Adafruit follows the THE "BIG SIX"

  1. Product Information
  2. Export Controls
  3. Ordering and Payment
  4. Order Information
  5. Shipping
  6. Record Keeping

Adafruit Collects Product Information

HS Codes - Harmonized commodity descriptions from vendors Adafruit collects, tariff information, description, data/spec sheets, country of origin, ECCNs. Additionally Adafruit consults with experts export lawyers including THOMSEN AND BURKE LLP and reviews export classification list which is reviewed to keep up with the constant updates and "best practices" in export compliance.

Export Controls

  • Adafruit makes efforts to follow the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) guidelines.
  • What is the jurisdiction of item (BIS, DDTC, ITAR) Is it subject to EAR? Does it require a license?
  • Adafruit makes best efforts to Export using appropriate ECCN and authorization.
  • Adafruit has a process for self-assigning ECCNs for its products.
  • Adafruit has a process for requesting ECCNs for third party products.
  • Most Adafruit products are subject only to AT controls or are EAR99.

Ordering and Payment

Adafruit makes best efforts to screen orders using the Denied Persons or Entities list(s). Adafruit uses UPS and Visual Compliance, in addition to Adafruit's own "banned" list for high risk locations and to reduce fraud.

UPS uses software systems for all of its denied party screening requirements that search over 30 excluded party lists taken from both U.S. and international sources. These systems identify, investigate, and halt shipments with questionable parties immediately upon entry into UPS's shipping systems.

Additionally, Adafruit uses Visual Compliance's API for screening against Denied Persons or Entities. Visual Compliance has "the largest, most current and most accurate selection of foreign trade and AML regulatory compliance lists for screening entities and transactions".

Adafruit does not ship to the following locations:

  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Ukraine

Additionally, Adafruit currently does not ship to*:
Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burma, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Macau, , Moldova, Mongolia, Oman, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

*List is revisited from time to time.

Adafruit also restricts USPS to some locations and UPS only to some locations depending on the order, amount and other risk factors.

Adafruit looks for "RED FLAGS"

Abnormal or suspicious activities, if found, we inquire and reevaluate transaction. This includes shipping/billing mismatches, IP address flags, multiple orders in short time period, special requests from customer that are abnormal. Requests from customers to change any customs values are denied, order may be canceled.

Collecting Order Information

  • Payment Options for International Customers
  • How Adafruit Avoids Fraudulent Orders
  • Chargebacks
  • Terms of Service to Customers

Payment Options for International Customers

Credit card, PayPal, Amazon Payments, Google Wallet, BitPay. Many locations are Paypal only (additional fraud protection).

PayPal has robust policies and procedures to detect, prevent and report suspicious activity. To comply with OFAC (Office of Foreign Asset Control) requirements, and global sanctions, PayPal screens customer accounts against government watch lists. In addition, PayPal may request that the customer provide PayPal with documentation to help prove identity for business verification purposes. PayPal reports suspicious transactions to the financial intelligence unit in the respective country.

How Adafruit Avoids Fraudulent orders

  • Adafruit "score" for risk
  • Key info: IP, shipping, past orders, email address, phone number, location, account age, total value
  • Map: GeoIP locations, address lookup (Radaris Google, and other services).
  • Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Accutellus, etc.


Adafruit follows up, documents and attempt to discover more information for each one and may file a police report. When fraud rings are discovered Adafruit notifies the U.S. Postal Inspector/Team Leader and UPS fraud prevention teams.

Terms of service to Customers

The customer is 100% responsible for Tariffs and Taxes, clearly stated and customer expectations on Tariffs and Taxes are managed.


  • Terms and Conditions are indicated on website and orders.
  • Delivery Methods: UPS and USPS only, we do not allow USPS to some locations due to poor service.
  • Setting Rates are determined by negotiated rates with UPS and Endicia (USPS)
  • Tracking is provided to customer via 2 specific email from carrier.
  • Orders over $2,500, we currently use EEI's (formerly SEDs) filed via UPS "paperless".

The following appears on commercial invoices for export:

"These commodities, technology, or software were exported from the United States in accordance with the Export Administration Regulations. Diversion contrary to U.S. law is prohibited".

Daily USPS and UPS pick up, signed for, scanned and logged before leaving Adafruit.

Record Keeping

  • 5 years of SEDs available with UPS "paperless"
  • Order history for orders placed.

Helpful resources

  • Export enforcement - 2014 Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce (PDF).
  • Office of Export Enforcement - Industry Outreach (PDF).
  • How to request an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) / SNAP-R - (PDF).
  • Freight Forwarder Guidance (PDF).
  • What is the BIS? Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce (PDF).
  • A Guide to Export Licensing Requirements (PDF).
  • Laymen's explanation of export controls and open-source hardware by Michael Dobson (PDF).
  • Routed Export Transaction (PDF).