Clearing Customs Into USA

Clearing Customs Into USA
Anyone entering USA is subject to its customs regulations, whether you are visiting on holiday or moving permanently. The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the government agency that handles all importation of goods into the country. They have a long list of things you can and cannot bring into the country along with the excise taxes that accompany each type of item.

In America most household goods can be brought into the country duty-free as long as they are used items. Your shipping company will have all the details concerning what might be charged and why. Keeping a detailed list of all the items you ship is always a good idea, along with their value and even receipts of purchase to prove that they are indeed used goods.

Personal items including household goods and professional equipment must be obviously used and have been owned by you for at least one year prior to entry. The idea is that you are not allowed to resell anything you bring into the US duty-free.

You will need to provide the following documents to import household goods duty-free: a copy of your passport showing the personal data page, a copy of your visa and US Customs form 3299 that declares everything you are bringing is duty-free. You also need to provide supplement documentation detailing all unaccompanied personal and household items, which means the things you will have shipped to you separately.

In addition, a Power of Attorney form is needed to authorise the Destination Agent to work on behalf of the customer (you) in dealings with the US Customs office. Your shipping company will have all these forms and help with the Power of Attorney. Finally, a complete and detailed packing list in English stating that everything was ‘Packed by Owner’ (PBO).

If you plan to bring your vehicle with you, it must meet the requirements of both the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It’s best to have your car checked in your home country and modified if necessary before trying to import it. You need to provide EPA Form 3520-1, a copy of your driving license and the original title and purchase invoice.

Items such as pornography, narcotics, firearms, agricultural products and live animals cannot be brought into the country without prior approval. This US Customs form will give you an idea of what information they will require concerning the goods you want to bring into the country.