Avoid Common Mistakes: Overlooked Documents in US Customs Clearance

overlooked customs documents
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest

Navigating imports requires diligent attention to paperwork. Even experienced importers can slip up and miss key documents that bring cargo flow to a screeching halt.

Don’t let your shipment get held up or goods seized due to simple document oversights. Be aware of these commonly overlooked papers:

Importer of Record Statement

Failing to clearly identify the official importer of record on customs forms leads to legal responsibility confusion. Explicitly declare this info to show who maintains liability.

Itemized Packing List

Forgetting to provide an itemized packing list separate from the commercial invoice raises flags. Customs checks packing lists against invoices to verify contents. Keep them detailed and perfectly matched.

Country of Origin Certification

Don’t assume origin. Proactively get manufacturer/seller affidavits certifying where each item was produced. Avoid customs delays verifying country sources without certificates.

Textile Declarations

Apparel, fabric, or textile shipments require extra declarations like NAFTA certificates of origin. Failing to provide textile-specific documents may lead to delays and extra costs.

FDA/CPSC Info for Regulated Goods

Importing pharmaceuticals, electronics, medical items, toys, foods, cosmetics, or chemicals? Don’t overlook added FDA/CPSC paperwork requirements for regulated goods. Skipping causes compliance headaches.

overlooked customs documents

ISF Filing for Ocean Freight

ISF “10+2” data filing must be done electronically at least 24 hours before ocean freight vessel loading. Overlooking this requirement causes delays and penalties.

Wood Packaging Materials Documents

Untreated wood pallets, crates, and boxes need special USDA treatment certification to prevent the introduction of pests. Lack of proof leads to agriculture inspection delays.

Motor Vehicle Import Licenses

Don’t assume you only need title and registration for imported used cars. Licenses from DOT/EPA are required for permanent importation for personal use.

Carnet for Temporary Imports

When importing goods temporarily such as items for trade shows, provide an ATA carnet certificate proving eventual re-exportation to avoid duties. Otherwise, customs assume goods are entering permanently.

Avoiding Oversights

Leveraging customs brokers minimizes overlooks as they stay on top of changing clearance requirements. Their expertise pays for itself in time and hassle savings if issues arise. Protect against problems by reviewing the complete paperwork checklist thoroughly. Don’t let small, yet critical document omissions derail your import success!

5/5 - (9 votes)
eezyimport is an online platform and is not a licensed customs broker. However, we work closely with a third-party licensed customs broker who can assist with any entry-related issues.

eezyimport is an online platform and is not a licensed customs broker. However, we work closely with a third-party licensed customs broker who can assist with any entry-related issues.

stay in touch!

Subscribe to receive our monthly newsletter and some professional tips!