Customs Procedures for U.S. Customs and Border Protection - NEDRAC

Customs Procedures for U.S. Customs and Border Protection

If you think that navigating the customs procedures landscape is daunting, you’re not alone. This article offers some good information in one place.

Both U.S. Customs and Border Protection, CBP, and the importing/exporting community have a shared responsibility to maximize compliance with laws and regulations. In carrying out this task, CBP encourages importers/exporters to become familiar with applicable laws and regulations and work together with the CBP Office of Trade to protect American consumers from harmful and counterfeit imports by ensuring the goods that enter the U.S. marketplace are genuine, safe, and lawfully sourced.​​​​​​

The information on this page promotes the understanding of this responsibility, as there may be specific requirements related to a particular commodity, such as those set by Partner Government Agencies (PGA).

Customs Procedures for U.S. Customs and Border ProtectionFor The Importer

We recommend that importers review the topics on the CBP Trade page. In particular, we suggest viewing the information contained in the section titled Basic Importing and Exporting. There are many topic-specific links to explore. This will lead you to information on CBP import requirements, arrival of goods, formal entry vs. informal entry, classification, protest, mail shipments, restricted merchandise and more. For other agency requirements you may need to meet, and if you become a frequent importer with higher valued shipments, we recommend you read Importing into the United States. This publication contains more in-depth information and is valuable reading for anyone seriously venturing into the importing business.

We also urge you to read the Informed Compliance Publications. CBP has prepared a number of Informed Compliance Publications (ICPs) in the “What Every Member of the Trade Community Should Know About…” series on a variety issues. If your business will cause you to travel in and out of the country, we recommend that you review the traveler information in the Know Before You Go.

For the Exporter

If your future plans call for exporting merchandise from the U.S., you should review the information found in the Export section of this website.

Although CBP enforces many export regulations for various other government agencies, specific questions pertaining to licensing requirements for a particular commodity should be directed to that lead agency. Other agency contact information as well as commodities that may require export licenses, can be obtained by visiting the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security Web sites. Questions regarding export licenses may also be directed to CBP officers at the port where the merchandise will exit the country. Another resource is the Department of Commerce’s Trade Information Center which you can call 1-800-USA Trade or visit their website

If you have additional questions about customs procedures, we would be happy to help. In addition to offering Customs Brokerage services, NEDRAC can help you understand and navigate this confusing landscape and we would be happy to help! You can contact us in a variety of ways by clicking HERE.

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