Importing From China and Asia

Basics of Importing to the United States

There is a procedure in place to say who pays for what (or who is responsible for what) and in what point in the chain. We have included a 2016 INCO terms chart below.

Incoterms Chart

As the importer, you will agree with the Chinese vendor on what you are going to purchase, payment amount, the specifics on who pays for what. This is called the INCO terms. 

Optional: You might consider buying on FOB (definition: the risk transfers from the seller to the buyer when the goods are loaded on board the ship and the named port of shipment.  Seller is responsible for all export formalities and deliver to port along side ship, ready for loading)  OR EXWORK (is an international trade term that describes an agreement in which risk transfers from the  the seller to the buyer when the goods are made available for pickup at name place, not loaded)  All other transportation costs such as loading on to truck, export formalities and transportation to the ship  and risks are assumed by the buyer. ER Hawthorne will coordinate the process as dictated by the agreed upon INCO terms and  handle the international shipping details for you.

ER Hawthorne obtains a US Custom’s power of attorney.  This gives us permission to act on your behalf with Customs and other government agencies.

ER Hawthorne will send you our terms/conditions document and other various forms (such as your importing experience and your supply chain experience).  The latter two forms are going to be new to you and may seem confusing. We can help you with these documents.

Process of Documentation for Imports

Before your shipment leaves or is loaded onto a vessel for the US, you (the importer) need to be sure that an Importer Security Filing (ISF) is filed with U S. Customs for your shipment.  The ISF is filed PRIOR to departing the origin port.  We will file the ISF for you. 

NOTE: If you use ER Hawthorne for the international transportation, we will coordinate  the booking, the ISF filing and transportation for you.  The process will be seamless.  We will keep you informed as well.  If you DO NOT use ER Hawthorne’s services for the international transportation , you will NEED to be sure this is done to avoid any penalties. E R Hawthorne will still file the ISF for you but you will have to make sure the shipper provides you with the information to send to us for filing before departure. 

NOTE: The US Customs holds the importer (you) responsible. If you do not file the appropriate paperwork completely and in a timely manner, you could be fined $5,000 - $10,000. ER Hawthorne can assist you with these documents.  This is a very Important Step.

Once your ISF paperwork is filed, your shipment will be ready for departure to USA.

ER Hawthorne will track and trace your shipment ( to its destination port.  We will have the bill of lading, commercial invoice and a packing list for the shipment.

ER Hawthorne will prepare the entry documents  and transmit to U S Customs prior to arrival, as well as any other government agency that might have an interest in your commodity.

ER Hawthorne will disburse payment for the charges to the steamship line, shipping terminals, etc on your behalf. 

ER Hawthorne will obtain the clearance and releases from US Customs and other government agencies, the steamship lines, warehouses etc. 

We arrange for the collection of our charges and the fees in advance by our company.  Once payment is received we set up your product’s pick up or delivery information.

ER Hawthorne will confirm goods delivered in good order.

Company Experience

E.R. Hawthorne of Houston Texas has been servicing the customs brokerage needs of its customers since 1959.  The longevity of ERH is a result of the individualized attention given to each customer.  We have customers who continue to do business with us after 35 years of history together.  The company has grown because of the recommendations of customers and the reputation for service that separates it from many competitors.  We believe we have the expertise and the knowledge to troubleshoot any problem.  With over 300 years of combined experience we can accomplish any task set before us.

The international freight process is a little can be frustrating because of language and global time differences. However, because ER Hawthorne has long term business relationships in the shipping industry, we can communicate with your vendor and ease the transaction.  We can arrange your shipment information from your vendors’ door to your USA door.