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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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  • US Gem Importing – How to Import Diamonds and Gems to the US

    import, export, customs

     Diamonds, gems, and gemstones are a highly sought after commodity available from a variety of regions around the world. Due to the number of locations where stones are available, the high value of gemstones and their limited availability, they are often subject to very high US duty rates and stringent import regulations. If you are [...]

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  • How to Import – Internet Purchases, Restricted Merchandise

    import, export, customs

     Many items cannot be imported into the United States unless the importer has the proper permit or license from the appropriate regulatory authority. Some of the most common restricted items include food, plant and dairy products; alcohol and tobacco products; birds, fish or animals and products thereof, goods from embargoed countries, firearms and ammunition, cultural [...]

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  • How to Import – Internet Purchases, Prohibited Merchandise

    import, export, customs

     Purchasers should also be aware that some products might be considered contraband and cannot be brought into the United States under any circumstances. This includes the obvious, such as narcotics and child pornography, as well as less obvious items such as tainted food products, and other items, a list of which can be found in [...]

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  • How to Import – Internet Purchases, Personal vs. Commercial Use

    import, export, customs

     Many import regulations only apply to goods imported for commercial – business or resale – purposes. For instance, most goods imported for personal use are not subject to quota. The one exception to this is made-to-measure suits from Hong Kong, which are subject to quota restrictions regardless of the use they are imported for. On [...]

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  • How to Import – Internet Purchases, Informal Entries

    import, export, customs

     If the value of your purchase(s) is less than $2000 and your goods are being shipped by mail or freight, they may, in most cases, be imported as an informal entry. However, there are exceptions to this. For instance, if the importation is determined to be for commercial purposes, the value limit for filing an [...]

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