What is a Customs bond?

Upon importation of merchandise, an importer assumes certain responsibilities to the U.S. Customs: making the goods available for inspection; labeling and packaging requirements; making records of transactions available for inspection; paying estimated, or any additional duties when and where applicable. U.S. Customs is authorized to take bonds to assure the performance of the responsibilities by…

Keep your shipment data private!

Every shipping vessel that enters and leaves the United States is required to submit shipping records that document its cargo. This information filed to Customs is called “Automated Manifest System”. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, most of this information is a matter of public record. Sites such as www.piers.com, www.zepol.com and www.importgenius.com retrieve…

Importing Electric Bicycles

Electric bikes are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative way to commute. Importing them requires knowledge of regulations from three different government agencies. 1. DOT (Department of Transportation)   The key question is whether or not the electric bicycle is considered an “on-road” or “off-road” vehicle. If a vehicle is not primarily manufactured for on-road use, it…

Importing Animal Food

In addition to staying compliant with US Customs, animal food is also regulated by two other government agencies upon importation: 1. USDA Assuming the animal food product is made out of meat (beef, lamb, pork, poultry), the importer will need to apply with the USDA for VS import permit (VS16-3). The importer can apply online…

Antidumping and Countervailing Duties

What are Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties? Domestic U.S. industries have the right to petition with the U.S. government for relief from imports of products that they believe to be dumped (imported at less than “fair value”) and/or benefiting from foreign government subsidies.  The U.S. government has the ability to impose Anti-dumping and/or Countervailing duties respectively…

Importing Alcohol

Licensing/Documentation/Permits: 1. Basic Permit– Under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act, a Federal Basic Permit must be held by any person or business enterprise importing distilled spirits, wine, or malt beverages into the United States. The Basic Permit is good at any port in the United States and must be obtained prior to the first importation.…