FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


Answer: A Customs Brokers can make entry on behalf of the Importer. The Broker can arrange your documents, classify the various goods imported, make sure that both the freight and the entry are in compliance with the Federal Agencies, transmit the information to CBP and other government agencies electronically via ABI and calculate all duties and taxes due to be paid to the Federal Agency, as well as submitting the duties and final paperwork to CBP timely, so the Importer avoids penalties.
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Answer: As per Customs Regulations, we must have your permission to act on your behalf.
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Answer: Yes. Your SSN or EIN is the way the government identifies you from other Importers.
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Answer: We must have a foreign invoice, packing list, and Bill of Lading or Airway Bill. Arrival information can be obtained prior to arrival. This is the only way to perform a proper customs clearance.
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Answer: Documents are reviewed, the commodity has been classified and the entry has been properly arranged, submitted to CBP. Once CBP approves, they place a “Delivery Authorized” stamp on the CF3461 document and returns it to the Import or the broker. In some cases, CBP allows a broker to release.
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Answer: A Customs Bond is a financial guaranty between 3 parties: the Importer, the surety Company and CBP. Failure to comply or pay CBP by the Importer, will result in damages that can be paid by the surety. Any shipment over $1,000.00 or filed by a Broker must have a surety bond. For exceptions, please contact our office.
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Answer: Bill of Lading (aka, B/L) or an Airway Bill (AWB) are the legal travel document for the freight, used by the Foreign Shipper or their Agent. B/L is used for sea shipments and AWB are used for air shipments.
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Answer: ISF or “Import Security Filing, is mandatory to be filed for all ocean shipments, beginning 01/26/2009. Failure to file prior to the departure date for the U.S., can results in a $5,000.00 fine.
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Answer: An ISF must be filed to avoid Customs hold upon arrival. Please contact us urgently if you do not have a confirmation of an ISF filing. Late filing can be subject to a Customs Penalty of $5,000.00.
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Answer: To date, the only way to file an ISF is through a broker in the U.S. Please read the section on ISF Filings.
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Answer: You may file your own entry, if you like. If you’ve never shipped goods before or the procedure seems complicated or confusing, then I would definitely suggest using us as your broker. Using our services can save you time and money.
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Answer: We are a “Full Service Broker”. We can explain how the procedure works. Give us a call.
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Answer: If you choose to perform your own entry, you must handle the issue. We can offer consulting services, to assist you with addressing the issue. Give us a call.
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Answer: The warehouse must be paid for making your freight available and loading it onto the delivery vehicle.
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Answer: CBP does not tell us why they want to examine freight. No, you are not allowed to watch, for safety purposes.
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Answer: We hope to avoid these type of situations by filing entries 5 days In advance for sea, 48 hours for air. No Federal agency can be held responsible for payments due to late exams.
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Answer: Yes, we can arrange delivery almost anywhere in the U.S., District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
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Answer: 99% of the trucker will only delivery Monday – Fridays, 7:30-5:00 p.m., but there are a few that may consider weekend deliveries. Keep in mind this would be considered a specialty move and can cost more. Also, the freight must be picked up by Friday.
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Answer: Although processing time varies, CBP will usually determine either release or exam, within 48 hours of the entry being submitted.
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Answer: The date of Arrival is “estimated” and can vary for several reasons. Answers are given per shipment, via “status update” that we give you.
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Answer: What you pay is based upon the shipping route the foreign freight forwarder chooses. You should ask for a “Through Rate” to the final Port of Delivery, and ask for a breakdown of charges prior to shipping.
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Answer: For sea shipments, the time will end at 5 p.m. on the 5th calendar day of arrival, air shipments are 48 hrs.
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Answer: We take a proactive approach to avoid this issue. If free time has expired, you will be responsible for any storage (demurrage) fees.
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Answer: Government charges (aka “Customs Duty”) is due 10 working days from the day o f release.
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Answer: Failure to pay duty timely (10 working days post release date), can and will result in a penalty from CBP, starting at $1,000.00. But, you must late file and pay the duty first.
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Answer: Release issued by the U.S. Freight Agent which indicates they’ve been paid and the original Bill of Lading was either an express, or the original has been received by the Agent.
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Answer: No, you cannot avoid, cancel or postpone an exam. You can my talk to CBP but I do not recommend taking this course. Full participation with CBP requests is the best course of action.
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