Who is the U.S. Custom Broker?
Customs brokers in the international shipping are private individuals or companies that are regulated by the U.S. Customs and who aid international shippers( importers and exporters to move merchandise through Customs). Customs Brokers provide the proper paperwork and payments to Customs for international shippers and charge a fee for this service.
Right to make an Entry in iternational shipping to the USA (in general)
Merchandise that is shipped and arrived to the United States by commercial carrier must be entered by (1) the owner; (2) purchaser; (3) his authorized regular employee; or (4) by the licensed U.S. Custom Broker designated by the international shipper: owner, purchaser or consignee.
The only persons who are authorized by the tariff laws of the United States to act as agent for international shippers in the transactions in theirs Custom Service are Customs Brokers who are private individuals or firms licensed by the U.S. Customs Service.
U.S. Customs Brokers will prepare and file the necessary Customs entries for international shipments to the USA, arrange for the payment of the duties found due, take steps to effect the release of the imported goods in Customs causticity, and otherwise represent their principals in Customs matters. The fees charged for this services may vary according to the Customs broker and extent of services preformed.
Bureau of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (BCBP, CBP): Combines the functions of (1) the U.S. Customs Service, (2) the INS, (3) the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the (4) U.S. Border Patrol.
BCBP consists of:
- 20 CMC (Customs Management Centers) each with several Customs Districts
- Each Customs District has several service ports and headed by PORT DIRECTOR
Most activity of Custom house Broker is at the port level. The PORT DIRECTOR is responsible for the inspection of imported merchandise in his district, as well as classification and value of imported gods. It consists: (1) Inspection Division, (2) Import Socialists also known as Commodity Specialist Team (CST), each headed by Commodity Team Leader, (3) Custom Laboratory
Both the PORT INSPECTOR and CST must be aware and enforce of regulations of other Federal Agencies, such as Food and Drug, Department of transportation (DOT) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), etc.
Another source of information is the Customs Information Exchange (CIE) in New York. Information reaches the CIE from every international shipping port in the U.S.
- Each international shipping Service Port divided by port of entry. Ports cover air, ocean and land crossing into the U.S.
The Customs Territory of the United States consists of the 50 states, the District of Columbia (DC) and Puerto Rico.
Virginia Islands, although in South East Region (Miami), are not part of U.S. Customs Territory. Imports there are not governed by U.S. Customs Regulations. It can be duty free as long as they are growth, product or manufacture of this possessions, or as long as they contain foreign materials valued at more than 50% of their cost.
Possessions that are NOT part of U.S. Customs Territory are: (1) Guam, (2) America Samoa, (3) Wake Islands, (4) Midway Islands, (5) Kingman Reef and (6) Johnston Islands.
C-TPAT (Customs & Trade Partnership Against Terrorism): U.S. border security program to help protect the USA from terrorism related to international shipping.
This partnership with C-TPAT is voluntary BUT non-participants have been experiencing numerous form number CF28 Requests for Information regarding theirs shipments causing a delay with their import process. Partnered members of C-TPAT are international shippers, importers; licensed brokers; air, ocean and inland carriers; freight forwarders; NVOCCs; consolidators, etc.