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What is Customs Clearance?

All goods shipped internationally must pass through customs before they are allowed to enter or exit a country. This includes anything sent by sea, air, or land.

When bringing commercial goods into the United States, the shipment must obtain the Cargo Release from Customs in order to pick up the cargo from the port.The broker’s job is to prepare the required import documents and submit them to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office. During this process, the broker represents the company who owns the imported goods and provides advice, pays duties on the shipment, and makes sure the goods are released from customs.

If the cargo is subject to Customs duty and fees, the importer is responsible for Customs duty and fees payment to CBP within 10 days from the cargo release date.

It is strongly recommended to find a reliable experienced custom broker to handle the Customs clearance as a lot of the merchandise may be regulated by other government agencies (FDA, EPA, FWS, etc…). In some cases the clearance process may become very complex and an experienced customs broker can reduce the impact of the complexity or delay due to Customs exam hold.

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