FAQ
 
What is a Customs broker & what functions does a Custom broker perform?
 
A customs broker is a person licensed by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to transact Customs business on behalf of an importer for a fee. Some of the more traditional duties of a Broker are: Prepare the import "entry" for an importer; Ensure compliance with CBP and other government agency regulations, provide the required surety bond, pay duty and fees to CBP, and Deliver cargo to the importer or their customer. 
 
R.L. Swearer can also provide: International Freight Forwarding, Air and Ocean Marine insurance, and offer a variety of export packaging, warehousing and distribution solutions.
 
 
What is the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. (HTSUS)?
 
The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is a system of product classification used by importers and CBP (Customs and Border Protection). The HTSUS comprises part of a uniform system of tariff classification used by major trading countries throughout the world. Goods are classified for the purpose of calculating the appropriate import duties and maintaining statistics on commodities imported into the US.
 
 
What is a Customs Bond and why do I need to pay for one?
 
Customs bonds are financial guarantees between 3 parties: The Importer (the principal) the Surety company issuing the bond, and Customs & Border Protection (CBP). The bond guarantees Customs & Border Protection that if they cannot collect monies due from the Importer they can seek remedy, up to the bond amount, from the surety company. The bond also indemnifies the surety company, allowing them to use any legal means to collect from the importer any monies that were paid to CBP on the importers behalf. CBP requires a bond for most Customs entries (exceptions being low value, personal effects or Carnet shipments (which serves as a bond)).
 
 
What U.S. government agencies are involved in the administration of U.S. imports?
 
Many Government agencies are interested in your import activities. Some of these agencies and a brief description of their areas of responsibilities are:
 
Department of Agriculture (APHIS) - Tasked with enforcing plant, animal and ‘pest’ control. The DA is the primary enforcement agency for Wood Packaging regulations.
 
Department of Commerce - Collects statistical information about import shipments.
 
Food and Drug Administration - Ensures that food and drugs conform to certain standards;.
 
Consumer Products Safety Commission - Regulates consumer products that the FDA doesn't handle directly; (Toys, Clothing, etc.)
 
Fish and Wildlife Service - Concerned with non-domesticated animals and goods made from parts of these animals and subject to the CITES treaty.
 
State Department - Monitors artifacts and cultural property imported from various countries and may be involved with licensing of certain imports..
 
Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration - Regulates the import of automobiles and Aircraft
 
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms - Issues license and/or permits to import alcoholic beverages of all kinds, firearms, and other weaponry, and tobacco products. Note some of these goods are subject to State regulations and taxes.
 
Foreign Assets Control - Issues licenses to import products that would otherwise be prohibited (Cuban cigars, Iranian carpets)
 
United States International Trade Commission- An independent federal agency determining import injury to U.S. industries in antidumping, countervailing duty, and global and China safeguard investigations; directing actions against unfair trade practices involving patent, trademark, and copyright infringement; supporting policymakers through economic analysis and research on the global competitiveness of U.S. industries.
 
 
Which value is most commonly used in appraising imported goods?
 
The value most commonly used in appraising imported goods is the ‘transaction value’ of the imported goods, i.e., the price paid or payable for the merchandise when sold to the U.S. buyer plus amounts for the following (if not already included): packing costs, sales commissions, royalties and license fees and assist. You do NOT have to pay duty on the costs for international freight or Insurance for your shipment.
 
 
 
Who can sign the Power of Attorney?
 
U.S. Customs is very specific about who can sign the Power of Attorney. In most cases, the only corporate officers that can sign this document without supporting “Articles of Incorporation” are President, Vice-President, Secretary, and/or Treasurer. For some smaller incorporated companies, other titles may sign the power of attorney, but only if they are the sole signing officer and this is stated right on the Power of Attorney. If you have any questions about who can sign the Power of Attorney please contact us.
 
 
What is a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), and when do I have to pay duty for goods entered into an FTZ?
 
A Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) is an area in the United States that is not considered "in the U.S. Customs Territory" for certain legal purposes. Duty is not paid when goods are put into a Foreign Trade Zone, but rather when they are taken out and "entered for consumption" in the United States.
 
 
 
What is a bonded warehouse?
 
A bonded warehouse is a warehouse that carries a special Customs bond and that is used to legally defer duty payment. There are specific types or "classes" of warehouses, and what can be done to the goods while in the warehouse is limited by the "class". Included among bonded warehouse classes are:
  • Class 1 - These are warehouses owned or leased by the government for Government use;
  • Class 2 - An importer can establish this type of warehouse for his/her own merchandise. It is exclusively for storage, no processing of the goods is allowed
  • Class 3 - These "public bonded warehouses" are for the storage of anyone's imported goods
  • Class 4 -These are bonded yards or sheds for storage of heavy or bulky items; stables, corrals and pens for livestock; and large tanks for storing bulk liquids.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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R.L. Swearer Import Export Services Customs Brokerage New Clients Freight Management Security Personal Effects FAQ Importer Security Filing Export cargo overseas Export Air Ocean Security Incoterms Dangerous Goods Letter of Credit Banking Fright Forwarder Marine Maritime Insurance International Shipping trading Domestic Flight Forwarding Warehousing Distribution Crating Shipping transportation logistics trade services global business international Global Domestic Shipping Forwarding Export IMport Services R.L. Swearer Pittsburgh Ohio Pa R.L. 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Swearer Import Export Services Customs Brokerage New Clients Freight Management Security Personal Effects FAQ Importer Security Filing Export cargo overseas Export Air Ocean Security Incoterms Dangerous Goods Letter of Credit Banking Fright Forwarder Marine Maritime Insurance International Shipping trading Domestic Flight Forwarding Warehousing Distribution Crating Shipping transportation logistics trade services global business international Global Domestic Shipping Forwarding Export IMport Services R.L. Swearer Pittsburgh Ohio Pa R.L. Swearer Import Export Services Customs Brokerage New Clients Freight Management Security Personal Effects FAQ Importer Security Filing Export cargo overseas Export Air Ocean Security Incoterms Dangerous Goods Letter of Credit Banking Fright Forwarder Marine Maritime Insurance International Shipping trading Domestic Flight Forwarding Warehousing Distribution Crating Shipping transportation logistics trade services global business international Global Domestic Shipping Forwarding Export IMport Services R.L. Swearer Pittsburgh Ohio Pa R.L. Swearer Import Export Services Customs Brokerage New Clients Freight Management Security Personal Effects FAQ Importer Security Filing Export cargo overseas Export Air Ocean Security Incoterms Dangerous Goods Letter of Credit Banking Fright Forwarder Marine Maritime Insurance International Shipping trading Domestic Flight Forwarding Warehousing Distribution Crating Shipping transportation logistics trade services global business international Global Domestic Shipping Forwarding Export IMport Services R.L. Swearer Pittsburgh Ohio Pa R.L. Swearer Import Export Services Customs Brokerage New Clients Freight Management Security Personal Effects FAQ Importer Security Filing Export cargo overseas Export Air Ocean Security Incoterms Dangerous Goods Letter of Credit Banking Fright Forwarder Marine Maritime Insurance International Shipping trading Domestic Flight Forwarding Warehousing Distribution Crating Shipping transportation logistics trade services global business international Global Domestic Shipping Forwarding Export IMport Services R.L. Swearer Pittsburgh Ohio Pa R.L. Swearer Import Export Services Customs Brokerage New Clients Freight Management Security Personal Effects FAQ Importer Security Filing Export cargo overseas Export Air Ocean Security Incoterms Dangerous Goods Letter of Credit Banking Fright Forwarder Marine Maritime Insurance International Shipping trading Domestic Flight Forwarding Warehousing Distribution Crating Shipping transportation logistics trade services global business international Global Domestic Shipping Forwarding Export IMport Services R.L. Swearer Pittsburgh Ohio Pa R.L. Swearer Import Export Services Customs Brokerage New Clients Freight Management Security Personal Effects FAQ Importer Security Filing Export cargo overseas Export Air Ocean Security Incoterms Dangerous Goods Letter of Credit Banking Fright Forwarder Marine Maritime Insurance International Shipping trading Domestic Flight Forwarding Warehousing Distribution Crating Shipping transportation logistics trade services global business international Global Domestic Shipping Forwarding Export IMport Services R.L. Swearer Pittsburgh Ohio Pa R.L. Swearer Import Export Services Customs Brokerage New Clients Freight Management Security Personal Effects FAQ Importer Security Filing Export cargo overseas Export Air Ocean Security Incoterms Dangerous Goods Letter of Credit Banking Fright Forwarder Marine Maritime Insurance International Shipping trading Domestic Flight Forwarding Warehousing Distribution Crating Shipping transportation logistics trade services global business international Global Domestic Shipping Forwarding Export IMport Services R.L. Swearer Pittsburgh Ohio Pa R.L. Swearer Import Export Services Customs Brokerage New Clients Freight Management Security Personal Effects FAQ Importer Security Filing Export cargo overseas Export Air Ocean Security Incoterms Dangerous Goods Letter of Credit Banking Fright Forwarder Marine Maritime Insurance International Shipping trading Domestic Flight Forwarding Warehousing Distribution Crating Shipping transportation logistics trade services global business international Global Domestic Shipping Forwarding Export IMport Services R.L. Swearer Pittsburgh Ohio Pa R.L. Swearer Import Export Services Customs Brokerage New Clients Freight Management Security Personal Effects FAQ Importer Security Filing Export cargo overseas Export Air Ocean Security Incoterms Dangerous Goods Letter of Credit Banking Fright Forwarder Marine Maritime Insurance International Shipping trading Domestic Flight Forwarding Warehousing Distribution Crating Shipping transportation logistics trade services global business international Global Domestic Shipping Forwarding Export IMport Services R.L. Swearer Pittsburgh Ohio Pa R.L. Swearer Import Export Services Customs Brokerage New Clients Freight Management Security Personal Effects FAQ Importer Security Filing Export cargo overseas Export Air Ocean Security Incoterms Dangerous Goods Letter of Credit Banking Fright Forwarder Marine Maritime Insurance International Shipping trading Domestic Flight Forwarding Warehousing Distribution Crating Shipping transportation logistics trade services global business international Global Domestic Shipping Forwarding Export IMport Services R.L. Swearer Pittsburgh Ohio Pa R.L. Swearer Import Export Services Customs Brokerage New Clients Freight Management Security Personal Effects FAQ Importer Security Filing Export cargo overseas Export Air Ocean Security Incoterms Dangerous Goods Letter of Credit Banking Fright Forwarder Marine Maritime Insurance International Shipping trading Domestic Flight Forwarding Warehousing Distribution Crating Shipping transportation logistics trade services global business international Global Domestic Shipping Forwarding Export IMport Services R.L. Swearer Pittsburgh Ohio Pa R.L. Swearer Import Export Services Customs Brokerage New Clients Freight Management Security Personal Effects FAQ Importer Security Filing Export cargo overseas Export Air Ocean Security Incoterms Dangerous Goods Letter of Credit Banking Fright Forwarder Marine Maritime Insurance International Shipping trading Domestic Flight Forwarding Warehousing Distribution Crating Shipping transportation logistics trade services global business international Global Domestic Shipping Forwarding Export IMport Services R.L. Swearer Pittsburgh Ohio Pa R.L. Swearer Import Export Services Customs Brokerage New Clients Freight Management Security Personal Effects FAQ Importer Security Filing Export cargo overseas Export Air Ocean Security Incoterms Dangerous Goods Letter of Credit Banking Fright Forwarder Marine Maritime Insurance International Shipping trading Domestic Flight Forwarding Warehousing Distribution Crating Shipping transportation logistics trade services global business international Global Domestic Shipping Forwarding Export IMport Services R.L. Swearer Pittsburgh Ohio Pa
 
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