The University often buys specialty items from suppliers located outside of the United States.  Various laws and practices affect international shipping.  To ensure that your department receives items in a timely manner, we’ve listed best practices below.


UPS and FedEx are worldwide and specialize in international shipping.  The best practice is to request that suppliers use UPS or FedEx when shipping internationally.


If a supplier is unable or unwilling to use UPS or FedEx for an international shipment, when sending the PO (or placing the order if under $10,000), the department must ask the vendor to forward the airway bill, flight details, and a copy of the invoice upon departure.  The department then must forward all documentation to UT’s customs broker (John S. James) so the broker can negotiate customs and have the package delivered to your destination.  Please note, if the customs broker is unaware of a shipment, the package will be detained in customs and may be moved to storage at your department’s expense.


The customs broker under contract with the University is listed below. Please contact the System Purchasing Office if you have any questions.

John S. James Company
Attn:  Jeanne Sanderson
2718 John Deere Drive
Knoxville, TN 37917
Phone: 865-544-0530