Having any merchandise that you are shipping delivered to the right place at the right time is crucial for your import business. When your goods arrive in the U.S., obtaining customs clearance does not need to be a stressful procedure. Understanding the requirements makes the process straightforward.
What is Customs Clearance?
Customs clearance is a compulsory procedure required by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to import goods. The process is a transaction where several parties provide documentation to ensure that a shipment can be processed and cleared. After the documents are provided and the entry is filed, it will be summed up to a 7501 form. The CBP also oversees the payment of taxes and duties, and finally, clearing goods from custody.
Some products, such as drugs and food, may require special permits from the applicable national agencies (e.g., the FDA). Contact your local commercial customs office and tell them precisely what you are importing (preferably with the H.S. code), and they will be able to advise you.
An importer can choose to clear customs by working with a CBP-licensed customs broker or firm or use an online solution for end-to-end DIY clearance, such as eezyimport.
What is the Customs Clearance Procedure?
- Commercial Invoice: A bill given to you by your supplier itemizing every product you bought and for how much. A customs clearance officer confirms that the invoice is correct and lists the shipper and the receiver’s contact information.
- Fees and taxes: These are determined by an automated process based on the category of items, their worth, and import laws. Payments are often made after the shipment is cleared either by the customer or Broker. Total shipment costs can be pricey considering brokerage charges, storage, delayed payment, and other applicable fees.
- Release: When you have paid all dues, customs release your shipment.
What is an H.S. Code, and How Do You Determine It?
An important thing to know on every item you import is its H.S. Code – the 10-digit Harmonized Item Description Code.
There are millions of different products globally, so how can a customs official know the particulars of every water filtration system or 2-in-1 rice cooker available? The Harmonized System! This system, which is used almost universally, is a standardized and long compendium describing every product type. Countries only change the duty to be charged on a product. This will also be impacted by multi- or bilateral trade agreements between countries – are they ‘friends or foes?’
If you’re a new business or on a budget, you should examine using an online customs clearance solution. eezyimport’s DIY self-entry (7501) customs clearance solution enables you to file your Entry Summary and ISF “10+2.” With the company’s DIY Broker Entry service, a broker steps in and reviews your entry, ensures that you meet regulations, and are ready to file. Both solutions offer you complete visibility and access from all devices through eezy’s customs clearance app or from your desktop – anywhere, anytime!
Paying your dues is usually the final step before your imported items are released to you from custody. When they are, officials inform the port or warehouse that is holding your merchandise that customs have cleared them. You are then free to collect them, presuming other conditions have been met, such as paying your freight forwarder outstanding balances and, for ocean cargo, presenting an Original Bill of Lading (document issued by the carrier acknowledging receipt of goods for shipment).
Get in touch with eezyimport today, and let’s discuss your success!