Question and answer
This is my first time to import, how can I get started?
We can guide you through the procedure of importation. You basically need a freight forwarder to handle your freight to ship the cargo from China to the U.S., and a customs broker to file the entry and go through the import formalities. Great Way can handle both for your shipment.
For the U.S. Customs broker part, the following should be done once you sign a Power of Attorney to Great Way:
1. ISF – at least 24hr before the ship sailing from the foreign origin. We can file ISF for you if you provide us the complete ISF data beforehand.
2. Documents to file entry
a. Commercial Invoice & Packing List
b. Bill of Lading
c. Arrival Notice
For the international freight part, please contact at email@example.com
What's the country of origin?
The country of origin is the country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article. If the article consists of material produced, derived from, or processed in more than one foreign territory or country, or insular possession of the U.S., it shall be considered a product of that foreign territory or country, or insular possession, where it last underwent a substantial transformation. For reporting purposes only on the CBP Form 7501, whenever merchandise has been returned to the U.S. after undergoing repair, alteration, or assembly under HTS heading 9802, the country of origin should be shown as the country in which the repair, alteration, or assembly was performed.
When merchandise is invoiced in or exported from a country other than that in which it originated, the actual country of origin shall be specified rather than the country of invoice or exportation.
What's the difference between Formal and Informal Entries
Shipments are categorized by value in the U.S. and many countries. In the U.S., there are formal entries (high-value goods often used for commercial and resale purposes) and informal entries (lower-value goods for personal or commercial use). Shipments valued at more than $2,500 are considered high-value goods and called formal entries. Shipments valued at $801 to $2,500 are considered informal entries, while shipments valued at $0 to $800 are called Section 321. Formal entries require a surety bond, while informal entries do not. Informal entries may or may not require an eManifest submission.
What's Section 321 Entry & Requirements?
A Section 321 entry is a type of informal entry that allows the release of goods valued at $800 or less. To be released under a Section 321, the shipment must not exceed $800 in value and must not be one of several lots covered by a single order or contract. Section 321 entries are beneficial to importers because they reduce paperwork for low-value goods and allow faster clearance processing.
The daily restriction for Section 321 goods is one shipment per individual or company per day. Importers cannot consolidate multiple Section 321 shipments into one shipment, because the total value will then exceed $800. Each Section 321 shipment must be manifested separately on the eManifest with a unique shipment control numbers (SCN).
Most goods not exceeding $800 in value can be released as a Section 321 entry, with a few exceptions: goods requiring inspection before release (regardless of value), goods subject to Anti-Dumping / Countervailing duty (ADD/CVD), quota-class goods, and goods regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), National Highway Transport and Safety Administration (NHTSA), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSA), and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). CBP may refuse to clear a Section 321 shipment if the shipment is deemed high risk for a particular type of merchandise or class.
What if my cargo needs exam by the Customs?
Usually, there are three types of exams.
NII non-intrusive exam (X-ray or Vacis)
The Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System (VACIS) uses gamma ray technology to produce images of tankers, commercial trucks, sea and air containers, and other vehicles for contraband such as drugs, weapons, and currency.
Contraband Enforcement Team (CET) is a designation of US customs department. Normally CET exam is done to protect from narcotics, drugs or weapons. A physical examination of cargo is undertaken by Contraband Enforcement Team. In an intensive exam, normally the container is called to nearest CFS or port location. The complete physical inspection of each item in the container is carried out.
MET means Manifest Examination Team. Manifest Examination Team of US check documentation of importers on random basis. Under an MET hold, the authorities verifies invoice, packing list and other required documents if any are verified. If found any suspicious, MET can order for an intensive exam where import container need to be moved to the nearest CFS.