The university’s contracts with Federal Express and United Parcel Service (UPS) grant these companies limited power of attorney to clear routine shipments through customs upon arrival at various ports of call within the United States and likewise to clear exported shipments at most locations around the world.

Use of Customs Broker

In certain cases, it is recommended that the services of a “Customs Broker” be utilized. Customs brokers provide customer service dedicated specifically to individual shipments, which helps to ensure that these shipments clear customs and reach their destination in a safe and timely manner.

Examples of when to use a customs broker include shipments that contain hazardous or controlled materials that may require an export license; shipments that require “dry ice” packaging; or shipments that are bound for, or coming from, countries on a restricted trade list. The university has empowered W.N. Epstein & Company, to represent the university as its customs broker. W.N. Epstein & Company has offices at most U.S. ports of entry and contacts at ports of call around the globe.

The St. Louis office is located at 4433 Woodson Road St. Louis, MO 63134.

Key Contact Information

Jerry Epstein
314-429-0673 ext. 112

Angela Lochmann, Purchasing Services

Shipping Laboratory Equipment

Additionally, any shipment that involves the movement of a lab, or donated lab equipment to be used for research purposes only, needs the services of a customs broker as it may fall under the category of “duty-free” entry. This circumstance requires the filing of specific paperwork that should be prepared by Purchasing Services and/or W.N. Epstein & Company.

If your shipping requirements involve any of the above criteria, please contact Rob Downey at 935-4298 for assistance.

Imports using a purchase order

The following information should be included in the body of the purchase order.

Shipping Instructions

Please ship to the Port of St. Louis, Missouri, USA, with notification to the university’s import broker:

W.N. Epstein
Attn: Jerry Epstein
4477 Woodson Road Ste. 140
St. Louis MO 63134

Tel: 314-429-0673
Fax: 314-423-3553

The purchase order number must be referenced on all documentation and a copy of the invoice should be attached to all shipping papers. The import broker must be provided with the airbill number at the time of shipment.

Imports without a Purchase Order

University staff/faculty traveling to a foreign country should be provided the import broker information. It is not unusual for an individual to ship back to the university, via commercial freight, items collected while abroad. All such shipments will need the assistance of our import broker, and the import broker should be notified immediately of any shipment destined for the United States.

When a purchase order is not used due to an exchange of goods, return of loaned equipment, or like circumstances, notification to our import broker will provide for a speedy clearance process.

Fees charged by the Import Broker

Purchasing Services receives an invoice for services after the import broker has cleared a shipment through customs and has seen to it that the shipment is delivered to its final destination. A copy of the invoice will be sent to the department/school of record and a copy will be sent to accounts payable with the correct purchase order number or a free balance account number.

​​Read more about duty-free imports