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The Quick and Dirty Guide to Importing

import, export, customs How to Import

This free guide contains details on the 27 different topics that beginning importers most often ask about. It’s got phone numbers, web site addresses, procedures, forms, explanations, and more. The Quick and Dirty Guide to Importing will help you find answers to these questions: “Do I have to report to US Customs?” “How much is this going to cost?” “Do [...]

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Recent Articles
  • How Much Does it Cost to Import?

    import, export, customs

     How Much Does it Cost to Import? Importers are expected to pay an import tax on virtually every item they import. But how much do you have to pay? Import tax (also known as an import duty or import tariff) is collected by US Customs on every import that comes into the US. Import tariffs are the second largest source of revenue next to the IRS.

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  • Find HTS Codes

    import, export, customs

     Here’s a new HTS lookup service for anyone who’s ever had problems finding HTS tariff codes for their import or export shipments. Basically, you can use it to look up tariff rates for any item with a keyword search, or by typing in the HTS number directly. There are a few software packages that you [...]

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  • BIS publishes Final Rule on Encryption Simplification

    import, export, customs

     10/15/2009 – BIS publishes Final Rule on Encryption Simplification The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published the interim final rule entitled ”Encryption Simplification” on October 3, 2008 (73 FR 57495). This rule finalizes that rule, corrects errors published in the October 3, 2008 interim final rule, and resolves inconsistencies in that rule identified by [...]

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  • Importer Security Filing (ISF), aka “10+2″

    import, export, customs

     When does the ISF have to be filed? Not later than 24 hours prior to loading of the shipment to the vessel at the foreign port of lading. Does the effective date of Jan. 26th mean that any shipment which is departing from the origin port on or after Jan. 26th is required to have [...]

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  • Import Duty on Returned Items

    import, export, customs

     Question Do I have to pay import duty on items that have been exported from the United States that are being returned? Answer If you have an item that was previously resident in the United States, but for some reason was exported and is now being returned, be sure to inform US Customs about its [...]

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  • ITAR Export Compliance

    import, export, customs

     If you’re one of the small minority of businesses that exports military and ITAR controlled products overseas, you’re not going to find much to help you on our site – sorry. You can download the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) from our site, but there’s not a lot of discussion on how to use [...]

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  • How to Import – Internet Purchases, For Commercial Purposes

    import, export, customs

     Goods imported for commercial purposes must comply with a variety of special requirements, such as marking of country of origin, which vary depending upon the particular commodity. Please see our publication, “Importing Into the United States,” for more detailed information. Be particularly aware that an invoice should always accompany commercial shipments.

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  • How to Import – Internet Purchases, Exporting

    import, export, customs

     If you are sending goods to someone outside the United States, you should be aware that most countries have similar regulations governing the importation of goods into their territory. If you are selling goods on a “Payment on Delivery” basis, you might want to contact the Customs authority of the country where the goods are [...]

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  • How to Import – Internet Purchases, Customs Declarations

    import, export, customs

     All paperwork for sending packages internationally has a section for providing Customs information. A Customs Declaration is a form obtainable at most foreign post offices. This declaration form should include a full and accurate description of the merchandise, and should be securely attached to the outside of your shipment. Declaration forms vary from country to [...]

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  • How to Import – Internet Purchases, Checklist

    import, export, customs

     Keep the following questions in mind before you buy something from a foreign source. The answers will have far-reaching Customs implications (explained below) that could influence your decision to buy. Can the goods be legally imported? Are there restrictions on, or special forms required, for your purchase’s importation? Are you buying the item(s) for your [...]

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  • How to Import – Internet Purchases, Your Responsibility and Liability

    import, export, customs

     The Internet has made it easy to find and purchase items from almost anywhere in the world. However, many people are discovering that getting a foreign-bought item successfully delivered to the United States is much more complicated. When goods move from any foreign country to the United States, they are being IMPORTED. There are specific [...]

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