Arrival Notice Process
Imported goods may not legally enter U.S. commerce until the shipment has arrived within the port of entry and Customs has authorized delivery of the merchandise. This is normally accomplished by filing the appropriate documents, either by the importer or by the importer’s agent. To get a list of importers in the USA To expedite this process, Customs entry papers may be presented before the merchandise arrives, but entry will not take place until the merchandise arrives within the port limits. The Customs Service does not notify the importer of the arrival of the shipment. The carrier of the goods usually makes notification of arrival.
Arrangements should be made to ensure that the importer or their agent is informed immediately of arrival so that the entry can be filed and delays in obtaining the goods avoided. The Customs Service defines “entry” not merely as the arrival of goods at a port, but as the process of presenting documentation for clearing goods through Customs. Imported merchandise not entered through Customs in a timely manner (within 15 calendar days of arrival) is sent by Customs to a general order warehouse to be held as unclaimed. The importer is responsible for paying storage charges while unclaimed merchandise is held at the warehouse. If it remains unclaimed at the end of six months, the merchandise is sold at auction.
Some types of Customs entry must be made at the first port of arrival. Ordinarily entry is made there for consumption, for entry into a bonded warehouse, or for transportation in bond to another port where a consumption or warehouse entry will be made. If an importer is unable to be there to prepare and file the entry, commercial brokers, known as customs brokers and licensed by the Customs Service, may act as an agent for the importer. These brokers charge a fee for their services. A list of customs brokers may be obtained from the local Customs office or found in the yellow pages of the local telephone directory. In the case of a single noncommercial shipment, a relative or other individual may act as the importer’s agent for customs purposes. This person must know the facts pertaining to the shipment and must be authorized in writing to act for the importer.