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RELATED ARTICLES

Blank Packing List Template

Use this packing list template to make sure your supplier has provided all the information needed to clear a shipment through Customs.

Packing List (PL)

A Packing List is a document used for Customs declaration. Accurate documentation may help avoid a Customs exam.

Anti-dumping Duties (AD)

Anti-dumping duties is a type of product duties assessed by U.S. Customs.

Customs Exam Fee

If your products are pulled for a U.S. Customs exam, you are liable for any applicable fees. These can run from $80 to more than $1,000, depending...

Help CenterCustoms and Compliance

Customs and Compliance

Frequently asked questions about Customs, compliance, and regulations.

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What is Limited Fiscal Representation (LFR)?

Limited Fiscal Representation (LFR) allows importers who are bringing goods into one EU member state but selling those goods in another EU member state to import without paying VAT (Value Added Tax) at the time of import. What's the...

Blank Packing List Template

Our customs team needs a complete and accurate packing list in order to clear your shipment for import. We have provided a blank packing list template below to give to your manufacturer if they are unsure of what information needs to be...

Duty Increases on Select Steel and Aluminum Products, March 2018

On March 23, 2018, CBP implemented duty increases on certain steel and aluminum products imported into the United States. The tariff increase is set at 25 percent for selected steel products, and 10 percent for selected aluminum products....

How Can I Prevent Customs Exams?

There’s nothing you can do to guarantee that your shipment won’t be pulled for an X-ray, Tail Gate, or Intensive exam, because U.S. Customs selects shipments at random. However, it is possible to minimize the risk of a Customs exam by:...

Who Pays for Customs Exams?

All costs associated with customs exams are the responsibility of the importer. These costs may include exam fees, service fees, transportation costs, and storage costs. See Customs Exam Fee for more information. How are LCL shipments...

Importing into the EU: FAQs

To import into the EU with Flexport, companies will need to have an importer of record, an EORI number, and a VAT number. Importer of Record In most countries in the EU (European Union), the importer of record (IOR) needs to be...

Importing into the EU: Customs Duties

Importers to the European Union (EU) will be responsible for paying customs duties determined by the imported product’s classification code. See below for more information on EU classification codes, how to determine your product’s...

Can I Use Wood Pallets and Packaging?

Yes, but if you are planning on using wooden pallets or wooden packaging, make sure that they have been fumigated and stamped by your supplier. Wooden pallets and packaging need an IPCC (International Plant Protection Convention) stamp,...

Why Aren't Customs Costs Included in My Quote?

The quote that your Flexport team will share with you does not include customs-related costs, because the total cost of customs is unknown at the time of quoting. The following customs charges are not included in your quote, but may...

How Do I Estimate Customs Duties?

Import customs duties are not included in your Flexport quote, but you can estimate them using the HTS Code of your product: 1. Enter your HTS Code in the HTS Search bar: You can also use Flexport's duty rate calculator to look up...

Types of Customs Holds and Exams: In Detail

Customs used to be solely focused on preventing smuggling or misvaluation. However, since 9/11, Customs is now additionally responsible for protecting the country and monitoring security risks. As a result, Customs pulls more shipments...

Importing Coffee into the United States

Coffee shipments into the US involve three government agencies: US Customs & Border Protection (CBP), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and US Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Listed below you will find information for each agency...

How Do I Know the HTS Code of My Product?

Your supplier may have provided you with the HTS Code, but if you don’t know the HTS Code of your product, you can try to determine the HTS Code using the HTS Search bar (shown below) or Flexport's HS Code Lookup Tool. Be aware that...

What’s the Difference Between a Customs Release (CBP Form 3461) and a Customs Entry (CBP Form 7501)?

We are often asked to compare the Customs Release (CBP Form 3461) vs the Customs Entry (CBP Form 7501). Here’s a quick breakdown to help clarify. 3461 – Customs Release – The document we initially submit electronically to Customs, unless...

FDA Clearance Basics: Food

1. Register with the FDA Prior to importation of your food shipment, you will need to register with the FDA. Both importers and food facilities in the relevant exporting countries must register. Importers can register with the FDA at...

Importing Wood Products Into the U.S.

The United States is the biggest consumer of wood products in the world, but there are many rules and regulations surrounding wood product imports. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) works to eliminate alien...

Importing Makeup and Cosmetics into the US

When importing makeup and cosmetics (such as beauty and skincare products) into the United States, it is important to be aware of the specific laws and regulations that apply. Flexport can help importers sort out these requirements, so...

Importing Alcohol Into the U.S.

Alcoholic beverages fall under the rulings of three agencies: the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the Federal Food and Drug Administration, and the Customs and Border Protection agency. Now, that’s not too bad for a product...

Importing Toys Into the U.S.

Toys, or children’s products, are defined as products designed for use by children aged 12 or younger. When importing children’s products, it is important to be aware of the wide-ranging and strict safety standards these products are held...

Importing 3D Printers Into the U.S.

As with most products, the key to importing 3D printers is correctly classifying them according to their Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HS) codes. The HS Code for a product determines its duty rate, applicable free trade agreements,...

Importing Tablets and Display Screens Into the U.S.

If you are planning on importing any device that is or consists of a tablet or a display screen, take heed of regulatory obstacles that might stand in your way.  Since both tablets and display screens often emit radio noise and small...

What Are Country of Origin Labeling Requirements?

These days, the label “Made in China” is everywhere.  This is actually a Customs requirement: all imported products must be marked with their country of origin.  Countries of origin are where products were manufactured, produced, or...

What Labeling Requirements Are There for Textiles?

Textile Marking Requirements As with all products imported into the United States, textile products must be marked with the country of origin prior to entering the U.S. to meet U.S. Customs’ labeling requirements.  The marking must...

Importing Laser Printers Into the U.S.

Laser printers use an electrostatic process to print high-resolution text and images to paper, essentially using a laser to attract electrostatically charged bits of ink to key points around a page. They are one of the most sophisticated...

Importing Water Bottles Into the U.S.

If you are looking to manufacture and import water bottles into the U.S., you should be aware that you will need to make a declaration to the FDA in addition to Customs, because water bottles come into contact with food.  This declaration...

Importing Sneakers into the U.S.

Sneakers, trainers, and tennis shoes make up a huge percentage of all footwear in the international market.  If you’re interested in importing sneakers, there are several things you should know before trying to bring a shipment of...

Importing Slippers Into the U.S.

One of the more commonly imported types of footwear is slippers. If you’d like to start importing slippers into the United States, there are several things you should be aware of first. The key to importing slippers is correctly...

Importing Boots Into the U.S.

There are several things you should know before you try to import boots into the U.S. The key to importing boots is proper classification according to their Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HS) codes. The HS Code for a product determines its...

What Are Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties?

Anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) are intended to protect the U.S. manufacturing industry from foreign manufacturers. Dumping occurs when foreign manufacturers sell goods in the U.S. at less than fair...

Importing From Canada Into the U.S.

Even though Canada borders the U.S., importing from Canada still comes with a multitude of requirements.  This means that when you place your order for that cool new product, get yourself prepared in advance to handle the import process –...

Importing Board Games Into the U.S.

Importing board games involves two types of requirements, depending on whether or not the game in question is meant for children. If the game is explicitly marketed towards adults, the process is simple: With the proper code from the...

Importing Headphones Into the U.S.

Headphones have experienced a consumer renaissance in recent years. If you're planning to bring the latest in personal audio technology into the US, there are a few things you should know. In order to get those goods through Customs, it’s...

Importing Wood Furniture Into the U.S.

If you’d like to import wooden furniture – for personal use or resale – you should know there are rules regarding importing wood, designed to protect the country against invasive species and the world against illegal logging. APHIS...

Importing Silk Fabric Into the U.S.

Since textiles can vary so widely in material and composition, Customs’ duty rates and regulations vary dramatically.  The textile industry is considered trade sensitive, and as a result is highly regulated. When importing silk textiles,...

Regulatory Compliance for Vehicle Imports

When shipping vehicles into the U.S., you should take heed of the following requirements to ensure that you comply with all the government bodies that oversee vehicle importation.  These include the Environmental Protection Association...

Importing Vehicles Into the U.S.

Here's a look at the paperwork and steps to be aware of prior to importing a car into the U.S. Duty rates Duties vary based on the type of vehicle; percentages are based on what you paid for the vehicle itself: Cars are charged 2.5%...

Hazardous Materials and Hazmat Regulations: The Basics

If you are moving goods that might fall under the Department of Transportation’s oversight for hazardous materials (hazmat), you must ensure that your shipment is compliant with all hazmat regulations. Hazardous materials are materials,...

Ten Checks for China Trade Compliance

In today’s global business environment, it has become increasingly challenging for companies to manage compliance within many different countries. In particular, general trade management and trade processing (e.g. under China’s bonded...

What are royalties and licensing fees?

Royalties are usage-based payments from one party (a “licensee”) to another (the “licensor”). Licensing fees are paid as part of an agreement that defines the terms under which a tangible property is licensed for use by one party (a...

When Will My Shipment Clear U.S Customs?

For an ocean shipment, it depends -- the shipment will clear U.S. Customs between 5 days before arrival and the time of cargo recovery from port. For an air shipment, U.S. Customs clearance will happen between uplift on the U.S.-bound...

Sample Commercial Invoice

In order to clear your shipment quickly and efficiently, our customs team needs a complete and accurate commercial invoice. Here's an example of a complete commercial invoice, with required elements circled (there's a legend at the...

Customs Exams: What to Expect

U.S. Customs used to focus solely on preventing smuggling and mis-valuation. However, since 9/11, Customs is additionally responsible for protecting the country and monitoring security risks. As a result, Customs pulls more shipments for...