Clear and Deliver your USA imports!

Importing From China Part I

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Step 1: Understand Your Import Rights

The first step to importing goods into America is making sure you are able to import whatever your intended product is. Certain items are protected by trademark or patent, and selling them on American soil may result in lawsuits. It is your responsibility as the importer to make sure that you will be able to sell your goods as intended, and the research to the feasibility of this is best conducted far in advance of your acquisition and import.

In some situations, companies coordinate to set up distribution zones for their products. It is a worthwhile task to make certain that your goods wont be negatively affected by such an arrangement.

75″ Volvo Van Import



Cleared and Delivered just complete this import of a vintage 1975 Volvo Van from Thailand to East Hampton, NY.

International Airports USA

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U.S. International Airports

4 essentials for clearing freight


Cleared and Delivered suggests being well prepared before clearing your goods through a U.S port. Below are 4 “must have” items for quick and easy customs clearance and delivery

1. The Commercial Invoice
Have a detailed Commercial Invoice on hand-The Commercial Invoice (link) contains a vast amount of detailed information about your product, it’s manufacturer, origin, destination, HTS code, and more. This info is crucial for a customs broker clearing your freight.*

“Download Invoice”:

2. Power of Attorney
Cleared and Delivered needs power of attorney over your shipment to classify and clear your goods through customs. We also need this privilege to pay duty on your behalf. This document authorizes your broker to take control over your import.

“Download Power of Attorney”:

3. Airway Bill/ Bill of lading and Arrival Notice
This is the “boarding pass” from the shipping line or airline that your freight is onboard their vessel or airplane. The “Arrival Notice” notifies Cleared and Delivered that your freight has arrived at a ocean port or airport, and is ready to clear. An AWB/BL also provides a tracking number to locate your freight and shipping details.

4. Harmonized Tariff Code
Cleared and Delivered can find and classify the harmonized tariff code for you, but thing’s move quicker if you have this information available on your commercial invoice, or enter it in your Cleared and Delivered quote inquiry. “Find your HTS code here”:

Duty-who is responsible for paying it?


The importer of record is responsible for paying duty. The seller of the goods cannot pay duty in advance. Be leery of sellers who claim duty on your purchase will be prepaid. Cleared and Delivered may pay duty on your behalf as part of their services in clearing your goods when they arrive in the United States.

“Duty explained CBP website”

What is the harmonized tariff schedule?


The United States International Trade Commission, Office of Tariff Affairs and Trade Agreements is responsible for publishing the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). The U.S. Customs Service is responsible for administering the tariff and for processing import entries. The HTS provides the applicable tariff rates and statistical categories for all merchandise imported into the United States. It is based on the international Harmonized System, the global classification system that is used to describe most world trade in goods

“See HTS schedule”

The Importers Checklist


Prior to Shipment

  • Fax request for current status.
  • Review shipping & payment terms.
  • Confirm that Customs Broker has been selected.
  • Does Broker have Purchaser’s Power of Attorney?
  • Does Purchaser have Customs Bond (Either Single or Continuous)?
  • Confirm that supplier will include any Assists in shipment value?
  • Confirm that country of origin product marking instructions are being followed.
  • Confirm that supplier will use purchaser supplied US Customs Harmonized Number in shipping description.
  • Specify to supplier transportation method and routing
  • Confirm consignee, notify party, port, & markings and that buyer will receive copy of shipping papers
  • Specify forwarder & broker if not included in P. O.
  • Confirm that supplier or forwarder has routing.
  • Confirm that transportation has been arranged.
  • Confirm that freight methods and rates used in original landed cost estimates are being used.
  • Confirm that some form of proof of origin will be sent to purchaser (No longer required for Customs Clearance, but may be needed for Customs’ Audit)
  • Is an inspection certificate or other certification required & if so, is it complete.
  • Confirm special packaging arrangements.
  • Confirm hazardous cargo compliance.
  • Consider strikes or any other significant International events that may cause delay.
  • Confirm that procedure for transportation insurance coverage is being followed.

After Shipment Leaves Supplier

  • Confirm that freight forwarder has freight and that booking was made per routing instructions.
  • Confirm shipment is on intended vessel/flight.
  • Determine if pre-clear through US Customs is possible.
  • Check Documents received to insure correct consignee, notify party, destination and markings.
  • Confirm forwarder has sent copies of documents to purchaser & broker
  • Confirm broker is aware of shipment, has all necessary documents, and has been given inland shipping instructions.
  • Prepare info for special clearances such as FDA if required.
  • Confirm arrival with broker.
  • Confirm Custom clearance with broker
  • Obtain pro number, trailer number, name & phone number of inland carrier.
  • Confirm inland delivery with inland carrier

Importing a car to the USA


Before you decide to import an automobile or car parts into the United States, you should ensure that the car or car parts conform to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. These agencies have very detailed requirements that can make importing a vehicle difficult, if not impossible, for some vehicles that were not originally manufactured for the U.S. market.

Nonconforming vehicles less than 25 years old entering the United States must be brought into compliance, exported, or destroyed.

Cars over 25 years old are exempt from EPA and DOT requirements, although you will still need to obtain and prepare EPA and DOT paperwork to provide to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer in order to clear your car through CBP.

From a CBP standpoint, you must file an entry on the car to receive the entry summary document CBP Form 7501. Filing an entry is initiated by declaring the car to a CBP officer when you enter the U.S. If your paperwork is in order, the officer will help you file the entry at the border. If you are not prepared, the officer may advise you to file the entry at a CBP port near your residence – however, in many cases the closest port could be 1-3 hours from your home, so it is in your best interest to be prepared to file the entry when you initially bring the car into the U.S. Without a copy of the CBP entry form, you will not be able to register the car in the U.S.

Prior to filing your entry with CBP, ensure you have valid proof of ownership, which is an original certificate of title, or a certified copy of the original. Ensure you have documentation, such as a manufacturer’s letter, stating that the car conforms to EPA and DOT standards, as well as a completed EPA form 3250-1 and DOT form HS-7. (If the vehicle has stickers on the engine (EPA) and inside the drivers-side door (DOT) stating that the car was manufactured to U.S. standards, you will not need a manufacturers letter. Some vehicles are listed by make, model, and year on the DOT and EPA web sites as conforming. If your vehicle is one of those, that would also negate the need for a manufacturers letter.)

If the vehicle has not been in your household for at least one year, you will be required to pay 2.5% duty, which is assessed based on the purchase price or blue book value. It is illegal to bring a car into the U.S. and sell it without first entering it through CBP. If you purchase a car that was brought into the U.S. and sold without being properly entered through CBP, that car is subject to seizure. NEVER purchase a used car in the U.S. if the owner cannot show that it is currently registered in the U.S. and demonstrate that it conforms to DOT and EPA standards.

If purchasing a car from a dealer, they should handle registration for you, if they don’t, the purchase should be contingent on your successful registration of the vehicle. (We get many calls from people who unwittingly purchased a vehicle that had been brought into the U.S. and then illegally sold. Buyer beware.)

Importing textiles


Textiles: Clothing, Yarns, Fabric, Wearing apparel, Made-up goods (i.e. luggage, towels, etc.) Most textiles imported for commercial use are subject to quota and or visa, depending on the country they are being imported from. It is essential to know the correct HTS classification number in order to determine the quota restrictions for any particular item. Textiles imported for personal use are not subject to quota except for hand made suits from Hong Kong.

Additional considerations for importing textiles include Consumer Product Safety Commission requirements for flammability. Wearing apparel must have labels specifying content and instructions for care. All textiles must have either labels indicating the country of origin or, if this is not feasible, (yarn, thread, wool) be packaged in such a way that country of origin is discernable to the ultimate purchaser. Determining country of origin for mixed products (blouses made in Italy from Chinese silk) can be very complicated. Other information may also be required.