Customs Clearance Services

Effective and Efficient Customs Clearance

Global trade compliance involves time-consuming processes, documentation procedures and regulations to follow. At Tradeworks, we make importing goods to the U.S. easier for you despite the shipment method or commodity. 

Our compliance experts will assist you in the process keeping shipping costs in check, remove the hassles and expedite goods clearance. There are several import documents you need in order to clear customs quickly and easily.

Customs Clearance for Ocean Shipments

An Importer Security Filing (ISF), also known as “10+2,” is the first requirement from U.S. Customs. It documents importing information and details as shipments pass from point to point. The ISF must be filed 24 hours before the shipment leaves the last foreign port. ISF compliance is vital for importers and failure to file properly may result in a U.S. $5,000 fine.

The ISF includes 10 items from the importer or supplier, and 2 from the carrier:

From the importer:

  • Seller Name and Address
  • Buyer (or owner) Name and Address
  • Importer of Record Information / FTZ Applicant ID Number
  • Consignee Number (IRS Number, EIN, Social Security Number)
  • Manufacturer or Supplier (Name and Address)
  • Ship to Party (Name and Address)
  • Country of Origin
  • Harmonized Tariff Schedule Number (HTS)
  • Container Stuffing Location (Name and Address)
  • Consolidator (Stuffer)

From the carrier:

  • House Bill of Lading Number (Importer is required to provide the House BOL# if the U.S. Customs Broker is different from the freight forwarder moving the shipment)
  • Master Bill of Lading Number (The freight forwarder moving the shipment will provide this number)

Additional Documentation Required for Ocean Shipments

The following documentation should be provided to the U.S. Customs Broker to clear an Ocean shipment arriving at port:

Ocean Bill of Lading

Issued by the shipping line indicating Tradeworks Customs Brokers as the notified party. This works as an agreement, receipt, and invoice between the carrier and the shipper.

Arrival Notice

This is issued by the ocean freight carrier or their agent to the consignee of internationally shipped goods; it notifies the arrival of international ocean shipments.

Packing List

Provides details about the package, contents, or container weight and dimensions.

Commercial Invoice

It provides important details of the goods being shipped such as buyer, full description of goods, quantities, tariff codes, shipper, consignee, values, freight terms, etc.

Certificate of Origin

When required, this document provides a certification of the specific country of manufacture of the goods being shipped. Some trade international agreements will require a certificate of origin on certain goods to apply special duty preferences.

Customs Clearance for Air Shipments

The following documentation should be provided to the U.S. Customs Broker to clear an Air shipment arriving at an airport:

Airway Bill (AWB)

This document is issued by the airline or their agent showing Tradeworks as the notified party. It serves as a receipt of goods by an airline, and as a contract for carriage between the shipper and the carrier.

Commercial Invoice

Provides essential details of the goods being shipped such as shipper, consignee, buyer, full description of the goods, quantities, values, freight terms, tariff code, etc.

Packing List

Identifies details about the contents, quantity, package or container dimensions and weight of the shipped goods.

Air Pre-Alert

This is issued by the carrier’s freight forwarder to the consignee prior to freight arrival at the destination port. It serves to notify the destination office of the shipping details, such as flight information, consignee, master or house bill numbers, and contents and weight, of an incoming shipment.

At Tradeworks, we can file your import information with U.S. Customs and monitor your imports to ensure import clearance success.

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