For general merchandise (those items not specifically regulated by another agency), importers may file Customs entries for their own account without applying for an import license and without the use of a Customs Broker. This is often the case when receiving a package via the US Mail from overseas, or travelers returning from business abroad.
Filing Customs paperwork for your personal business imports can be a way to reduce overhead, especially for importers brining in the same merchandise from the same vendors time after time. Please note that importers (and not their brokers or agents) are ultimately responsible for properly declaring their goods to Customs, filing the proper paperwork, and paying the appropriate amount of duty regardless of whether they import for their own account or utilize a Customs Broker. If you are an importer and are considering filing Customs entries for your own account, take the time to research your commodity, and browse this site for articles on classifying with the USHTS and properly determining the value of your goods. Also be aware that in many cases Customs port offices are not accustomed to dealing with individuals since the majority of entries are filed by brokerage houses through the electronic ABI (Automated Broker Interface) system.