Orders may be placed with foreign suppliers by using your ProCard or through Workday using Purchase Orders and may be paid using Supplier Invoice Request within the Direct Buy Limit.

Plan Before You Buy:

  • Payment in advance is prohibited by RCW 43.88.160
  • Payment can be made to business entities by ProCard within ProCard limits (i.e. memberships, registrations or goods)
  • Non-U.S.-based/foreign suppliers, like U.S. suppliers, must be registered with UW
  • Foreign suppliers are paid by check or wire - Ask your supplier about the expected payment method
  • For more information on doing business with foreign individuals, please review the UW Global Operations Support page regarding Foreign National Payments and Tax
  • If ordering goods, find out if U.S. Customs clearance will be required

IMPORTANT: Foreign Financial Sanctions

  • When placing any order with a foreign supplier, regardless of payment method, you must verify the company does not have sanctions placed on it by the U.S. Government. Check the U.S. Treasury website for a list of sanctions programs and country information and pay special attention to the following sections:
    • OFAC Sanctions List
    • Search OFAC's Sanctions List
    • Sanctions Programs and Country Information - see the Complete List of Sanctions Programs and Country Information

Payment Types to Foreign Suppliers

Check in U.S. Funds - Unless otherwise specified, payment will be made by check in U.S. funds. 

Wire Transfer - Payment by wire transfer should be negotiated at the time the order or contract is established. Requests for payment by wire transfer are not honored unless prior arrangements were made at the time the order or contract was placed. For more information on wire payments, please review our Wire Payments page.

Customs Clearance for Purchases from Foreign Suppliers

The University of Washington has contracted with Expeditors International of Washington for customs brokerage service. They can be used for customs clearance needs for purchases made with or without a UW purchase order. Detailed information is available on the Customs Clearance webpage.

  • Ask the shipper to include your name and phone number on the shipping label. 
  • Give information to your foreign supplier about our customs broker for the UW to assist with the importation of goods. Be aware that import charges may accrue for foreign purchases. Shippers such as UPS and FedEx are also customs brokers and will usually clear their shipments through U.S. Customs. If a broker is required for the shipper, UW has a contract with Expeditors International of Washington for import/export services. U.S. Customs and the Port of Seattle are aware of this and will generally notify Expeditors if something comes in for the UW and requires Customs Clearance.