Understanding Import Procedures
The Federal government does not care if a person is importing one item once or importing many items repeatedly, it still expects enforcement of the rules. Learning import procedures prior to placing orders is the best way to reduce the risks of having unnecessary costs applied to items entering the United States.
Items that Cannot be Received through Customs
Learning the import procedures and what can and cannot be imported is the first thing to establish before attempting to purchase anything from another country. Sanitary laws and medical restrictions may restrict some items, while environmental concerns may halt the import of others. On this note, some items may be cleared to import from one country but not another.
If Unsure of the Legality of an Import, Always Ask
Always obtain a clearance through customs before attempting to order anything from outside the U.S. Whether an item is a prescription drug or a harmless consumable item, it must make its way through customs. Import procedures require that the purpose of the import be designated. It is far better to inquire about bringing something in beforehand than to ask after attempting to get a questionable item through imports.
What Must be Declared on Any Import Procedures
An important part of import procedures is learning that nothing is a secret to the customs department. The person receiving the goods must let customs know about everything conceivable about the item(s). This includes from what the item is made and what it is to be used for in the U.S. The recipient must also make clear how much the item costs and what its value is once it is received in the United States.
Other Information Required in Import Procedures
The classification number must be supplied, which determines import tax and other costs for what is imported. The point of entry into the U.S. and the type of item, either formal or informal, must be revealed. A formal item has a value of over $2000. Additional legitimate fees due to the nature of shipping procedures may be charged for packing materials for some items.
Food Products and Import Procedures
Importing edible products into the U.S. presents many more requirements than non-consumable items. Everything falls under the surveillance of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Importers must ensure that food stuffs are safe and sanitary. Each item must be labeled according to the rules of all U.S. food products. The import of foods from outside the U.S. does not need prior clearance for facilities previously approved by the FDA.
Anyone importing goods into the U.S. should be aware of the import procedures and requirements, or check with someone who knows. Goods that are prepaid to organizations outside the country should be approved for import before any purchase is completed.
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