declaration that describe the product’s compliance status.
  • Batteries are classified as hazardous materials or dangerous goods due to the potential risks of leakage, explosion or ignition when not handled properly during the shipment. For batteries or products containing batteries shipment, you need a special battery label, and it must be declared as dangerous goods on the airway bill.
  • Visit the Federal Aviation Administration’s website for the full list of dangerous goods.

Asendia may be able to help you ship such dangerous goods, to find out more, please contact us and speak to our team.

The U.S. CBP require all textile importation to have labels that outline their content and care instructions. All textiles must have the following:

  • Labels displaying country of origin
  • Fiber content (material composition)
  • Manufacturer identity

Source: AFC International

  • For dairy products such as milk and cheese products are subject to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) requirements and quotas.
  • All meat products derived from cattle, sheep, swine, goats, and horses are subject to USDA regulations and must be inspected by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the department and by CBP’s Agriculture Program and Liaison Office.
    • Other meat product sources are subject to Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regulations.
  • Inspection certificates from the country of origin is also required for all meat, poultry, and egg products.
Certain agricultural commodities must obtain an inspection certificate issued by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to indicate import compliance.

See the full list at the CBP’s Guide for Importing to the United States.
Prohibited Items List

The following items cannot be imported into the United States. See the full list in the CBP's Prohibted and Restricted items list and find out more details in their Guide for Importing to the United States.

  1. Arms, ammunition, and radioactive materials
  2. Narcotic drugs and derivatives
  3. Counterfeit articles or items
  4. Items made with dog or cat fur
  5. Wildlife and pets, including live insects


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How to Ship to USA from Australia & New Zealand

Shipping Process from Australia & New Zealand to the United States

After understanding the market and customs regulations in the United States, you might wonder how you can start shipping to the United States and reach customers over there. Asendia can help you ship parcels internationally from Australia or New Zealand to the United States easily. 

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Introduction to e-PAQ Select International Shipping Solution

When you decide to start shipping with Asendia, you are using our e-PAQ Select, which is our specialised shipping solution for international parcel delivery specially designed for online retailers like yourself.


Why e-PAQ Select is the best solution for your international shipping needs to the USA:
  • Delivery service available on Monday to Saturday for orders below USD800. Orders above USD800 are available on demand.
  • Customs are paid at destination (DDU) on default, DDP is available upon request.
  • Parcel tracking available for visibility.
  • Full territory coverage and injection points in JFK and LAX.
  • Re-delivery attempts available (up to 2 attempts).
  • USA in-country delivery time: 3-5 business days.
  • Dimweight limit:
    • Up to 30kg
    • 40cm x 33cm x 25cm
    • Dim factor = 6,000
  • Standard liability of AUD 50


Benefits of shipping your parcel with Asendia from Australia & New Zealand to the United States

Working with Asendia for your international shipping needs ensure your shipping journey is seamless with our team of experts to help you get faster clearance and deliver to end customers on time. Our e-PAQ Select shipping solution has the following advantages:

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Territory Coverage
In Alaska, Hawaii, and mainland military bases included.
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Seamless Delivery
Enjoy end-to-end delivery from Australia and New Zealand to the USA.
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Parcel Tracking
Gain visibility with tracking capabilities on the delivery.
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Cost Effectiveness
Simplified pricing without fuel surcharge and blended rate card.
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Flexible Clearance
To support wider range of commodity for your business.
Ease of Scalability
Scalable injection ports as the volume grows.
Ready to reach customers in USA?

Get in touch with us at or click the button below to find out more!