Mail and Packages

Can I have packages sent to me from the US?

Students should NOT plan to receive packages from the U.S.  A recent law was passed which requires that packages sent from outside the European Union are taxable.  Students attempting to obtain packages sent from the U.S. will have to go through a tedious, time consuming, and sometimes expensive procedure with customs (even just for a jar of peanut butter or pack of M&Ms).  Packages sent via FedEX or UPS are OK, as these companies will handle the procedure with customs.

Vitamins and/or food supplements should NOT be sent under any circumstances, as they are first inspected by the Ministry of Health and that can take forever!

Although it is not recommended to have packages sent, please read through these additional considerations and regulations should you still choose to receive packages.

  1. ALL letters and packages should be sent to students at the NYU Madrid center.
  2. To avoid paying heavy customs duties and VAT, students should have care packages and clothes sent to them as “used personal items”. These should be addressed solely to you, as shown below.
  3. Our staff will sign for packages and pick up notices and notify you of any mail.  All correspondence should be addressed exactly as follows below:

Student Name (First and Last, no nicknames)
C/ Segre 8
28002 MADRID

Receipt of mail and packages at homestays is NOT possible.  Spanish Postal Regulations prohibit the entry of certain items including, but not limited to: “Coins; banknotes; currency notes (paper money); traveler’s checks; securities payable to bearer; platinum, gold or silver, manufactured or not; precious stones; jewelry; and other valuable articles except in insured Priority Mail International parcels. (…) Playing cards.” Source: US Postal Service, Country Conditions for Mailing – Spain

Customs declarations should always say “used personal items” (enseres personales usados in Spanish) so they will not be confused with commercial merchandise for resale.  Students should NOT plan on having electronic devices shipped to them as they will most likely pay heavy customs duties.  Shipping clothes and comfort foods, appropriately labeled, is not usually a problem.

PLEASE NOTE: Students are advised to bring ALL THEIR MEDICATIONS (prescription or over-the-counter) WITH THEM IN THEIR LUGGAGE in its original packaging/containers.  As the consequence of the international illegal drug trade, all medications sent through the mail undergo strict controls which may make it impossible for a student to receive them in a timely and reliable manner.  Bring sufficient refills for the duration of your time abroad.  Consult the pre-departure information from NYU Study Abroad regarding medications and travel abroad for further information.

TIP: Advise your family and distant relatives accordingly before they feel the urge to send you a brand-new GoPro in its original packaging, or you may wind up paying heavy duties upon receipt. NYU Mail Services has further information on shipping and international customs. Click here: NYU Mail Services: International Customs Information