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Customs Regulations

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United States

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ISF Filing must be done 72 hours prior to sailing from Origin Port, fines can be as much as $5,000 per bill of lading

  • Passport (copy) showing personal data and photo page
  • Visa (copy)
  • Customs Form 3299 "Declaration for Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles"
  • Supplement Declaration for Unaccompanied Personal and Household Effects
  • Power of Attorney Form authorizing Destination Agent to act on Customer's behalf in liaisons with U.S. Customs
  • Inventory in English (detailed, PBO "packed by owner" and misc. "miscellaneous" not acceptable)


  • Shipment must clear at first port of arrival unless arrangements have been made to move shipment in-bound to a port of entry
  • Used household goods and personal effects can be imported duty-free:
    • If items purchased abroad are not for resale or for use by another person, and have been in owner's possession for at least one year
    • Professional equipment which was owned and used abroad is also generally duty-free


  • New items (less than one year old), inheritance items, and gifts are dutiable
  • Sales receipts may be required on new items
  • Antiques (Certificate of Authenticity is required)
  • Medicine
    • must be properly identified
    • must not exceed normal quantities required by an individual with a health problem
    • must have either a prescription or written statement from doctor stating that the medicine is required for physical well-being
  • Biological materials of public health or of veterinary importance require an Import Permit
    • Strongly recommend not shipping with household goods
    • Certain ports are "Dry Ports" and alcohol cannot be imported at that location; alcohol is not permitted in those states
    • All cartons containing alcoholic beverages should be loaded together, clearly marked on the inventory and be easily accessible for inspection
    • Customer must provide name, quantity, size of bottle, alcohol content , value per bottle, and date purchased


    • Liquor filled candy
    • Lottery tickets
    • Narcotics and dangerous drugs (violation will result in severe penalties)
    • Obscene or pornographic material
    • Unlawful or treasonable material
    • Hazardous articles (e.g. fireworks, combustible, corrosive, flammable or explosive items and toxic or poisonous substances)
    • Switch blade knives
    • Pirated books or articles (e.g. cassettes and computer programs) will be confiscated and destroyed
    • Foodstuff is strictly controlled and subject to inspection and confiscation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
    • Firearms and ammunition (automatic and heavy military weapons are strictly prohibited)
      • Subject to many restrictions
      • Import Permit obtainable and issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF)
      • Proof of ownership
      • Registration, certificates and licenses required and vary according to the type of firearm, the immigration status of the owner, the destination and port of entry
      • If weapon was originally purchased or owned by Customer in the U.S. , proof of sale and date of sale required
      • Animals or plants (e.g. furs, skins, ivory tusks, tortoise shells, wood carvings, etc.) subject to the U.S. Endangered Species Act


        • Automobiles are subject to import duties and taxes
        • Autos previously exported from the U.S. may be imported duty-free provided the customer can supply the export Ocean Bill of Lading and can prove that no modifications have been made to the auto since exporting from the U.S.
        • All automobiles imported must meet both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements--If required conversions are not performed in the country of origin, Customer must post a sizable bond (approximately 50% of the value of the auto) in order to have the necessary conversions performed in the U.S.
        • Information on emission standards can be obtained from the EPA
        • All costs for exam, testing or modifications of auto are payable by the Customer
        • Make, model and year of auto must be provided
        • Documents required:
          • EPA Form 3520-1
          • Purchase Invoice
          • Title
          • Copy of Drivers License (if applicable)


        • There are strict controls, restrictions, and prohibitions on the importation of animals, which is regulated by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and U.S. Public Health Service
        • A minimum of seven days notification prior to arrival is required in order to make necessary arrangements
        • Import regulations for pets may include the following, depending on the country of origin:
          • Original Certificate of rabies vaccination showing proof that the vaccination was administered more than 30 days prior to the flight, but not more than 180 days
          • Health Certificate from a veterinarian must be issued within 15 to 10 days prior to animals departure
          • Dogs and cats are not normally quarantined, but birds require 30 days quarantine and an Import Permit


        NOTE - Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and Customers.
        Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, we cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.


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