Helpful Resources

Resources

Looking for some more information to take the hard work out of clearing customs? Here are some helpful resources to assist you throughout the process.

One of the main reasons for a container being held by customs is incorrect labeling, or if there is a discrepancy with the commercial invoice. While WTA USA can streamline the majority of the processes involved with customs, here are some extra tips on what you will need to make sure everything goes to plan.

  1. The commercial invoice and packing list – these contain critical information about your goods, such as the origin, the manufacturer, the destination and HTS Codes. They also give a complete description of goods and weights. They are required to be written in English.
  2. Power of Attorney – WTA USA will need power of attorney over your shipment to clear your goods through customs. We also need this to pay duty on your behalf. Click here for our POA form and instructions.
  3. Importer Security Filing (ISF) – this needs to be sent 72 hours prior to the date of sailing. All manufacturers and the goods from their facilities need to be entered. The following information will need to be filled out:
    • Manufacturer (or supplier) name and address
    • Seller (or owner) name and address
    • Buyer (or owner) name and address
    • Ship-to name and address
    • Container stuffing location
    • Consolidator (stuffer) name and address
    • Importer of record number/foreign trade zone applicant identification number
    • Consignee number(s)
    • Country of origin
    • Commodity Harmonized Tariff Schedule number to six (6) digits
  4. The Bill of Lading / Airway Bill – an Airway Bill is used for air shipments while the Bill of Lading is used for sea shipments. Both are the legal documents given by the airline or shipping line to confirm your freight is onboard. The arrival notice allows WTA USA to start the clearance process and should be sent over before the freight reaches port.
  5. Harmonized Tariff Code – every item that is shipped to the U.S. is assigned an internationally recognised code, called a Harmonized Tariff Code. We can provide recommendations and assistance on this.
  6. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) – the HTS comprises a hierarchical structure for describing all goods in trade for duty, quota, and statistical purposes. Every item that enters the U.S. has an HTS code. Having this code ready is extremely important for quickly clearing your goods through customs. Find your product code and save it for future reference.
  7. Labeling – this must be in English, have a country of origin on it and include a full list of ingredients.

New Nutrition Facts Label

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new Nutrition Facts label for most packaged foods that reflects the latest in nutrition science and includes additional nutrient information.

The new label features a refreshed design, reflects updated information about nutrition science and updates serving sizes and labeling requirements for certain package sizes.

Most food manufacturers will be required to use the new label by July 26, 2018. Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have an additional year to comply with the new rules. The FDA plans to conduct outreach and education efforts on the new requirements.

For more information:

For more information about government regulations on the importation of food, please visit these two links:

  • FDA – the U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides guidance, compliance, and regulatory information.
  • USDA – the United States Department of Agriculture provides food and safety information.

If you are interested in further reading about different topics concerning Customs and Border Control, please refer to these organizations:

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