Personal Effects & Household Goods Customs BrokerNew Resident, Returning Residents, & Visitors
So you’re visiting, moving back, or moving to the U.S. for the first time and you’re wondering how your personal effects are going to clear customs?
Well, it’s not just going to happen by itself! You need a customs broker to make sure your goods are cleared at the lowest cost to you and without delays.
Do I have to pay duties or fees?
Typically, your personal effects & household goods can be customs cleared duty-free.
If you’re bringing back your personal effects and household goods that you previously exported from the U.S. – they’re duty free!
If you took your car abroad and are bringing it back, it’s duty free!
If you’re visiting as a foreign individual, you can be a foreign importer and bring your own things duty-free.
That’s all goods news, the bad news is that there are other things to worry about:
1. Customs Clearance
2. Customs Exams
3. The actual logistics of getting your goods after they have arrived at the sea port, customs warehouse, airport, or the exam site if your goods are on exam.
Ocean vs Air vs Border
For our household and personal effects customs brokers, it doesn’t matter where your goods are arriving.
We clear goods arriving into any airport, border crossing, and port in the United States.
What happens in a customs exam?
All importation into the United States is subject to customs examination. Yes this includes your personal effects!
The most common type of customs exam, if you’re importing by Ocean, is the NII or Vaccis Exam – commonly known as an x-ray exam.
Your container will either be x-rayed at the ocean terminal or at an off-site CES (Customs Examination Site).
Customs Exams are typically random. One way to avoid customs exams for ocean shipments, make sure you have a good customs broker that files your ISF on time. A late filed ISF is a sure way to get a customs hold and customs exam.
Who pays customs exam fees?
U.S. Customs & Border protection refers shipments for examination, but does not bear the brunt of the costs associated with the exams.
You, the importer, will bear the brunt of the customs exam and all the fees associated with it.
Detention & Demmurage are the reasons you want to have the right customs broker.
If your customs broker doesn’t treat your shipment with the expediency it requires, you the importer will pay for the storage (demmurage) and detention (per-diem) charges that will result from goods not cleared on time.
Our team of household goods & personal effects customs brokers will have your cargo cleared five (5) days before the arrival of your cargo so there are no surprises.
Don’t let your cargo in the hands of other customs brokers who wait until the last day to file your entry.