Exporting & Importing
Both CBP and the importing/exporting community have a shared responsibility to maximize compliance with laws and regulations. In carrying out this task, CBP encourages importers/exporters to become familiar with applicable laws and regulations. The information on this page promotes the understanding of this responsibility, as there may be specific requirements related to a particular commodity, such as those set by Partner Government Agencies (PGA).
Customs & Clearance
In order to avoid potential problems in the clearance of your merchandise, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) strongly recommends that you familiarize yourself with CBP policies and procedures prior to actually importing/exporting your goods. You should also be aware of any entry requirements specific to the particular commodity you are importing/exporting, including those of other federal agencies. To assist you, we offer the following tips for new importers and exporters. An importer or exporter transacting "customs business" (activities involving transactions with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, CBP) solely on his own account is not required to be licensed. A broker conducting customs business solely on behalf of the importer must hold a valid Customs Broker license. One of the responsibilities of the trade community is to exercise reasonable care when conducting business with CBP. When errors are identified, the ports will be directed to pursue penalty actions against importers and/or brokers who fail to use reasonable care.
The importer must meet the requirements
As an importer, you must assure that your merchandise complies with other agencies' requirements (e.g., FDA, EPA, DOT, CPSC, FTC, Agriculture, etc.) and with obtained licenses or permits if required. Some countries will require to pay for customs fees, import fees, taxes once the item arrived in the country’s postal office. Exporters sending shipments in which the ultimate destination is Canada, as long as the goods are not licensed or contain rough or uncut diamonds, or shipments to U.S. possessions (i.e. Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Midway Island, Wake Island, and American Samoa). However, if the shipment's ultimate destination is the U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico the EEI must be filed. For additional exemptions, see the FTR Sections 30.36-30.40.
USPS, DHL, FEDEX & UPS
If the exporter is sending packages or containers with their personal or household goods valued over $2,500 to a foreign destination, other than Canada, they must file the EEI and provide the ITN to the carrier in accordance with the timeline.
USPS Sending Goods
If the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) is sending goods through the U.S. Postal Service they are required to file the EEI only if the entire shipment is valued over $2,500 per Schedule B or if it requires an export license. The exporter should submit the ITN or exemption citation to the post office.