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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, 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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  • How to Import from China

    import, export, customs

     China is one of the most rapidly developing global players in the international economy. With a population in excess of 1.3 billion, approximately four times the size of the United States and geographically similar in size, China has been described as a sleeping giant of international trade. In 2005 China claimed and estimated 752 trillion [...]

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  • How to Get an Import License

    import, export, customs

     A common mistake made by new importers is the assumption that they’ll need a special license to import goods into the United States. There is a great deal of confusion over this issue for several reasons: In some cases and with certain types of goods, an import license is required. Examples include alcohol, tobacco, firearms, [...]

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  • General Rules of Interpretation: How to Interpret the Tariff

    import, export, customs

     The General Rules of Interpretation can be found online here. General Rules of Interpretation The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) outline the method used to determine a products classification. They also address special scenarios wherein a final classification may be difficult to determine. The General Rules of Interpretation below have been taken verbatim from the [...]

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