Before we get into imports, here are a few tips for the exporter (Vendor) to help speed up the Customs Broker's clearance of your goods:
It is up to you, the consignee, or your chosen customs broker, to submit an entry with the port director at the port of entry as soon as your cargo arrives in the United States. A Customs entry is not complete until the consignment arrives at the port of entry, is permitted by CBP, and all duties and fees are paid in full. If a pre-release inspection is required, the importer of record or their designated customs broker is responsible for arranging it.
NOTE: Importers should contact additional government agencies for specific commodities in addition to a CBP entry. Importers should alert the proper agency if their shipment contains alcohol, tobacco, or wildlife products (such as furs).
Only the legitimate owner or their chosen Licensed Customs Broker may import goods/products. In the case of an air cargo, the importer of record must be specified on both the bill of sale and the bill of lading or AirWay bill.
What documentation are needed to clear a package through customs? The following are the only documents necessary for entry:
All imports must be accompanied by a bond to assure the payment of any applicable tariffs, taxes, or fees. A bond can be bought from a surety firm in the United States or from your chosen Customs Broker. Customs bonds are divided into two categories:
The United States Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has the right to examine a customs entry after it has been submitted. These inspections are conducted at random, but if it is your first time importing into the country, your chances of being scrutinized are substantially higher. Your shipment will be released if no legal or regulatory breaches are discovered. Any fees incurred as a result of the inspection are billed directly to the importer of record or through your designated Customs Broker.
A package may be placed in a CBP bonded facility if the importer of record wishes to differ applicable duties. The items can be kept in the bonded warehouse for up to 5 years from the date of importation, and they can be removed at any time by paying the necessary duty. If the importer wants to manipulate the shipment in any way that isn't manufacturing, he or she can do so under CBP observation. A CBP bonded warehouse cannot keep perishables, explosives, or restricted products.
If you or your designated Customs Broker do not present a customs entry at the port of entry within 15 days of arrival, the shipment may be stored in a general warehouse at the importer's expense. They may be sold at public auction or destroyed if entry is not made within 6 months of the date of import.
As a commercial importer, you may discover that using the US Postal Service (USPS) rather than a courier to import items into the United States has some advantages. The following are some of the advantages:
Please make sure to include the following information when shipping anything via USPS:
Exceptions for informal entries with a value of $2,000:
Imports with a total value of more than $2,500.00 USD require a formal entry. An entrance bond is required for a formal entry because it ensures that all necessary duties are paid. Importers who utilize an annual bond rather than a single-entry bond can retrieve their goods before paying their tariffs, taxes, and other expenses (closing of entry). When the total value of items imported is less than $2,500.00 USD and they are usually for personal consumption / use, an informal customs entry is made possible. As There are exceptions to the rule, just as there are to formal entries. When importing textiles, for example, an informal entry can only be utilized for items worth less than $250.00 USD. Inquire with your Customs Broker about how you might take advantage of this.
Section 321 is a sort of informal entry that permits you or your Customs Broker to discharge items valued at $800.00 USD or less without having to file a customs entry. Shipments discharged under "Section 321" are exempt from both duty and tax. A shipment must not exceed a total value of $800.00 USD to qualify under Section 321, and it must not be one of numerous lots covered by a single order or invoice with a value exceeding $800.00 USD or the equivalent. The shipment must be meant for a single person. Click here for more information about section 321.
Not all imported goods into the United States is processed at the port of entry. The importer or transporter may opt for a separate location where the products must cross the border and continue on into the United States. These products must be transported in “Bonded Status” from the port of arrival to the port of entry in order to do so. Under CBP form 7512, this can only be done by a bonded carrier.
The owner, purchaser, seller, his/her authorized employee, or a qualified customs broker must account for goods arriving in the United States. CBP officers and staff are not authorized to operate as import agents for imported products, but they are permitted to provide reasonable advice and help. Only licensed US Customs Brokers, not the importer of record, are authorized to act on their behalf. CBP licenses private entities to prepare and file entries, as well as account for, collect, and pay any applicable duties/taxes. A CBP Power of Attorney must be shown when a customs broker makes an entry.
The CBP has the legal right to examine and verify any commodities headed for the United States, as well as their supporting paperwork, at any time prior to release. Validation of the following requirements necessitates examination:
The importer of record is responsible for all costs related with the coordination and examination of goods, and commodities might be held for release by the coordinating warehouse without full payment.
A deduction from the gross weight, known as Tare, is made when assessing dutiable amounts based on net weight. Tare is the tolerance for weight loss due to packaging, transport boxes, bags, and other factors.
When it comes to importing into the United States, neat packing and accurate invoicing are essential. If objects subject to multiple rates of duty are so tightly packed together during an inspection that a CBP officer cannot identify the quantity without separating them, the combined items will be subject to the highest rate of duty.
The importer is responsible for exercising reasonable caution. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) publishes a lot of information to aid the import community with reasonable care, and using a certified Customs Broker may almost assure compliance.
Depending on the HTS classification, all products imported into the United States are subject to duty or tariff-free entry. Duty can be assessed depending on an item's worth, weight, size, or count. Duty Trade agreements, such as NAFTA, can help to eliminate this problem.
Once an entry is liquidated, CBP makes a judgement on the item's dutiable status (after entry documents are filed). By making a request for ruling, an importer/exporter or any other interested party can receive prior information. This can be accomplished by sending pertinent information to:
By submitting to the national commodities expert division, importers can get a binding judgement that will be effective at all ports of entry unless reversed. For a ruling, the following is required:
Goods imported into the United States for non-resale may be admitted into the country under bond without paying tariffs for exportation within one year of the date of importation under the Temporary Free Importation (TIB) program. A TIB may be extended for a maximum of three years at a time. Before the bond time expires, products and merchandise entered under a temporary importation bond must be exported, destroyed, or extended. Quotas apply to all products imported under Temporary Free Importation.
An ATA carnet is an international customs document that allows a product or shipment to be imported temporarily duty-free. The carnet is valid for one year and serves as a guarantee against duty payment if the goods are not exported. During this time, the Carnet holder is free to make as many trips as they choose with their accompanying goods. In the United States, a Carnet is typically used for the temporary entrance of: