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Customs Clearance

How to Import to the US

Air Express or Air Courier (Ex. DHL/FedEx/UPS)

  1. Most of the time, for cargo under $200 USD, the courier will take it upon themselves to clear the shipment with no further documentation.
  2. It is possible they will ask for documentation so please be prepared for that.
  3. For cargo valued at less than $2500 (informal entry for most products), you will need to ask your supplier to send the shipment DDP (Delivery Duty Paid).  Basically, the supplier will be the importer of record and will send the cargo direct to your door without you, the importer, dealing with any customs paperwork.  Most suppliers will not go this route.
  4. Another option is that the air courier can batch clear the cargo under their name and you will not be required to use a broker to clear customs and you will not need a Power of Attorney or a Customs Bond.  Air couriers are under special regulations from customs so this makes it possible to clear for you, the importer, but it’s on a discretionary measure.  It is suggested that you have the supplier send DAP (Delivered At Place) or DDU (Delivery Duty Unpaid) and the air courier will clear the shipment as long as it is a low risk shipment.  A bill for customs fees and duty will most likely be billed to EZ-Prep and if this is the case, please note that this fee will be billed back to you.  (A copy of the fees will be included for your reference)
Air Cargo
  1. Any value will require a customs broker.  You will need to find a customs broker and fill out a signed Power of Attorney.  From there the customs broker will be able to conduct customs business on the importers behalf.  A company EIN# or a SS# will be required and that number will be your importer number.  A single entry bond (or you can purchase an annual bond which covers the entire year) will be required for entry into the US.
    *Please find Power of Attorney Form link on this web page should you choose to use us as your customs broker*
  2. When the shipment arrives, the airline will send the importer and notify party (ie. Broker or Freight forwarder) an arrival notice and a bill of lading.  Once these documents, along with the invoice and packing list are received, the broker can then clear customs.
Sea Cargo
  1. Any value will require a customs broker.  You will need to find a customs broker and fill out a signed Power of Attorney and from there the customs broker will be able to conduct customs business on the importers behalf.  A company EIN# or a SS# will be required and that number will be your importer number.  A single entry bond (or you can purchase an annual bond which covers the entire year) will be required for entry into the US.
    *Find a link to our Power of Attorney Form on this web page should you choose to use us as your customs broker*
  2. A major difference between Air Cargo and Sea Cargo is that, Sea Cargo requires an ISF (Import Security Filing).  This must be filed at least 48 hrs prior to the vessel’s departure.  Please make sure you receive the ISF from your supplier or your cargo will be penalized by up to $5000 USD.  A customs broker, freight forwarder, the supplier or the importer can file ISF (although a specific software program is required).
    *ISF form attached on the forms section of this page should you choose us to file the ISF for you*
  3. ISF Bond will be required (Unless an annual bond is purchased).
  4. Once ISF is filed, and the vessel is on its way, the freight forwarder will send the importer and notify party an Arrival Notice and Bill of Lading.  Once these documents, along with the invoice and packing list are received, the broker can then clear customs.
Air or Sea Cargo
  1. US Customs requires a US Based Ultimate Consignee.  It is defined as the party in the United States, to whom the overseas shipper sold the imported merchandise.  If at the time of entry or release, the imported merchandise has not been sold, then the Ultimate Consignee at the time of entry or release is defined as the party in the United States to whom the overseas shipper consigned the imported merchandise.  If the merchandise has not been sold or consigned to a U.S. party at the time of entry or release, then the Ultimate Consignee at the time of entry or release is defined as the proprietor of the U.S. premises to which the merchandise is to be delivered.
  2. EZ-Prep can be the Ultimate Consignee on your behalf, but we will not act as the importer of record (unless arrangements have been made before shipment was made).  Our EIN# can be used at our discretion.  If you would like EZ-Prep to be the Ultimate Consignee, please let us know and we will give you specific instructions on how to go about doing this.
Document Instructions

Air Courier, Air Express Shipments, Air Cargo and Sea Shipments

  1. Commercial Invoice and Packing list will indicate that your company and only your company as the buyer or importer of record.  You can have them state our name and address as the delivery party only.
  2. Have your supplier list your company as the receiver/consignee on the airway bill and have them use EZ-Prep as the C/O (in care of party) with our address.  For Example:

Example Company, Inc.
C/O EZ-Prep
16804 Gridley Place, Suite B
Cerritos, CA 90703

Forms & References

Forms
  1. Power of Attorney Form – click here
  2. ISF (Import Security Filing) Form – click here

Port Codes
  1. Air Express, Air Courier and Air Cargo – LAX, Port Code 2720
  2. Sea Cargo – Long Beach Port 2704
Special Commodity Requirements

Please note that certain commodities require special licenses and/or special OGA (other government agency) requirements.  Please make sure you know these requirements or you can always ask us for classifications of your product to see if any of them require any special treatment.