Abady Law Firm, P.C. – Customs and Import/Export Attorney Blog

Learn the Basics of Customs and International Trade Policy and Procedure

Archive for March, 2012

Customs Attorney: Customs Entry Part II

Immediate Delivery Entry, is procedurally the preferred means of making entry; it permits the goods to be released based upon the filing of partial papers and without paying customs duties.  The completed papers and Customs duties are then filed with the “Entry Summary” (CF 7501) within 10 days after release of the shipment.  The immediate delivery entry allows for a quicker release and the importer the opportunity to maintain better cash flow.

Live entry requires all documents and duties to be paid prior to processing of an entry and release of your goods.  However, if the Automatice Broker Interface or Automatic Clearing House are used to file the entry data electronically duty can be paid 10 days later for live entries.

Other terms in the Entry Process:

Consumption Entry – A consumption entry is a type of entry used when goods are imported for use in the United States and going directly into the commerce of the U.S. without any time or use restrictions placed on them.

Warehouse Entry – An entry advising Customs that goods are being stored in a Bonded warehouse, therefore delaying payment of duties and taxes.  See blog post on Bonded Warehouse.

Informal Entry – In general, an informal entry involves the importation of merchandise that does not exceed $2,000 in value. Informal entries do not require filing a CBP Form 7501 (Entry Summary), posting of a Customs bond, and are liquidated at the time of release. Informal entries are used for both personal and commercial importations. The form used for an informal entry is CBP Form 3461, which is completed by the importer and submitted to CBP.

Transportation Entry – Immediate transportation entry involves CBP allowing imported merchandise to be transported under bond from one port to another port without actual filing entry and paying duty and taxes or examination.


Customs Attorney: Customs Entry Part I

Importers are under the belief that when goods arrive at the port the importation process is over.  However, the arrival of goods at the port technically marks the beginning of entry process.  Documentation must be presented to Customs in order to facilitate the goods entry into the United States.  Documentation prepared for Customs is different depending on whether the goods are shipped by air, sea, or ground.  The length of the voyage to the United States can be lengthy, as such, information and/or documentation is provided to Customs prior to the arrival of goods at the port. This gives Customs a “heads up” as to what is being shipped and allows the importer an opportunity to correct any mistakes.

There are primarily two methods to the entry process:

1.  Immediate Delivery Entry                           2. Live Entry

  • Both require the filing of an Entry – Customs Form 3461 (CF 3461 ALT – if applicable)
  • Both require an Entry Summary – Customs Form 7501

However, for live entries an Entry Summary is filed with an Entry while for Immediate Delivery Entries an importer has 10 days to file.

More to come on Entry in the next post

-Happy Importing-

Customs Attorney: U.S. Customs Decisions

There are various alternatives for acquiring decisions from Customs in regards to any issues that may arise.  Importers can face questions arising out of Classification, Origin, Marking, or other rules and regulations. The types of opinions available depend on the stage of the importation process.

Before Importation:  Opinions from U.S. Customs that are obtained before importation are known as rulings.  Rulings are an important for importers because they are binding upon all Customs ports for that particular product.  Therefore, when asking for a ruling be sure that you are willing to accept whatever decision Customs makes – if you question whether Customs will provide a beneficial ruling best to consult with an attorney.

After Importation:  Opinions from U.S. Customs that are obtained after importation is referred to in the industry as internal advice.  Internal advice received by Customs is also binding upon all Customs ports for the same product.

After Liquidation of an entry: Opinions obtained after liquidation are known as protests.  The decisions stemming from protests are persuasive but not binding on all ports.

It is important that the importer understand that a decision by Customs are binding on both U.S. Customs – the agency as well as the importer.  Thus, an importer who fails to follow a decision issued may result in substantial penalties.

Fill out the contact page if you have any questions or concerns.

-Happy Importing-