International Shipping

Export control governs whether an item may be shipped out of the United States. Some items may require a special export license to be issued by the US government in advance, depending on their classification, the recipient, the destination country, and the end use of the item, but this is a long process and impractical in most cases. Understand an item's classification and work with MIT Export Control to learn whether your shipment requires an export license. 

Export control is only one part of the shipping process. Consult other offices for more information on shipping from MIT. 

Find export classification

An item’s export control classification number (ECCN) is the most important information needed when assessing the legality of an export. Other factors include the recipient (person AND institution), country, end use of the item, whether it is a temporary or permanent export, if there is any indication of a third-party transfer, value, and amount of material.

To find an item’s ECCN, consult the vendor or review MIT export control classification guidance. If your item falls under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), it will not have an ECCN, and it cannot be exported without a license from the Department of State. 

Finding an item’s ECCN may take time. Start the process early and contact MIT Export Control to avoid delays.  

Document international shipments

Some exports, including those requiring an export license, must be documented through an Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing to the US government's Automated Export System (AES). Contact MIT Export Control to learn whether your shipment requires an EEI filing. MIT Mail Services can assist with additional documentation required for international shipments.

Submit shipment information to MIT Export Control

All international shipments must be approved by MIT Export Control. If you are using EShip Global, your requests will automatically route through MIT Export Control. If you don’t use Eship, contact MIT Export Control with the needed information:

  • Export control classification number (ECCN)
  • Item recipient (institution, company or organization, as well as person)
  • Destination country
  • End use of item
  • Approximate cost or value

Not providing the ECCN will delay your shipment.

Ship material directly to the destination

Ship material directly to your destination. Shipping with intermediate stops is considered an export to those countries.

Other shipping inquiries

There are many aspects of shipping that export control does not advise on. Work with preferred shipping providers, such as Watchpoint Logistics or eShipGlobal, to learn more about clearing customs or paying taxes on shipments.

Other MIT offices can assist with correctly labeling packages, precautions around shipping biological or hazardous materials, and insurance:

International Shipping Resources


Inquiry Type


Export Control

  • Export control laws
  • Identifying Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCN)

Environment, Health & Safety Office (EHS)

  • Packing and shipping chemicals, biologicals, hazardous, or radioactive material
  • Packing and shipping dry ice

Mail Services

  • Shipping of materials not handled by EHS
  • Transporting materials on campus
  • Schedule B
  • Harmonized Codes
  • Shipping documentation

Office of Insurance

Insurance for international shipments over $15,000