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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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  • What is Transshipment?

    import, export, customs

     Transshipment is the act of shipping goods to an intermediate destination prior to reaching their ultimate end-use. Transshipment is a common practice with logistic benefits, but can be used to illegitimately to disguise country of origin or intent of the goods. Transshipment is commonly used by smugglers and terrorists seeking to disguise the point of […]

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  • Online Contracts and Digital Signatures

    import, export, customs

     Question Is there a good way to reduce the amount of paperwork involved in online contracts? My agreements are generally very simple and go out to overseas suppliers and vendors. Setting up a new vendor can cost us close to a hundred dollars in courier fees to get the dcouments signed. Answer My suggestion is […]

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  • What’s an Inbond Transit (I.T.) Number?

    import, export, customs

     Normally when freight arrives in the US, a Customs entry is filed at the port of arrival. If it comes into Los Angeles, it is Customs cleared in Los Angeles (all import freight must be approved by US Customs before it can be released into the commerce of the US). Sometimes however, it is beneficial […]

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  • What is a General Order Warehouse?

    import, export, customs

     Importers bringing merchandise into the United States for consumption must place their goods in a bonded facility while entry is filed with Customs. Goods remaining in a bonded facility for fifteen calendar days without an entry filed will be moved to a Customs approved, GO (General Order) bonded warehouse. There the goods will remain for […]

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  • Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures

    import, export, customs

     Question What’s the maximum amount of money Customs can fine a person for negligence in importing (if the circumstances were not disclosed beforehand to Customs)? Answer According to 19 CFR 162.73(a)(3)(ii), an importer can be penalized 20% of the dutiable value of the goods. Question Are fines with Customs set in stone? Do they have […]

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