Mar 7, 2008

10 Tips on Dealing with U.S. Customs

#CBSA - 10 Tips on Dealing with U.S. Customs

…Many more shipments are being inspected and detained than ever. With the current just-in-time delivery environment in which international traders now routinely operate, companies cannot afford to have shipments delayed, even if they are later released. Try explaining to a customer why Customs' inquiry is not well-founded when it takes several weeks to resolve!

The suggestions below cannot guarantee your dealings with Customs will be problem-free, but if you follow them, you will at least be ready for those problems should they arise.

1. Know your product.

…You also need to know what it will cost you to get those goods imported and that you are dealing with reliable business partners…

2. Know your business partners.

…a closer working relationship with your business partners can only have positive effects.

3. Screen your business partners.

What do you know about your business partners? Meeting someone at a trade show who claims to be able to fill your order is not enough. How do you know the goods you order will be delivered on time, intact and at the agreed upon price? Unless you perform due diligence on your business partners, you cannot be sure they are reliable…

4. Know the regulatory requirements.

…Do you know the basic requirements and how to document them…?

5. Are your goods legally marked?

The law requires that each imported good have its country of origin legibly, indelibly and permanently affixed on the good and its outer packaging. Are your goods marked that way…?

6. Does anti-dumping or countervailing duty apply to your goods?

…These duties are imposed on top of what is provided for in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule…

7. Can other agencies stop your imports?

…Have you identified them and complied with their requirements?

8. Do any terms and conditions apply?

In the air and ocean environment, there are internationally agreed upon limits of liability. Do you know them and the other usual terms and conditions that transport companies apply? Have you insured your shipment? …

9. Do you communicate regularly with your business partners…?

10. Keep up-to-date.

…Every transaction has different factors or considerations to it. These tips are intended to mention some of the most important ones that are typical to a vast array of transactions. These are also the ones most likely to take money out of your pocket if you have not planned properly. There is no way to fully explain the ins and outs of importing in this short an article, so the best tip of all is make sure you have good advisers around you. Following a competent and energetic staff, they are your best resource for success!

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