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Importers are under the belief that when goods arrive at the port the importation process is over.  However, the arrival of goods at the port technically marks the beginning of entry process.  Documentation must be presented to Customs in order to facilitate the goods entry into the United States.  Documentation prepared for Customs is different depending on whether the goods are shipped by air, sea, or ground.  The length of the voyage to the United States can be lengthy, as such, information and/or documentation is provided to Customs prior to the arrival of goods at the port. This gives Customs a “heads up” as to what is being shipped and allows the importer an opportunity to correct any mistakes.

There are primarily two methods to the entry process:

1.  Immediate Delivery Entry                           2. Live Entry

  • Both require the filing of an Entry – Customs Form 3461 (CF 3461 ALT – if applicable)
  • Both require an Entry Summary – Customs Form 7501

However, for live entries an Entry Summary is filed with an Entry while for Immediate Delivery Entries an importer has 10 days to file.

More to come on Entry in the next post

-Happy Importing-

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