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Informed Trade International

Last Build Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2013 17:05:38 +0000


Find HTS Codes

Wed, 21 Oct 2009 20:52:17 +0000

Here’s a new HTS lookup service for anyone who’s ever had problems finding HTS tariff codes for their import or export shipments. Basically, you can use it to look up tariff rates for any item with a keyword search, or by typing in the HTS number directly. There are a few software packages that you […]

BIS publishes Final Rule on Encryption Simplification

Mon, 19 Oct 2009 17:29:18 +0000

10/15/2009 – BIS publishes Final Rule on Encryption Simplification The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published the interim final rule entitled ”Encryption Simplification” on October 3, 2008 (73 FR 57495). This rule finalizes that rule, corrects errors published in the October 3, 2008 interim final rule, and resolves inconsistencies in that rule identified by […]

Importer Security Filing (ISF), aka “10+2”

Tue, 31 Mar 2009 18:49:25 +0000

When does the ISF have to be filed? Not later than 24 hours prior to loading of the shipment to the vessel at the foreign port of lading. Does the effective date of Jan. 26th mean that any shipment which is departing from the origin port on or after Jan. 26th is required to have […]

Import Duty on Returned Items

Thu, 05 Jun 2008 02:13:52 +0000

Question Do I have to pay import duty on items that have been exported from the United States that are being returned? Answer If you have an item that was previously resident in the United States, but for some reason was exported and is now being returned, be sure to inform US Customs about its […]

ITAR Export Compliance

Thu, 29 May 2008 00:50:39 +0000

If you’re one of the small minority of businesses that exports military and ITAR controlled products overseas, you’re not going to find much to help you on our site – sorry. You can download the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) from our site, but there’s not a lot of discussion on how to use […]

What are Import Taxes?

Mon, 28 Apr 2008 20:53:27 +0000

Import tax or import tariffs (also known as import duties) in the United States generally refer to the taxes and fees charged by US Customs when importers bring goods into the country. They are assessed by government employees with US Customs at the port of entry, and are paid by the importer of record. All […]

Importing Knock-off Purses

Fri, 30 Nov 2007 00:28:59 +0000

This question came in response to the post entitled What is a Foreign Trade Zone? Sandra asks This customs thing is very confusing to me, but I keep reading more and more to try to understand.I am going to be very up front. I like to sell mirror image designer handbags like LOTS of other […]

What is a Foreign Trade Zone?

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 18:06:39 +0000

A foreign trade zone is a warehouse on US soil that acts like limbo for imported goods. If you have something that can’t come into the country, is just stopping off before being shipped to another country, or needs to operate outside of standard Customs procedures, a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) might be the way […]

Importing Process

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 21:34:08 +0000

Paying Duty: The importer is ultimately responsible for paying any duty owed on an import. Determining duty can be very complicated, and while shipping services will often give an estimate for what the duty rate on an item might be, only Customs can make a final determination about what is owed. You should not be […]

Sample Import Requirements

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 21:07:29 +0000

Question I am interested in importing single samples of furniture from Bulgaria as showroom pieces. Each piece is valued at 90-150 Euros and I would like to find out the approximate import tax. The pieces are not for resale. Answer Importing samples into the United States allows companies to receive example goods from overseas and […]

Importing Software from India to the US

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 21:05:12 +0000

Question A US company wants to outsource software development to India. Will the US company have to pay import duties on the software? If so, what is the tax or range? Answer Electronic transmission and data exchange have evolved at an alarming rate in the last ten years. Mulit-million dollar projects are outsourced and completed […]

Do I need a license to import fashion jewelry and fashion accessories?

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 21:04:18 +0000

Question My friend and I would like to purchase fashion jewelry and fashion accessories, such as: belts, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, watches, etc. from countries outside of the U.S. and then sell them on e-bay or our own website. We have a sellers permit in California. Do we need any other kind of license and/or permit […]

How to Import – Internet Purchases, Electronic Transmissions

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 20:46:10 +0000

Information and materials downloaded from the Internet are not subject to duty. This applies to any goods or merchandise that are electronically transmitted to the purchaser, such as CDs, books, or posters. However, the unauthorized downloading of copyrighted items could subject you to prosecution. Downloading child pornography is also a crime. U.S. Customs Service has […]

Customs Form 7501 Entry Summary

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 20:39:49 +0000

Download Customs Form 7501 (.pdf) US Customs Form 7501 is one of two essential forms required for an import transaction. Form 7501 details origin and importer information, but its main purpose is to act as a receipt for US Customs. Blocks 27 through 40 are used for an imported item’s Harmonized Tariff Classification, the amount […]

Wood Imports into the United States

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 06:21:13 +0000

Question I am considering importing items from New Zealand, made from ancient kauri wood, items ranging from jewelry pieces to coffee tables, for re-sale. What are the import/duty requirements of such an operation? Answer Country of Origin New Zealand maintains normal trade relations with the US, so there are no specific trade restrictions that would […]

What should I consider before importing something?

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 06:20:31 +0000

Requirements for importing specific commodities depend on a wide variety of things. Some information, such as whether an item is subject to quota restrictions, eligible for reduced rates of duty, or restricted from entry because they originate in an embargoed country, can be determined only if you know the item’s Harmonized Tariff Schedule classification number. […]

How to Start an Import Business in Jewelry and Clothing from India

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 06:18:50 +0000

Question I am trying to start a business in jewelry and clothes from India. I do not know how and where to start from. I want to make sure I have all the necessary licenses or documents that I may need in order to do this….please advice. Where do I start from? Which licenses do […]

How to Import Granite

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 06:17:45 +0000

Question How Do Import Granite? I am interested in importing granite slabs into the U.S. for fabrication and re-sale purposes. I would like to know the following: What license or permits are required? What forms are necessary to obtain the licenses/permits? Where can I find the necessary forms? How much does it cost to obtain […]

What is the duty rate on rechargeable revitalizing skin care product using LED’s?

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 06:16:48 +0000

Question I plan to import on a commercial basis late this year a newly developed consumer product that uses Light Emitting Diodes and gentle vibration to revitalize facial skin. This is a consumer product similar to hair dryers and the Sonicare toothbrush that draws less than 500 W and is rechargeable with an electric charger. […]

Do I Need an Import License?

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 06:16:05 +0000

For general merchandise (those items not specifically regulated by another agency), importers may file Customs entries for their own account without applying for an import license and without the use of a Customs Broker. This is often the case when receiving a package via the US Mail from overseas, or travelers returning from business abroad. […]

Do I need a license to import something?

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 06:15:34 +0000

You do not need a license to act as an importer. However, some items require a license or permit from various government agencies in order to be imported. For more complete information, please see our publication “Importing Into the U.S.” The chapter on “Special Requirements” provides very complete information. (Some common items that may require […]

Import Export Forum

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 01:09:55 +0000

Informed Trade International has made their import/export trade forum available to the public! Ask a Question If you have a question related to importing, exporting, or international trade, please feel free to post it in our online import forum or search through the database of import questions. Mission Statement Informed Trade International is an import/export […]

How to Import Textiles into the US

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 01:04:28 +0000

Textiles products have the benefit of inexpensive overseas production sources as well as a large US market demand and can be a highly profitable and popular import commodity. Due to the over-saturation of overseas textile manufacturers and the US socio-political agenda, however, the United States has developed a complicated system designed to regulate the importation […]

How to Import – Internet Purchases, Quota

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 01:04:02 +0000

Many kinds of goods imported for commercial use may be subject to a quota limit. It is the classification number of the article as identified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States and the country of origin that determine whether or not an item is subject to quota requirements. In some cases, the […]

How to Import a Car to the US

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 01:03:35 +0000

The following provides information concerning the importation of a passenger car, truck, trailer, motorcycle, moped, bus, or MPV built to comply with the standards of a country other than the U.S. or Canada.� Importers of motor vehicles must file form HS-7 (available at ports of entry) at the time a vehicle is imported to declare […]

Harmonized Tariff Schedule: How to Read the Tariffs

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 01:02:36 +0000

Save on import brokerage fees by downloading the US Harmonized Tariff Schedule and determining your product’s classification before you import. The Harmonized Tariff Schedule is broken into two major parts: notes and classification. The notes portion of the HTS comprises approximately one fourth to one fifth of the Tariff Schedule. It contains rules of classification, […]

General Rules of Interpretation: How to Interpret the Tariff

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 01:01:38 +0000

Save on import brokerage fees by downloading the US Harmonized Tariff Schedule and determining your product’s classification before you import. General Rules of Interpretation The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI’s) outline the method used to determine a product’s classification. They also address special scenarios wherein a final classification may be difficult to determine. The General […]

How Much Does it Cost to Import?

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 00:59:38 +0000

Importers are expected to pay an import tax on virtually every item they import, but few know how much they owe until their shipments arrive in the US. Many importers are overcharged by US Customs at the border because they did not purchase a copy of the US Harmonized Tariff Schedule and properly classify their […]

Where are you from?

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 19:52:41 +0000

This website gets visitors from all over the world! Presumably, they’re all interested in international trade, import/export, or government compliance, but we don’t know for sure. If you’re visiting us for the first time, or if you’re a regular, please take a moment to share your experiences about your country, importing, exporting and trading in […]

UN Development Business

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 08:05:01 +0000

UN Development Business is an official publication of the Outreach Division of the Department of Public Information of the United Nations. The publication specializes in the dissemination of information on projects in the developing countries and economies in transition, funded by the following multilateral banks: The World Bank, The Inter-American Development Bank, The Caribbean Development […]

PMDTC: Political Military Defense Trade Controls

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 08:04:43 +0000

The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, in accordance with 22 U.S.C. 2778-2780 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) (22 C.F.R. Parts 120-130), is charged with controlling the export and temporary import of defense articles and defense services covered by the United […]

ITA: International Trade Administration

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 08:04:29 +0000

The International Trade Administration (ITA) is the lead unit for trade in the Department of Commerce. It promotes U.S. exports of manufactured goods, nonagricultural commodities and services. ITA: International Trade Administration

FAS: Foreign Agricultural Service

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 08:04:17 +0000

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) works to improve foreign market access for U.S. products. FAS operates programs designed to build new markets and improve the competitive position of U.S. agriculture in the global marketplace. FAS: Foreign Agricultural Service

DoS: Department of State

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 08:04:02 +0000

The Department of State and Agency for International Development (USAID) Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2004 to 2009 sets forth the Secretary of State’s direction and priorities for both organizations in the coming years. The Strategic Plan supports the policy positions set forth by President Bush in the National Security Strategy and presents how the […]

US Customs and Border Protection

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 08:03:46 +0000

The priority mission of CBP is to prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States.This important mission calls for improved security at America’s borders and ports of entry as well as for extending our zone of security beyond our physical borders – so that American borders are the last line of defense, not […]

BIS: Bureau of Industry and Security

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 08:03:25 +0000

The mission of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is to advance U.S. national security, foreign policy, and economic interests. BIS’s activities include regulating the export of sensitive goods and technologies in an effective and efficient manner; enforcing export control, antiboycott, and public safety laws; cooperating with and assisting other countries on export control […]

What is OGA?

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 08:02:26 +0000

Question What is OGA? Answer The term OGA refers to Other Government Agency. Part of the mission of US Customs is to regulate and apply duty to incoming shipments which will enter the commerce of the United States. All imports are subject to the import requirements of US Customs, but some products face additional regulations […]

What is AMS?

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 08:02:07 +0000

Question What is AMS? Answer Automated Manifest System (AMS) The Automated Manifest System (AMS) is a multi-modular cargo inventory control and release notification system. AMS interfaces directly with Customs Cargo Selectivity and In-Bond systems, and indirectly with ABI, allowing faster identification and release of low risk shipments. AMS speeds the flow of cargo and entry […]

What is a Line Release?

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 08:01:50 +0000

Question What is a Line Release? Answer The answer to this question lies in 19CFR142.41, subpart D which states: Sec. 142.41 Line Release. Line Release is an automated system designed to release and tract repetitive shipments. It is a method of entry or immediate delivery extended to importers of merchandise which Customs deems to be […]

What is Transshipment?

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 08:01:28 +0000

Transshipment is the act of shipping goods to an intermediate destination prior to reaching their ultimate end-use. Transshipment is a common practice with logistic benefits, but can be used to illegitimately to disguise country of origin or intent of the goods. Transshipment is commonly used by smugglers and terrorists seeking to disguise the point of […]

Online Contracts and Digital Signatures

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 08:00:59 +0000

Question Is there a good way to reduce the amount of paperwork involved in online contracts? My agreements are generally very simple and go out to overseas suppliers and vendors. Setting up a new vendor can cost us close to a hundred dollars in courier fees to get the dcouments signed. Answer My suggestion is […]

What’s an Inbond Transit (I.T.) Number?

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 08:00:41 +0000

Normally when freight arrives in the US, a Customs entry is filed at the port of arrival. If it comes into Los Angeles, it is Customs cleared in Los Angeles (all import freight must be approved by US Customs before it can be released into the commerce of the US). Sometimes however, it is beneficial […]

What is a General Order Warehouse?

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:59:51 +0000

Importers bringing merchandise into the United States for consumption must place their goods in a bonded facility while entry is filed with Customs. Goods remaining in a bonded facility for fifteen calendar days without an entry filed will be moved to a Customs approved, GO (General Order) bonded warehouse. There the goods will remain for […]

Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:59:34 +0000

Question What’s the maximum amount of money Customs can fine a person for negligence in importing (if the circumstances were not disclosed beforehand to Customs)? Answer According to 19 CFR 162.73(a)(3)(ii), an importer can be penalized 20% of the dutiable value of the goods. Question Are fines with Customs set in stone? Do they have […]


Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:56:56 +0000

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) today released its report examining the export potential of, and trade barriers faced by, sub-Saharan African countries eligible for trade preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, conducted the investigation at the request of the United States Trade Representative […]


Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:56:28 +0000

This is the first time this dangerous Beetle has been found in the United States MIAMI U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for ensuring that no intruders enter the United States undetected. This includes intruders of the six-legged variety. On March 1, 2006, CBP Agriculture Specialists were conducting an inspection of merchandise arriving […]

United States – Canada partnering in the container security initiative

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:56:07 +0000

October 20, 2005, Washington, D.C. Today, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Robert C. Bonner and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) President Alain Jolicoeur signed a Container Security Initiative (CSI) partnership arrangement to move forward on the commitment of both countries to securing North American trade. “The United States and Canada have implemented […]

Ultimate Consignee Reporting Requirements

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:55:53 +0000

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has for many years allowed different parties to be identified as the Ultimate Consignee for shipments of imported merchandise. This is largely due to concerns expressed by some entry filers over the difficulty in obtaining the correct Ultimate Consignee identification number at the time of entry or release. The […]

Wood Packaging Materials (WPM)

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:55:34 +0000

In a final rule published in the Federal Register on September 16, 2004, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) amended its regulations with the goal of decreasing the risk of introducing plant pests into the United States. USDA has adopted the international standard for wood packaging material (WPM) that was approved by the International Plant […]

CBP ensures pest-free flowers for Valentine’s Day

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:55:20 +0000

Agriculture Specialists keep imported flowers free of insects, pests, and diseases U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists are making sure that the bouquet of flowers you order for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day is free from insects, pests and diseases that could harm the agricultural and floral industries in the United States. Whether […]

Salalah, Oman Becomes 43rd Container Security Initiative Port

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:55:04 +0000

Washington, D.C. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the government of Oman announced that the Port of Salalah today becomes the 43rd operational Container Security Initiative (CSI) port to target and pre-screen maritime cargo containers for terrorists and terrorist weapons destined for U.S. ports. CBP and the government of Oman signed the declaration of […]


Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:54:50 +0000

Washington, D.C. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has seized more than $10 million (over the last four months) in goods that were misdescribed in an effort to circumvent trade laws and regulations. CBP plays a critical role in enforcing trade laws and ensuring that appropriate revenue is collected. Many different schemes are used to […]


Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:54:21 +0000

The Department of Commerce today announced that industry experts in automotive, information technology and healthcare will be posted in Michigan, California and Maine, respectively, to more effectively focus on the specific needs of these industries. “The best way to take the pulse of industry is to send our experts into the field where professionals encounter […]

FAST Truck Driver Requirements Effective November 15, 2004

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:54:06 +0000

On August 15, 2004, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published the “Required Advance Electronic Presentation of Cargo Information” for importers, carriers, and commercial truck drivers to meet the requirements of the Trade Act of 2002. This notice is to inform truck carriers when they will be required to transmit advance electronic cargo information to […]

Documents Needed by US Citizens for Travel Abroad

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:53:52 +0000

For travel within the Western Hemisphere, (Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central and South America) Valid US Passport or Certified copy of their birth certificate or record of baptism accompanied by a picture ID – Driver’s license, State ID card, or Military ID. For travel outside the Western Hemisphere A US Passport is required. Other documents that […]

Commerce Under Secretary Aldonas Launches New Tools to Help U.S. Small and Medium-size Exporters Take Advantage of China’s Growing Market

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:53:38 +0000

BEIJING, China – In China with a delegation of U.S. manufacturers led by National Association of Manufacturers president Jerry Jasinowski, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Grant Aldonas today unveiled new tools to help U.S. companies expand exports to China’s growing market – the China Business Information Center, American Trade Centers and the Global […]

Updates and Changes to the US Harmonized Tariff Schedule

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:53:19 +0000

The US International Trade Commission updates the Harmonized Tariff Schedule on a yearly basis to reflect new legislation, trade practices, and adjusted tariff rates. In addition to yearly updates, interim updates are published throughout the year to reflect current international trade standards and practices. Effective September 1, 2006 the following major changes have been made […]

India: Removal of Indian Entity and Revision in License Review Policy for Certain Indian Entities; and a Clarification

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:52:39 +0000

BUREAU OF INDUSTRY AND SECURITY (BIS) F.R. ORDER India: Removal of Indian Entity and Revision in License Review Policy for Certain Indian Entities; and a Clarification “On January 12, 2004, President George W. Bush announced the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership with India. The proposed cooperation outlined in the NSSP will progress through a series […]

Termination of Emergency Declared in Executive Order 12543 With Respect to the Policies and Actions of the Government of Libya and Revocation of Related Executive

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:52:25 +0000

OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL (OFAC) F.R. ORDERS Termination of Emergency Declared in Executive Order 12543 With Respect to the Policies and Actions of the Government of Libya and Revocation of Related Executive [Presidential Document] “… I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that the situation that gave rise to […]

Remarks by the President in Address to the United Nations General Assembly

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:52:09 +0000

United Nations Headquarters, New York, New York September 21, 2004 Released by the White House Office of the Press Secretary 11:00 A.M. EDT PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. Secretary General, Mr. President, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen: Thank you for the honor of addressing this General Assembly. The American people respect the idealism that gave life to […]

President’s FY 2005 Narcotics Certification

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:51:45 +0000

Robert Charles, Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Statement on Narcotics Certification Washington, DC September 16, 2004 Yesterday, President Bush sent to Congress the “Majors List” and his annual determinations on narcotics certification for fiscal year 2005. This year’s “Majors List” is comprised of 22 countries. They are: Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, […]

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Responds to Mediterranean Fruit Fly Detection in Tijuana

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:51:25 +0000

(Friday, September 24, 2004) Detection and confirmation of adult U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Department of Agricultures Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS) have implemented emergency interim measures at all land border ports in California, Arizona, New Mexico and in El Paso, Texas. The Medfly, one of the most destructive […]

Missing CBP Border Patrol Agents Located

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:51:11 +0000

Los Indios, Texas – It is with deep regret that the McAllen Border Patrol Sector announces that on Tuesday, September 21, 2004, at approximately 1:30 a.m., joint recovery operations lead by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol agents succeeded in locating the body of Senior Patrol Agent Travis W. Attaway. Searchers located his […]

Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism Reaches Major Milestone With Over 7,000 Members

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:50:58 +0000

(Tuesday, September 21, 2004) WASHINGTON, D.C. U. S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Robert C. Bonner announced today that the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) has reached a major milestone with over 7,000 members making it the largest voluntary partnership between government and the private sector in United States’ history. C-TPAT was launched in November […]

Factsheet: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Actions Taken Since 9/11

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:50:42 +0000

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is addressing the terrorist threat 24-hours a day. We have a multi-layered approach that encompasses working with our foreign counterparts, employing intelligence, technology, advanced information in the field and the most professional workforce worldwide. We are aware of the terrorist threat and are evolving hourly to face it and keep […]

Stowaway Found During Required Sweep of Cargo Ship

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:50:19 +0000

(Thursday, September 16, 2004) WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Coast Guard assisted U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with the apprehension of a stowaway on board the Antiguan-flagged, 315-foot motor vessel Due to the high frequency of stowaways attempting to enter the United States illegally, all vessels traveling here from the Dominican Republic are […]

U.S. Customs and Border Protection New Import Technology Simplifies Duty Collection

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:50:04 +0000

(Monday, September 20, 2004) Washington, D.C. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Robert C. Bonner today announced the success of a pilot that will allow CBP to collect duties and fees on a monthly basis. In the first three months, nearly $32 million were collected from importers and brokers using the monthly statement and […]

CBP Border Patrol Arrest Three Wanted For Murder In Colorado

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:49:47 +0000

(Wednesday, September 15, 2004) Marfa, Texas – Vigilance and good police work by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol agents resulted in the arrest of three people sought for questioning in a double homicide in Colorado. The trio were stopped and arrested yesterday morning at the Border Patrol’s Immigration Checkpoint on Interstate 10 […]

Detector Dog Teams Receive Explosive Training

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:49:29 +0000

(Tuesday, September 14, 2004) WASHINGTON, D.C. Beginning September 7, 2004, the U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP) Canine Enforcement Training Center, often called the Ivy League of Canine Enforcement Training Centers, in full partnership of Homeland Security, started the training of new explosive detector dog teams for the U.S. Coast Guard. Instructors assigned to the […]

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Vows a Total Commitment to Professionalism

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:49:17 +0000

(Thursday, August 26, 2004) Washington, D.C. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Robert C. Bonner today announced an initiative to ensure that the agency and its personnel practice the highest of standards in professionalism. The CBP Professionalism Initiative calls for a total commitment to exemplary conduct in providing services to travelers, as well […]

CBP Border Patrol Interdicts Tractor-Trailer at County Checkpoint

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:48:58 +0000

Agents at the 86 Traffic Checkpoint, located approximately 8 miles north of Westmoreland, California, encountered the 1997 Peterbuilt tractor-trailer around 4:00 AM Sunday morning. Immediately keying in on suspicious details concerning the trucks manifest, the primary inspection agent sent the truck and driver to secondary inspection. During secondary inspection, 64 illegal occupants were discovered locked […]

US Gem Importing – How to Import Gems to the US – Classifications

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:43:22 +0000

Below are most of the initial HTS classification categories that precious stones and gems will fall into. 68042100.–Millstones, grindstones, grinding wheels and the like, nesoi, of agglomerated synthetic or natural diamond–01/01/1999 68042100.–Millstones, grindstones, grinding wheels and the like, nesoi, of agglomerated synthetic or natural diamond–01/01/1999 70181020.–Glass imitation precious or semiprecious stones (except beads)–01/01/1999 71021000.–Diamonds, unsorted, […]

US Gem Importing – How to Import Diamonds and Gems to the US

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:42:55 +0000

Diamonds, gems, and gemstones are a highly sought after commodity available from a variety of regions around the world. Due to the number of locations where stones are available, the high value of gemstones and their limited availability, they are often subject to very high US duty rates and stringent import regulations. If you are […]

How to Import – Internet Purchases, Restricted Merchandise

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:42:37 +0000

Many items cannot be imported into the United States unless the importer has the proper permit or license from the appropriate regulatory authority. Some of the most common restricted items include food, plant and dairy products; alcohol and tobacco products; birds, fish or animals and products thereof, goods from embargoed countries, firearms and ammunition, cultural […]

How to Import – Internet Purchases, Prohibited Merchandise

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:42:13 +0000

Purchasers should also be aware that some products might be considered contraband and cannot be brought into the United States under any circumstances. This includes the obvious, such as narcotics and child pornography, as well as less obvious items such as tainted food products, and other items, a list of which can be found in […]

How to Import – Internet Purchases, Personal vs. Commercial Use

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:41:58 +0000

Many import regulations only apply to goods imported for commercial – business or resale – purposes. For instance, most goods imported for personal use are not subject to quota. The one exception to this is made-to-measure suits from Hong Kong, which are subject to quota restrictions regardless of the use they are imported for. On […]

How to Import – Internet Purchases, Informal Entries

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:41:42 +0000

If the value of your purchase(s) is less than $2000 and your goods are being shipped by mail or freight, they may, in most cases, be imported as an informal entry. However, there are exceptions to this. For instance, if the importation is determined to be for commercial purposes, the value limit for filing an […]

How to Import – Internet Purchases, Heads-Up

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:41:26 +0000

Customs does not inform importers of the arrival of cargo or freight. When cargo or freight arrives at a U.S. port of entry, it is the responsibility of the shipper or a designated agent to inform the importer of its arrival. However, proper notification does not always happen, particularly, if the shipper has incomplete contact […]

How to Import – Internet Purchases, Postal Service, Couriers and Freight

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:41:12 +0000

There are three ways goods can be sent to you from abroad. In order to avoid costly problems, you and the seller of your goods should agree on which will be used the international postal service, a courier service, or freight carriers. International Postal Service: Merchandise shipped through the international postal service is forwarded upon […]

How to Import – Internet Purchases, Formal Entries

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:40:54 +0000

If your goods are valued at more than $2000, or for commercial textile shipments (clothes/materials) regardless of value, you will be required to file a formal entry, which can require extensive paperwork and the filing of a Customs bond. As mentioned above and for various reasons, Customs may require a formal entry for any importation. […]

How to Import – Internet Purchases, For Commercial Purposes

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:40:39 +0000

Goods imported for commercial purposes must comply with a variety of special requirements, such as marking of country of origin, which vary depending upon the particular commodity. Please see our publication, “Importing Into the United States,” for more detailed information. Be particularly aware that an invoice should always accompany commercial shipments.

How to Import – Internet Purchases, Exporting

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:40:24 +0000

If you are sending goods to someone outside the United States, you should be aware that most countries have similar regulations governing the importation of goods into their territory. If you are selling goods on a “Payment on Delivery” basis, you might want to contact the Customs authority of the country where the goods are […]

How to Import – Internet Purchases, Customs Declarations

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:40:07 +0000

All paperwork for sending packages internationally has a section for providing Customs information. A Customs Declaration is a form obtainable at most foreign post offices. This declaration form should include a full and accurate description of the merchandise, and should be securely attached to the outside of your shipment. Declaration forms vary from country to […]

How to Import – Internet Purchases, Checklist

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:38:56 +0000

Keep the following questions in mind before you buy something from a foreign source. The answers will have far-reaching Customs implications (explained below) that could influence your decision to buy. Can the goods be legally imported? Are there restrictions on, or special forms required, for your purchase’s importation? Are you buying the item(s) for your […]

How to Import – Internet Purchases, Your Responsibility and Liability

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:38:34 +0000

The Internet has made it easy to find and purchase items from almost anywhere in the world. However, many people are discovering that getting a foreign-bought item successfully delivered to the United States is much more complicated. When goods move from any foreign country to the United States, they are being IMPORTED. There are specific […]

How to Import from China

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:38:03 +0000

China is one of the most rapidly developing global players in the international economy. With a population in excess of 1.3 billion, approximately four times the size of the United States and geographically similar in size, China has been described as a sleeping giant of international trade. In 2005 China claimed and estimated 752 trillion […]

How to Get an Import License

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:37:45 +0000

A common mistake made by new importers is the assumption that they’ll need a special license to import goods into the United States. There is a great deal of confusion over this issue for several reasons: In some cases and with certain types of goods, an import license is required. Examples include alcohol, tobacco, firearms, […]

General Rules of Interpretation: How to Interpret the Tariff

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:37:22 +0000

The General Rules of Interpretation can be found online here. General Rules of Interpretation The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) outline the method used to determine a products classification. They also address special scenarios wherein a final classification may be difficult to determine. The General Rules of Interpretation below have been taken verbatim from the […]

Choosing a Customs Attorney

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:36:29 +0000

Choosing an attorney to represent you on matters of international trade can be a difficult decision. When choosing a lawyer to represent you, it can be difficult to subjectively rank them according to specific criteria. The following questions are designed to assist you in choosing an International Trade Attorney. General “How many years of experience […]

What is a Freight Forwarder?

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:34:51 +0000

An international freight forwarder is an agent for the exporter in moving cargo to an overseas destination. These agents are familiar with the import rules and regulations of foreign countries, the export regulations of the U.S. government, the methods of shipping, and the documents related to foreign trade. Export freight forwarders are licensed by the […]

Export Partners

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:31:52 +0000

Sales Representatives Overseas, a sales representative is the equivalent of a manufacturer’s representative in the United States. The representative uses the company’s product literature and samples to present the product to potential buyers. A representative usually handles many complementary lines that do not conflict. The sales representative usually works on a commission basis, assumes no […]

Trade Leads Resources

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:31:34 +0000 Trade Leads Database View announcements from qualified international companies looking to source U.S. products and services and advertise government tender projects through our trade leads database. All of our trade leads are pre-screened by our U.S. embassy or consulate staff overseas and are provided as a free service for U.S. exporters. International Trade Opportunities […]

Approaches to Exporting

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:31:09 +0000

Direct Exporting In this approach, the exporter handles every aspect of the exporting process from market research to foreign distribution and collections. A significant commitment of management time and attention is required, but this approach can maximize profits and sales growth. Most Direct Exporters take advantage of one or more sales and distribution channels in […]

NAICS Definitions – 42 Wholesalers Trade

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 06:21:57 +0000

The Wholesalers Trade sector comprises establishments engaged in wholesaling merchandise, generally without transformation, and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise. The wholesaling process is an intermediate step in the distribution of merchandise. Wholesalers are organized to sell or arrange the purchase or sale of (a) goods for resale (i.e., goods sold to other […]

The 5 Percent Myth vs. US Customs and Border Protection Reality

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 06:21:38 +0000

Myth: 95-percent of the containers that come into the ports are not inspected. Summary of Reality: The 95-percent figure is misleading and falsely implies that we do nothing to inspect cargo containers arriving at our seaports. We use intelligence to review information on 100 % of cargo entering our ports, and all cargo that presents […]


Mon, 12 Nov 2007 06:21:06 +0000

Washington, D.C. The number of companies certified to file electronic manifests (e-Manifests) with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) tripled this week, from 41 to 126 companies. There are currently 113 truck carriers and 15 service bureaus certified to use EDI to file e-Manifests. “This puts adoption of the e-Manifest […]


Mon, 12 Nov 2007 06:20:50 +0000

Washington, D.C. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) targeted approximately 40 shipments at the Buffalo Port of Entry during January 2006. CBP Import Specialists and CBP officers participated in a two-week blitz targeting textile and wearing apparel merchandise coming into the United States by truck from Canada. Significant violations discovered during this special enforcement operation […]

State Department Questions

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 06:20:31 +0000

Considering the following: You have an approved MLA with a foreign company to manufacture certain components of a system. Upon receipt and testing of the initial batch of these components, you find that several of them are defective and need to be returned to the foreign company for repair and return to the United States. […]

State Department Questions

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 06:20:15 +0000

Can country A re-transfer to country B a defense article obtained from an U.S. company or person? Yes, provided country A obtains in advance the written approval of the U.S. Department of State. What is a Technical Assistance Agreement (TAA)? A TAA is an agreement between an U.S. entity and a foreign person (government, industry, […]

State Department Questions

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 06:19:56 +0000

If I have some technical data that I’d like to place in the public domain, how can I do it? By obtaining approval by the cognizant U.S. Government department or agency, or the DoDs Directorate for Freedom of Information and Security Review. How can I tell if a piece of information is really technical data? […]