5 Top Tips to Ensure Clearance of Your Merchandise by US Customs

If you are a US importer, or a foreign exporter sending goods to your US buyer, here are 5 tips to ensure that your merchandise would have a better chance at clearing US customs:

  • Complying with US laws – Before even arriving in the US, comply with the provisions of any special laws of the United States that may apply to the goods, such as laws relating to food, drugs, cosmetics, alcoholic beverages, radioactive materials, and others. Establish ownership of trademarks and other IP rights and that the US importer has the rights to deal with the IP in question through the appropriate licensing agreements.


  • Marking of the goods – Mark the goods legibly and conspicuously with the country of origin mark unless they are specifically exempted from country-of-origin marking requirements, and with such other marking as is required by the marking laws of the United States. Note additional requirement for labeling in certain cases, such as by US Federal Trade Commission for textile fiber products.


  • Packaging – develop packing standards for the commodities. Co-mingled goods will be subject to the highest rate of duty applicable to any part of the co-mingled lot unless the consignee or his agent separates the merchandise under Customs supervision. Segregation must be done within 30 days.


  • Packing List – Mark and number each package so it can be identified with the corresponding marks and numbers appearing on the invoice. Certain classes of merchandise such as cotton require additional information. Put marks and numbers on each package.


  • Invoice – Make sure the commercial invoice is clearly typed and contains information that would be shown on the packing list, with a detailed description of each item contained in each individual package. Show those marks or numbers on your invoice opposite the itemization of goods contained in the package that bears those marks and numbers.

Contact us at www.usimportsupport.com if you need help on your US importing requirements.

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