Smooth and Fast Customs Filing Service

Shipping Exam

Container was examined by CBP - Customs and Border Protection and being charged a fee by the CES - Centralized Examination Station.

cargo exam

Under 19 USC 1467, CBP has a right to examine any shipment imported into the United States and it is important to know that you, the importer, must bear the cost of such shipping exam. Per the CBP regulations, it is the responsibility of the importer to make the goods available for examination-- "The importer shall bear any expense involved in preparing the merchandise for CBP examination and in the closing of packages" (19 CFR 151.6). Household effects are not exempt. No distinction is made between commercial and personal shipments. In the course of normal operations, CBP does not charge for cargo examinations. However, there may still be costs involved for the importer. For example, if your shipment is selected for examination, it will generally be moved to a Centralized Examination Station (CES) for the CBP exam to take place. An CES is a privately operated facility, not in the charge of a CBP Officer, at which merchandise is made available to CBP officers for physical examination. The CES facility will unload (devan) your shipment from its shipping container and will reload it after the exam. The CES will bill you for their services. There are also costs associated with moving the cargo to and from the shipping exam site and with storage. Rates will vary across the country and a complete devanning may cost several hundred dollars. The CES concept fulfills the needs of both CBP and the importer by providing an efficient means to conduct exams in a timely manner. CESs are discussed in part 118 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Here are some of the Exam fees we known, but they could create new term & fees anytime/anywhere. (Reference only). Disposition Code is a 2‑position alphanumeric code transmitted in AMS in a status notification message indicating the action that has been taken against the bill. Importer Frequency of Examination (FOE)

Los Angeles, CA Rates

  • $220.00 = Shipside Exam
  • $220.00 = IBET Exam
  • $220.00 = X-Ray Exam
  • $220.00 = CTG Exam

Mobile, AL Rates

  • $149.22 = AQI
  • $373.05 = Out of Gage Fee
  • $79.94 = Vacis Shipside Exam
  • $159.87 = Vacis Staged Exam

Jacksonville, FL Rates

  • $79.54 = Vacis Shipside Exam
  • $132.57 = Vacis Staged Exam
  • $83.83 = USDA Exam
  • $371.2 = Container Rework

Portsmouth, VA Rates

  • $160.70 = US Coast Guard Exam
  • $160.70 = FDA Payment
  • $160.70 = USDA Fee
  • $142.85 = Vacis Shipside Exam
  • $285.70 = Vacis Staged Exam

Houston, TX Rates

  • $85.57 = USDA Fee
  • $51.55 = Vacis Shipside Exam

  • $449.10 = On Terminal Exam (Dry)
  • $512.35 = On Terminal Exam (Reefers)
  • $449.10 = Tailgate Fee
  • $449.10 = US Coast Guard Exam (Dry)
  • $512.35 = US Coast Guard Exam (Reefer)
  • $449.10 = Pop and Tap Tailgate Fee (Dry Grounded)
  • $512.35 = USCG Exam Reefer (Grounded)
  • $115.00 = Segregation Handling Fee

Miami, FL Rates

  • $85.00 = Vacis Shipside Exam
  • $175.00 = Vacis Staged Exam
  • $125.00 = USDA Exam
  • $125.00 = US Coast Guard Exam
  • $125.00 = LQV (Limited Quantity Verification) Exam
  • $132.21 = Dray Charges

Note: Exam-delays can be linked to incomplete or misleading consignee/manufacturer information, also, incomplete / misleading country of origin, poor item description (materials that is made out of ), unrealistic values, missing Fabric/Textile (ie: cotton%, woven% & etc.) detail sheets & etc. Above are exam fees for stander shipment, REEFER, Hazard, & etc shipping exam could be double/triple or more. Also, LATE ISF filings. IF US Customs Required your shipment to move to Exam site after 10am (pacific time) or PTT is issued after 10am by Customs, it will be considered as next day move/delivery to exam site, meaning you will be paying other days of storage fees (IF any). Disposition Code a 2‑position alphanumeric code transmitted in AMS in a status notification message indicating the action that has been taken against the bill. (Importer Frequency of Examination (FOE))

In some cases:

  • IF FDA / USDA / other US Government related, CBP will release the shipment, but there is still FDA hold on it. You could pick-up your shipment, but can NOT be sold or altered until FDA hold is lifted. FDA may visit location of shipment or email/mail/call the consignee send notification when you could use or sell or if the shipment must be returned to your vendor (normally it could take 4 weeks from FDA/US Customs) OR FDA MAY NOTIFY THAT IT MUST BE DESTROYED. IF so, Fees will applied: Customs destruction forms = +$200 + Messenger Fee = +$50 + FDA fees = +$150 + Solid Waste Fee +$300 + Storage (if any) + Pickup and Delivery of shipment to Waste (if any) + Lab Test (if any) + ETC..... (all fees MUST be pre-pay by consignee/importer)

In other case:

  • FDA Released after Detention, months later with Notice of: These products are released. This notice does not constitute assurance that the product released complies with all provisions of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or other related Acts, and does not preclude action should the product later be found violative.

In other case of Fish and Wildlife (FWS) / USDA:

  • Consignee import a Woman/Hand Bags, BUT Consignee/Supplier/Factory did NOT disclose all of Materials that is made out of, on all doc's, Such as Fabric/Textile (ie: cotton%, woven% & etc) and Some of the bags has a Sea-Shell, shipment had to Segregate from other bags, all shipment was transport it to Fish and Wildlife (FWS) Exam Site & Consignee had to hire someone who has access to US Customs/Fish and Wildlife (FWS) Site (cost over $1000) + Storage/ Demmerage fees. + Entry was refile by Local Broker (Consignee paid for Two Entry Filing), caused by this shipping exam.

Again, US Customs & other Government Agency has rights to Examine your shipment(s) ANYTIME ANYWHERE. Even if you received Customs Release documents (Form 7501, 3641 & DO) & picked-up the shipment, still shipping exam is possible.

If any, EXAM by US Customs/DHS/Agencies to, Who will be receiving Exam Notice, FIRST & who will be Notifying Exam to You (Importer / Consignee) & Your Customs Broker also, what is a Customs Broker.

  1. Most of Exam are issue 6-7 days before your shipment is in US port, by US Customs/Agencies to your US Freight Forwarder. Only then, your Forwarder will notify you & your Customs Broker with Arrival-Notice.
  2. After receiving your Arrival-Notice & with all your import documents (Invoice, Packing-list, BL & etc.), Customs Broker electronically transmits to US Customs/Agencies, if any, then after, your broker receives “manifest hold” at ABI.
  3. So, Beyond this point, for your Broker could do, shipment-Query every 24-48 hour with ABI, for up-date, BUT, your Forwarder is notify immediately by US Customs/Agencies, since, your forwarder is moving cargo to destination.
  4. US Customs/Agencies could notify your Forwarder by email/fax/phone/freight-software: (Examples: continue-to or stop for exam....... or move-it-to-exam-site.............) (95% of the time)
  5. When Exam (VACIS, NII, X-Ray, IBET, Tailgate, MET & ETC.) are done, Exam-Site will forward the Invoice to your Forwarder. Exam fee will be add it to your NEW Revise Arrival Notice from your Forwarder. (95% of the time).
  6. IF Exam (CET Exam / A-TCET Exam / Intensive Exam / Stop Sign / Trade / IPR / Emergency Action Notifications (EAN) & ETC,), your Exam-Site/Broker will be Notify you & you MUST pay DIRECTLY to exam site. (100% of time).

  1. We can pay your vendor, BUT you will be paying 4 wire fee (+$100): (1) your bank charges you to wire. (2) to received wire form you, (3) us to wire your vendor, (4) your vendor to receive from us & delay from Bank or $50+$47.50.
  2. Customs Broker is Broker between US Customs/Agencies & Importer: To transmits/submitted all importer info/documents on your behalf, way it was received from Importer/your-vendors, to US Customs/Agencies.
  3. Customs Broker is NOT a Broker between you & your vendors (Supplier / Factory / Forwarder / Warehouse / Shipping-company / CET-Exam-Site & etc.)
  4. Customs Broker invoices are (ISF filing & Entry filing) Entry $150/$199, Service $25/$50 Duty/Tax, HMF/.001250, MPF/.003464, Single Entry Bond / Continuous Bond. IF Subject-to Document processing $85+ Messenger $45.
  5. For Full Container &/or LCL with Subject-to (FDA, USDA & ETC,), most of Shipping Exam notice may coming from Customs Broker as (Exam Processing $40+Messenger $45) ++US Customs MAY invoice you their own processing fee.
  6. For US Customs/DHS/Agencies to Examining Cargo Containers is More Important than Scanning Emails. Container could contain, almost anything, such as: ("Terrorism's Trojan Horse Attack" and OTHER.)