The next time you want to get a large parcel from China or any other country outside the US,if it by air or ocean shipping,and if it may require customs clearance you can go through the following article to clear any of your doubts.
In the US,the CBP – Customs and border protection is the authority when you want to ship goods into or out of the country.IT is relatively easier to get things done because you do not require a license to import,but to make things easier you should hire a customs brokerage firm to take care of the paperwork and pay the duty and taxes,if any on your behalf.
Some of the online customs brokerage firms are e-customclearance.com and freightncargo.com.These are extremely easy to use.
What does the customs broker do?
If you sign up for an online brokerage,they will assign a personal broker for you.
He/she will fill in the ISF 10+2 form which is an importer security filing which must be submitted to the CBP.
The most important set of supporting documents are the import manifest or the inward cargo manifest.These are a collection of different bills and invoices that are needed for clearance of cargo,as well as to ascertain the content and duty value of the goods.
Documents required by CBP
Packing list is a list of documents such as :
-Description of items inside with weight
-Destination and source addresses
-Manuals of procedure
Bill of lading – this is either an Airway bill or a Seaway Bill and contains important information regarding the logistics and route of the cargo- this will include the origin source address as well as destination address.Other sea incoterms showing the loading procedure is given like FOB,CIF – cost,insurance,freight as well as the Master or House MAWB / HAWB.
Commercial invoice – One of he most important documents required at the time of customs clearance.This invoice is furnished by the seller from the source country.It must contain the particulars of the package and the value of the goods in it,along with the net and gross weight of the cargo.This invoice is used to ascertain the real or adjusted value of the cargo,and if the value seems “under-invoiced” ,then the customs official will ascertain its true value and charge duty and taxes based on that new value.