Frequently Asked Questions

What follows are some of the most frequently asked questions about Freighters To learn more, send us an email.

What Documents will be required for the U.S. Customs Clearance?

Documentation required will depend on the type of goods being entered. The documentation required from the customer may vary, however, as required by the U.S. customs, the following minimum basic information and documentation will be required for making an importation entry and ISF 10 + 2 (Importer Security Filing) for vehicles:

  • Shipping Line’s Bill of Lading/Notice of Arrival
  • Power of Attorney
  • Invoice/Bill of Sale
  • Title/Registration
  • For Individual Consignee: ID, U.S. Address, Birth Date, SSN (Passport Number For ISF Only)
  • For Business Consignee: U.S. Address and EIN
  • You will be informed by our office of any other documentation required by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

What are the charges for U.S. Customs Clearance?

You will be charged service fees for the ISF and Customs Clearance Entry. In addition to the service charge, Custom Duties/Fees may be applicable. Taxes will be applicable (Customs Duties/Fees are broken down on Rates page).

United States Customs may also decide to inspect the incoming cargo. Fees for Roll On/Roll Off (RO/RO) vehicle inspections are at the discretion of the port and fees do apply to certain types of inspections such as U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspections. IF USDA finds cargo to be soiled you will be required to have the cargo cleaned to meet USDA requirements.

There may be additional fees that will need to be paid upon cargo arrival such as the Terminal Handling Charge (THC) or storage fees at the U.S. port of arrival. These charges will vary depending on the shipping line/port terminal used and the type of goods being imported. If the imported goods are containerized then the importer will have to pay for any inspections that Customs performs such as an X-Ray exam or a physical exam of the containerized cargo. The importer will also be responsible for the transport of the container from the port once it is made available for pick up by the shipping line/port and the removal of the cargo from the container.

When Can I pick up my shipment?

You can pick up your RO/RO vehicle at the port of discharge once it has been released by U.S. Customs and the steamship line. The steamship line can only release the cargo once all charges have been paid in full and after U.S. customs give their authorization. Containerized cargo can be picked up from the Container Freight Station facility directly once the facility has picked up and removed the cargo from the container.

On average it takes Customs 3-5 business days to clear the goods after the arrival of the vessel. U.S. Customs and the USDA reserves the right to place any goods that are imported into the United States on hold. This is done in case U.S. Customs and/or USDA request that the cargo be examined. An Exam Hold can delay release of cargo on average by a week. This is only an average time frame and cannot be guaranteed.

Imported vehicles that are over 25 years of age will take a longer time to clear than vehicles that comply with U.S. DOT and EPA specifications. This delay is due to U.S. Customs judging the admissibility of older model vehicles to ensure that they can be exempted from DOT/EPA specs.

How Do I pay any Customs duties, fees, shipping costs, etc.?

We make Duties/Fees payments on behalf of the customer to U.S. Customs directly and then bill them back to the client. We can outlay freight and other charges due to the shipping lines upon receipt / notification of those charges. In case of any accrued storage charges, the customer will need to pay the port directly prior to cargo pick up from the port.

Would My Shipment Be Exempt From U.S. Customs Duties/Fees:?

In certain cases imported cargo into the United States can be exempt from payment for U.S. Customs Duties/Fees. For vehicles there can be exemptions based on:

1. A Vehicle being imported was exported from the United States by the same owner. In order to qualify for this exemption the vehicle cannot have been modified while overseas and a copy of the most recent U.S. Title/Registration will need to be submitted to the Customs Broker

2. If a vehicle was manufactured in the United States and has not been modified while overseas

3. If the vehicle owner is an employee of the United States government returning to the United States under orders of the U.S. government (such as a returning Service Member under PCS orders). The Customs Broker must have a copy of the Orders in order for this exemption to apply

Can I Clear My Cargo Myself?

Importers have the right to file a clearance entry themselves for their cargo with U.S. Customs. A Customs Broker is needed for the filing of the ISF. The purpose of the Customs Broker filing a entry on behalf of the client is to eliminate the client’s need to deal with U.S. Customs, the shipping line, and the port directly. Our role is to eliminate any possible headaches and hassles the clients may face in directly clearing the cargo themselves and to use our experience to ease the clients stress when it comes to imports into the United States. Our relationship with the parties involved in Clearance can also make for a speedier process then if the client cleared the cargo themselves.

How far in advance do I need to schedule the shipment of my vehicle or other cargo for export?

We recommend making arrangements approximately two to three weeks in advance to insure that your cargo can be moved within the time frame which best meets your schedule and also to assure that all documentation that may be necessary for the U.S. export customs clearance is readily available and in order. If you run out of time and need a quick shipment, not a problem, please contact us for an expedited booking and we will do everything possible to take care of your needs as quickly as possible.

Style Switcher

  • Layout

    Switch layout between wide and boxed

  • Boxed Background

    Background pattern for BOXED layout

  • Scheme Color

    Select predefined scheme color