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Ocean Import

The ocean import process is as follows,

Step 1:
The U.S. Importer should apply an applicable import permit with U.S. government agencies at least 30 days before the scheduled date of importation, and place a purchase order with a qualified supplier/shipper.

Step 2:
The supplier/shipper will do the following tasks:
Pack and mark all goods in good and compliant conditions ready for pickup to the port warehouse and provide the following documents
 Commercial Invoice
 Packing List
 Certificate of Origin
 Letter of Instruction
 Dangerous Goods Declaration
 CITES certificate/other PGA required certificate if applicable
 Prior notice of arrival if applicable
and communicates with both the origin freight forwarder and the U.S. importer.

Step 3:
The origin freight forwarder communicates with ocean carrier to book space, arranges the transportation of goods from the shipper's warehouse to the port warehouse, and handle
 Master Bill of Lading
 House Bill of Lading
 House Manifest
 Export Goods Declaration
 Customs Release Export
and communicate with CBP broker for filing required ISF 10+2 with CBP at least 24 hours before the goods are loaded on board the vessel, and filing applicable prior notice of arrival no less than 8 hours before arrival, the earlier the better.

Step 4:
Ocean carrier will handle
 Ocean Manifest
 Transit Manifest
 Export Cargo Declaration
 Security Declaration
 Freight Book List
and responsible for the ocean transportation of goods from the port of departure to the port of destination in USA, and notify the destination freight forwarder with the arrival notice.

Step 5:
The destination freight forwarder communicates with CBP broker do the import customs clearance from the very beginning of the process, CBP broker will handle
 Bond CBP 301
 Filing Entry CBP 3461
 Filing Entry Summary 7501
 Filing applicable PGA required documents and Pay estimated duties and fees
CBP broker communicates with both the freight forwarder and the importer, and notify them the CBP release date.

Step 6:
The importer or the freight forwarder or CBP broker makes arrangement to pick up the goods at the destination port bonded warehouse and deliver the goods to the consignee's warehouse.

The port bonded warehouse usually offers less than 7 days' free storage period. After the allotted free storage period expires, the storage fee will escalate very quickly. If the goods can not pass CBP clearance immediately after arrival at the destination port, the goods will have good chances to be sent to a general order bonded warhouse, the importer will be subject to great storage fee & demurrage fee immediately.

Your best choice to minimize your costs
Working with CBPbrokers to expedite your goods pass through CBP clearance.

The importer/exporter is solely responsible for his act of importation/exportation, and he is solely liable for the the duties, fees, and penalties upon his act of importation/exportation. The information provided on is to our best knowledge and experiences and it is not your definitive source for information. If you have any doubts or need additional clarifications, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other US government agencies are the definitive sources for your questions.