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U.S. Customs &
Border Protection Forms

Detention (CBP Form 6051D)

Customs is given broad authority to inspect shipments entering into the country. When Customs questions the admissibility of goods into the United States, Customs has the authority to detain the shipment until satisfactory information is provided to enable release. Customs has five (5) business days from the date on which the merchandise is presented for examination to decide whether or not to detain the merchandise or to allow its release. If Customs decides to detain a shipment, they must provide the importer with a formal Notice of Detention within five (5) days of the determination to detain the shipment. During the detention phase the importer has the opportunity to resolve any issues as to admissibility in order to avoid a rejection or seizure.

A Notice of Detention must provide the following information under the law:

  • That the goods have been placed under detention;
  • The precise reason for their detention;
  • The estimated length of time that they will be detained;
  • A description of any inquiries being conducted or tests to be made (legally, test results also must be promptly provided to the importer) regarding the goods; and
  • Any additional information that may assist in the prompt disposition of the detention.

Customs has thirty (30) days to render a decision regarding the detained shipment, unless a longer time period has been granted. If no final decision is reached at the end of this thirty (30) day period, the merchandise is automatically considered excluded for purposes of protest. If the goods are seized, the importer will receive a Notice of Seizure and Information to Claimants Form Non-CAFRA or Form CAFRA. It will provide the reasons for the seizure and options available.

Our firm regularly assists with getting property in the detention phase released.

Government Agencies We Work With

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