Before importing your goods and to prevent likely problems in the clearance of your merchandise, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the Customs and Border Protection of the United States. When your products arrive from their foreign destination, you have to shepherd them through customs, as an importer. This is usually be done through a customs broker. This is because you can’t take your merchandise through customs unless you possess an import license (which requires taking a government-administered test). Therefore, you are required to get acquainted with some tips, which will be provided here.
Know the customs rules
Each country has distinct customs regulations. It is required for you to get yourself familiar with these rules before engaging in any import process. With this knowledge, you will know what items you can import. The United Kingdom, the United States, and European governments provide customs information on their websites.
Upon the arrival of a shipment to the United States, the importer (or customs broker) files entry documents for such products or goods with the port of entry’s director. The CBP then authorizes delivery of the merchandize, after the payment of estimated duties.
The shipment could either be examined or its examination waived. Shipment may get conditional release authorizations upon its departure from the origin country and up to just five days before its landing in the United States, for instance. The shipment is released when no legal or regulations violations are detected.
Entry for warehouse
If an importer wishes to delay the release of their shipment, they may have the cargo placed in a CBP-bonded warehouse for up to five years from the date of importation. During those years, the goods could be exported overseas without any need for duty payment.
Certain items are always examined to ensure their conformity with legal safety standards. For instance, some foods and beverages may not pass the examination as a result of the standards in place by the Food and Drug Administration. The rapid increase in portable devices, for instance, has made quality inspectors to carry out some tests such as substance, EMC, or electrical safety. For instance, substance regulations, like REACH in the European Union restricts certain substances in some consumer goods. Such substances include cadmium, phthalates, lead, and formaldehyde, thus, making compliance testing mandatory. An importer, therefore, may select the extent to which its products shall be tested. The cost charged by testing companies depends on the number of substances and the number of variations (such as coating, colors, and component) of the materials.
Going through customs is often an unavoidable process while importing products; therefore, these are the few tips that will save you the time you would have spent with the customs officer. Overall, ensure you employ the service of reputable and experienced customs brokers, and test your products at a certified, respectable laboratory.
Importing and distributing non-compliant goods often result in a forced recall, major fines, or even litigation.
So just make sure you know all there is to know about customs and regulations.