A Comprehensive Guide to Importing Goods in the US

Importing goods to the US can be very challenging due to the multiple steps involved in the process. Irrespective of the type of goods, anything imported into the US must go through a lot of documentation, import laws, and duty taxes.

However, if every step and law is followed accordingly, moving the goods into the US does not take much time. Here is the complete process of how one can import goods into the US.

  • A buyer or importer in the US purchases the required goods, and the goods are transported to them through verified modes of shipment.
  • The shipper gets the lading bill that also acts as a receipt. This bill is also an entry document with Customs and Border Protection.
  • 24 hours before the cargo is loaded on the required vessel, the CBP has to be notified about it. This helps the CBP determine whether the goods coming need to be examined or not.
  • Once the shipment arrives, the CBP approves the clearance while the containers are stored at the shipyard.
  • The importer must now file the entry document with the CBP. This document is a formal request to the customs office to release the shipment. It can be done individually, or a licensed customs broker can be hired.
  • The required documents need to be filed in the Automated Commercial Environment System. This filing has to be done within fifteen days of the arrival of the goods.
  • The CBP would examine the shipment if it needs to be. CBP has the right to seize the goods if any inconsistency is found.
  • If the shipment is cleared for entry, the summary documents must be filed to the customs office within the next ten days. 
  • After completing the paperwork, the importer can pick up their goods from the designated spot.
  • In some rare cases, the CBP might issue a review. In this review, the importer might be asked to deposit additional duties or documents, or even refunds of duties can be made.
  • The liquidation must be done, which is the final step of the process. Here, CBP does a thorough duty assessment against the goods imported.
  • Once all these steps are completed, the entry is approved. However, all the related documents must be stored for at least five years.

With this easy US importing guide, you can easily import legal goods in the US without any hassles from the customs.