Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How to import 20’ and 40’ foot containers into the United States

It has become more and more common for businesses to buy wholesale products overseas and import them into the U.S. to resell for a profit. Due to the cost of importing a full container, it is advisable to order larger quantities of cargo and ship less frequently than it is to order less than container loads of freight and import more frequently. This is where it becomes more cost effective to import a full container load of freight.
Shipping containers vary in size giving importers a few to choose from.  They are:

·  20 FT Container
·  40 FT Container
·  40 FT High Cube Container

Importing a full container makes transportation easier because the freight does not leave the container and it stays together during transit. Since it is being shipped in a metal container, if it is packed correctly, your freight will be less likely to be damaged.

All containers will need to obtain a customs clearance before the imported freight can be released for delivery in the United States. A customs clearance at any port in the United States can be obtained by hiring a customs broker. Importers will be required to submit documentation about their freight before it is released from customs. This documentation includes:
  •      Power of Attorney 
  •      Commercial Invoice
  •      Bill of Lading
A customs broker will make sure that all imported freight meets government regulations and will take care of filing the entry into customs for a clearance. If pre-arranged trucking has not been made for the delivery of your container to its final destination, ask your customs broker for a trucking rate. Once a customs clearance has been issued, it can be immediately delivered from the port to its final destination into the U.S.

Importing perishables or foodstuffs? A FDA release will be required in order for perishable or other foodstuffs  freight to be allowed into the U.S. Unique criteria will need to be met depending on the type of commodity that is being imported. An inspection may be required prior to obtaining an FDA release which is why it is always wise to use an experienced customs broker.

Refrigerated containers can be arranged to maintain required temperatures during transit. An experienced customs broker will ensure the timely clearance and delivery of perishable cargo. The broker that you end up working with will be able to obtain FDA customs clearances at any port within the U.S. if they are a remote location filer. 

For customs clearances in Chicago and FDA clearances visit www.ChicagoCustomsBroker.com

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