Because of the numerous layers of regulations, most companies shipping orders to and from the United States prefer to hire licensed customs brokers. These firms offer assistance complying with extensive legal and regulatory requirements at Ports of Entry. They typically possess the resources required to process a high volume of freight quickly and efficiently. This article will explain how U.S. customs service works.
About Customs Regulations
Almost every country maintains some form of customs or border security service. These agencies seek to enforce national immigration and trade laws. Governments frequently impose taxes and tariffs on specific goods. Often, they also choose to regulate goods coming in or out of the country for religious, ethical, or safety reasons.
For example, the United States Customs And Border Protection service within the Department of Homeland Security seeks to protect the public by screening people and cargo entering the USA. Companies that engage in importing (or exporting) must comply with a variety of complex regulations. These rules require documentation to provide information about every shipment. Officials need to know whether taxes or tariffs apply to goods shipped into (or out of) the country.
Complying With Import/Export Regulations
The United States has developed an extensive body of laws regarding freight crossing its borders. For instance, Congress has passed statutes prohibiting the export of some types of technologies and products to designated places. Laws also restrict the importation of many potentially dangerous goods, such as illegal drugs or plants infected with contagious diseases.
Anyone engaging in international shipping must conduct research to ensure they comply with applicable legal requirements. In certain cases, it may prove possible to ship goods, but the exporter or importer must obtain official permission for the shipment first. Sometimes individuals or companies must obtain a license or a permit and/or a customs bond in order to import or export particular types of goods.
Whenever freight passes through customs, it remains subject to inspection and (in some cases) seizure. Customs agents or their representatives may need to verify a shipment actually contains the same goods stated on the Bill of Lading. They perform a police function in seeking to exclude smuggled contraband, counterfeit goods, and other potentially hazardous items. Depending upon the contents of a shipment, companies engaging in international trade may need to supply highly detailed explanations about their activities.
A somewhat similar process occurs when people enter the country through a Port of Entry. A customs officer may physically inspect luggage. International travelers passing through Customs sometimes face a barrage of detailed questions as officials attempt to verify information.
Helpful Research Resources
Two websites prove especially helpful during the process of researching international trade regulations. The Small Business Association's Office of International Trade and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's United States Food And Safety Inspection Service both assist importers and exporters. They furnish extensive detailed information about specific international trade regulations. They may direct researchers to additional sources of information.
Additionally, hiring a licensed Customs Brokerage with offices at your preferred U.S. Port of Entry usually proves wise. Customs Brokers monitor import and export regulations. They obtain a license to assist shippers after passing a rigorous examination. A customs broker basically helps inform shippers about applicable documentation and the processing of essential shipping paperwork. Importers and exporters who fail to comply with trade laws may risk incurring significant legal penalties.
Let Seasoned Professionals Navigate Customs
Choosing to work with Port City Logistics will save you considerable time and effort. We're experienced in navigating United States customs. Our team will get your goods in and out quickly so that you can continue to grow your business. To learn more, contact us by clicking the link below.