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Tips for New Importers and Exporters

Updated: Jul 18, 2023



U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) advise that knowing CBP policies and procedures before importing/exporting your goods will be beneficial in avoiding potential problems in authorizing your products. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:


What kind of license is required to import merchandise into the United States?

  • A license, permit, or some other type of certification may be essential for other agencies, based on the product that is being imported. (excluding CBP)

  • A license from local or state, or social security number if your business is not registered with the IRS or is nonexistent.

  • Request a CBP assigned number (complete CBP Form 5106) and present it to the Entry Branch (CBP port of entry).


Where can I find more information about the basics of importing and exporting?


How do I know where I want to import my goods?

  • Contact the CBP office (located at the port of entry), where your products will enter the U.S.

  • Consult the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) for more information.


Where can I find information about exporting?


Who can I consult for my first time importing/exporting?

  • Those who import or export products for the first time may consult a licensed customs broker.


What is an Importer Security Filing (ISF)?

  • Before products arriving by vessel can be imported into the U.S., their agent must submit advance cargo information to the CBP in the form of an ISF electronically.

  • The ISF applies to import cargo arriving in the U.S. by ocean vessel.

Please refer to the Importer Security Filing webpage


Or call Spirit CHB, Inc at the phone number (714)383-9973, email: info@spiritchbinc.com


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