In order to import goods from another country, you need to go through the US import process. There are many key concepts involved in this process and it can be complicated for those who don’t know what they’re doing. This post will cover the basics you need to know about how to import to the USA.

The first thing to do is take care of the paperwork. If you’re already in the US, then this shouldn’t be an issue because you don’t need a certificate of origin to import goods from another country. The paperwork necessary to import from another country, however, depends on what you’re trying to import.

We will now look more into the key concepts in the US import process.

  • Understanding types of entries

There are different types of entries that an importer can make. We will talk about these below:

  • Formal entries

Formal entries are made by a person who has permission to enter goods into the US. An importer can make a formal entry by either filing an entry through customs with the assistance of a customs broker or having the goods entered by a carrier or a forwarder who has permission to make entries.

  • Informal entries

If an importer makes an informal entry, the importer is not required to have a US customs broker assist him or her with these transactions. An importer can only make informal entries if the value of the goods is below $2,500 and the goods are not subject to any restrictions.

  • Articles qualifying for Section 321

Section 321 of the Import and Export Act allows for goods that are exempt from customs duties to enter the US. However, when you import a $500 worth of goods into the US under Section 321, then these goods will be subject to duties.

  • Classification of goods under the HTS code

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule code is used to classify goods under certain categories according to their origin, material, and use. A customs broker should be able to help you determine which category your goods fall under so you won’t have any issues with the customs.

  • Import duty assessment

The United States has a lot of trade agreements that affect how much importers will have to pay for the goods they’re bringing in. For example, the United States pays duty on the import of manufactured goods that are valued at over $1,000 if they are in categories being used by American companies.

  • Getting a licensed customs broker

If you’re importing from another country via a customs broker and you still want to import more than $2,500 worth of goods, then you will need to obtain a license. This is because there are some goods that are not allowed to be imported without a license.