US Customs doesn’t require an importer to have an import permit, but other agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration, Fish and Wildlife Agency, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and others may require it. Check with your local and state authorities for required licenses and permits. To import goods, US Customs and Border Protection requires a valid company IRS number or an individual’s social security number. If you do not have either one, an import number could be created and used only for import (this would apply to foreigners). The following will give you more information on import procedures.
In order to release a shipment from US Customs, an importer needs to obtain customs clearance. We are a licensed customs brokerage company, licensed by the US Customs and Border Protection Agency. We also hold a National Permit to file customs entries in any state. After your shipment arrives, you are liable for everything related, but not limited to, a timely entry process (5 working days after arrival): customs duties, storage, and import fees. Certain commodities/entries require the posting of a customs bond. The bond has to be in place from the moment the customs transaction is performed to the moment the entry is liquidated (closed as entered). If you import or are planning to import more than a few shipments a year, you should apply for a continuous bond. The cost of a continuous bond is $500. A single entry bond costs a minimum of $50 or $5 per $1,000 of invoice value. A continuous bond in the amount of $50,000 would cover any and all shipments for all states for a period of twelve months. We are also a bond provider through our insurance company.
Each shipment requires payment of a customs duty. This tax imposed by the government is, in most cases, a percentage of the value of the shipment. In addition, there is a merchandise processing fee of 0.21% (minimum $25, maximum $485), and for ocean freight only, a harbor maintenance fee of 0.125% of the value.
To clear shipment on your behalf Aqua Air Enterprises will need the following:
- Signed Customs Power of Attorney which gives us the authority to represent you in the above mentioned process;
- Commercial invoice (or a standard invoice) which lists all the items in the shipment and their value;
- Packing list;
- Bill of lading for ocean freight or air waybill;
- Any permits and/or licenses.
Once the shipment is cleared, per your request, we can organize delivery to your business or your home address.