Easy Step by Step Importing Goods to the U.S.

First time importing goods into the United States through Customs can be easy if following proper steps in the sequence of required events and paperwork filing. 

New importers will need to research several areas specifically related to the types of goods they are importing. But in general, the following events will lead to a secure and easy import of goods through Customs. 

You may file entries on your own behalf, but many first time importers find consulting a licensed customs broker may be beneficial and ultimately save you time and fees in the long run. 

  1. Contact a US Customs Broker as your partner
    1. Customs Brokers are licensed by Bureau of Customs & Border Protection (CBP), but the importer is ultimately responsible
  2. Provide your Customs Broker limited Power of Attorney
  3. Arrange for proper documentation of goods to include: 
    1. Commercial Invoice
    2. Packing List
    3. Bill of Lading or Airway Bill
    4. NAFTA Certificate if applicable
    5. Certificate of Origin
    6. Documentation as required for involved U.S. Agencies. (i.e. FDA, FCC, etc.)
  4. Obtain an Import Bond
  5. File the Importer Security Filing (ISF) in advance of goods arriving by vessel (some exceptions are provided for)
  6. Schedule shipping and transportation of goods to US per INCOTerms guidelines.

All of the above steps and transactions are a condensed easy path for importing goods. Contact ER Hawthorne to act as your licensed Customs Broker in the United States and count on reliable transactions from your import specialist. 


Gary Gardner
(800) 580-8399
Author: Gary Gardner
Phone: (800) 580-8399
Category: customs brokers