To assist our customers, Bay provides the following downloads to some of our most frequently used forms.
Please check with the appropriate government agency or contact Bay Brokerage directly to ensure proper use of these forms.

Department Of Homeland Security U.S. Customs And Border Protection

Department Of Transportation

United States Environment Protection Agency

United States Department Of Agriculture

To assist our customers, Bay provides the following downloads to some of our most frequently requested trade publication information.
Please check with the appropriate government agency or contact Bay Brokerage directly to ensure proper interpretation of these trade publications.

United States Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection

Glossary

Air Waybill

A bill of lading for air transportation. Air waybills specify the terms under which the air carrier is agreeing to transport the goods and contain limitations of liability. They are not negotiable.

Arrival Notice

A notification by the steamship, railroad, or over-the-road trucker. It informs the consignee of the arrival of the goods and usually indicates the pickup location and the allowed free time before storage charges begin.

ATA Carnet

An international customs document that may be used in lieu of national customs entry documents and as security for import duties and taxes to cover the temporary admission and transit of goods.

Bill of Lading (B/L)

A document issued by a carrier (railroad, steamship or trucking company) which serves as a receipt for the goods to be delivered to a designated person or to his order. The bill of lading describes the conditions under which the goods are accepted by the carrier and details the nature and quantity of the goods, name of vessel (if shipped by sea), identifying marks and numbers, destination, etc. The person sending the goods is the “shipper” or “consignor,” the company or agent transporting the goods is the “carrier”, and the person for whom the goods are destined is the “consignee”. Bills of lading may be negotiable or non-negotiable. If negotiable, i.e., payable to the shipper’s order and properly endorsed, title to the goods passes upon delivery of the bill of lading.

Bonded Warehouse

A warehouse in which goods subject to excise taxes or customs duties are temporarily stored without the taxes or duties being assessed. A bond or security is given for the payment of all taxes and duties that may eventually become due. Operations in the warehouse may cover assembly, manipulation or storage but usually not manufacturing.

Carriage and Insurance Paid (CIP)

The seller has the same obligations as under CPT but has the responsibility of obtaining insurance against the buyer’s risk of loss or damage of goods during the carriage. The seller is required to clear the goods for export however is only required to obtain insurance on minimum coverage. This term requires the seller to clear the goods for export and can be used across all modes of transport

Carriage Paid To (CPT)

The seller pays the freight for the carriage of goods to the named destination. The risk of loss or damage to the goods occurring after the delivery has been made to the carrier is transferred from the seller to the buyer. This term requires the seller to clear the goods for export and can be used across all modes of transport.

Certificate of Insurance

A document containing certain terms of a full-length insurance policy. A one-page document, it is evidence that there is insurance coverage for a shipment. Beneficiaries of open cargo or blanket insurance policies are authorized to issue their own certificates of insurance.

Cost and Freight (CFR)

The seller must pay the costs and freight required in bringing the goods to the named port of destination. The risk of loss or damage is transferred from seller to buyer when the goods pass over the ship’s rail in the port of shipment. The seller is required to clear the goods for export. This term should only be used for sea or inland waterway transport.

Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF)

The seller has the same obligations as under CFR however he is also required to provide insurance against the buyer’s risk of loss or damage to the goods during transit. The seller is required to clear the goods for export. This term should only be used for sea or inland waterway transport.

Customs Broker

A person or firm licensed by an importer’s government and engaged in entering and clearing goods through customs. The responsibilities of a broker include preparing the entry form and filing it; advising the importer on duties to be paid; advancing duties and other costs; and arranging for delivery to the importer.

Delivered at Place (DAP)

May be used for all transport modes.
Seller delivers the goods when they are placed at the disposal of the buyer on the arriving means of transport ready for unloading at the named place of destination. Parties are advised to specify as clearly as possible the point within the agreed place of destination, because risks transfer at this point from seller to buyer. If the seller is responsible for clearing the goods, paying duties etc., consideration should be given to using the DDP term.

Responsibilities

  • Seller bears the responsibility and risks to deliver the goods to the named place
  • Seller is advised to obtain contracts of carriage that match the contract of sale
  • Seller is required to clear the goods for export
  • If the seller incurs unloading costs at place of destination, unless previously agreed they are not entitled to recover any such costs

Importer is responsible for effecting customs clearance, and paying any customs duties.

Delivered at Terminal (DAT)

May be used for all transport modes.
Seller delivers when the goods, once unloaded from the arriving means of transport, are placed at the disposal of the buyer at a named terminal at the named port or place of destination. “Terminal” includes quay, warehouse, container yard or road, rail or air terminal. Both parties should agree the terminal and if possible a point within the terminal at which point the risks will transfer from the seller to the buyer of the goods. If it is intended that the seller is to bear all the costs and responsibilities from the terminal to another point, DAP or DDP may apply.

Responsibilities

  • Seller is responsible for the costs and risks to bring the goods to the point specified in the contract
  • Seller should ensure that their forwarding contract mirrors the contract of sale
  • Seller is responsible for the export clearance procedures
  • Importer is responsible to clear the goods for import, arrange import customs formalities, and pay import duty

If the parties intend the seller to bear the risks and costs of taking the goods from the terminal to another place then the DAP term may apply.

Delivered Duty Paid (DDP)

The seller is responsible for delivering the goods to the named place in the country of importation, including all costs and risks in bringing the goods to import destination. This includes duties, taxes and customs formalities. This term may be used irrespective of the mode of transport.

Drawback

Import duties and taxes refunded by a government, in whole or in part, when the imported goods are re-exported or used in the manufacture of exported goods.

Duty

The tax imposed by a customs authority on imported merchandise.

Entry

The formal process by which goods are imported into a country, consisting of filing of documents with the importing country’s customs service and the payment of customs duties. Various types of entries are used in different circumstances such as consumption entries, warehouse entries, immediate transportation entries, and transportation and exportation entries.

Examination

The process by which the customs authorities of an importing country inspect the goods identified in the customs entry documents and confirm whether the goods are the same as described in the documents and whether the goods are eligible for entry.

Export License

A permit required to engage in the export of certain commodities to certain destinations. In the United States such controls are usually determined by the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Export Administration; the Department of State, Office of Defense Trade Controls; or Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control. Controls are imposed to implement U.S. foreign policy, ensure U.S. national security, prevent proliferation, or protect against short supply.

Free Alongside Ship (FAS)

The seller has fulfilled his obligation when goods have been placed alongside the vessel at the port of shipment. The buyer is responsible for all costs and risks of loss or damage to the goods from that moment. The buyer is also required to clear the goods for export. This term should only be used for sea or inland waterway transport.

Free On Board (FOB)

Once the goods have passed over the ship’s rail at the port of export the buyer is responsible for all costs and risks of loss or damage to the goods from that point. The seller is required to clear the goods for export. This term should only be used for sea or inland waterway transport.

Freight Forwarder

An entity that dispatches shipments via common carriers and books or otherwise arranges space for those shipments on behalf of shippers and processes the documentation or performs related activities incident to those shipments.

Freight Prepaid

An agreement between the seller and a buyer that the seller will pay for the transportation charges before delivery to the transportation carrier.

Harmonized Tariff System

The system adopted by most of the commercial countries of the world in 1989, classifying products manufactured and sold in world commerce according to an agreed-upon numerical system. Common international classifications facilitate balance of trade statistics collection, customs classification, and country of origin determination.

In Bond

The transportation or storage of goods in a condition or location which is exempt under the customs laws from the payment of customs duties for the time period which is allowed by law for transportation or storage. Transportation or storage in bond may be affected by transportation carriers or warehouses that have posted a bond with customs authorities guaranteeing payment of all customs duties in the event that the goods are improperly released with out the payment of customs duties by the owner of the goods.

Liquidations

U.S. Customs term describing the official and final determination made by customs authorities of the classification and value of the imported merchandise. For example, many importers, by posting a customs bond, may obtain immediate delivery of merchandise by classifying the imported product and paying customs duties at the time. The importer’s classification and value, however, is not binding on the U.S. Customs Service, and within an additional period time, for example, three to six months, the Service will make its own analysis of the goods and determine whether or not they agree with the classification, value, and duties paid.

Pro Forma Invoice

An abbreviated invoice sent at the beginning of a sale transaction, usually to enable the buyer to obtain an import permit or a foreign exchange permit or both. The pro forma invoice gives a close approximation of the weights and values of a shipment that is to be made.

Shipper’s Export Declaration

A form required by the Commerce Department for shipments over $2500 ($500 for mail shipments) to all countries except Canada. It is completed by a shipper or its freight forwarder showing the value, weight, consignee, designation, schedule B number, etc. for the export shipment.

Shipper’s Letter of Instructions

A document issued by an exporter or importer instructing the freight forwarder to effect transportation importation and exportation in accordance with the terms specified in the letter of instructions.

Tariff

A duty (or tax) levied upon goods transported from one customs area to another. Tariffs raise the prices of imported goods, thus making them less competitive within the market of the importing country.

Value-Added Tax (VAT)

An indirect tax on consumption that is levied at each discrete point in the chain of production and distribution, from the raw material stage to final consumption. Each processor or merchant pays a tax proportional to the amount by which he increases the value or marks up the goods he purchases for resale.

World Trade Organization (WTO)

The World Trade Organization consists of 123 signatory countries. The Uruguay Round of negotiations resulted in the formation of the WTO and in numerous agreements relating to the reduction of tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade. The WTO supercedes GATT, but a number of agreements reached under GATT, such as the Valuation Code, the Antidumping Code, the Subsidies Code, and Agreement on Government Procurement, continue in revised form under the WTO.

Frequently Asked Questions

I hear the term informed compliance, what does this mean?

Informed compliance is a shared responsibility between CBP and the import community wherein CBP effectively communicates its requirements to the trade, and the people and businesses subject to those requirements conduct their regulated activities in accordance with U.S. laws and regulations. A key component of informed compliance is that the importer is expected to exercise reasonable care in his or her importing operations.

What is an import entry?

An import entry is the process of clearing an import shipment through Customs. This involves preparing the requisite import entry documentation, classifying the imported product, assigning a value to the imported product and paying all Customs duties and fees owed on the imported product.

What is the value limit for Section 321 entry and will duties apply?

A subcategory of informal entry, known as a “Section 321” entry, will allow for the duty-free entry of a shipment valued at $800 or less that is imported by one person on one day, with minimal attendant documentation requirements. The term “Section 321” is derived from this provision’s statutory source, 19 U.S.C. § 1321(a)(2)(C).

When I ship to the United States, how are the goods entered and who is responsible for entering the shipment?

When a shipment reaches the United States, the importer of record (i.e., the owner, purchaser, or licensed customs broker designated by the owner, purchaser, or consignee) will file entry documents for the goods with the port director at the goods’ port of entry. Imported goods are not legally entered until after the shipment has arrived within the port of entry, delivery of the merchandise has been authorized by CBP, and estimated duties have been paid. It is the importer of record’s responsibility to arrange for examination and release of the goods.

What is the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S.?

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is a system of tariff classification in use in the United States. The HTSUS comprises part of a uniform system of tariff classification used by major trading partners throughout the world. Goods are classified for the purpose of calculating the appropriate import duties.

Which value is most commonly used in appraising imported goods?

The value most commonly used in appraising imported goods is the transaction value of the imported goods, i.e., the total price actually paid or payable for the merchandise when sold for exportation to the U.S. plus amounts for the following if not included on the price:

  • packing costs
  • certain inland freight costs
  • sales commissions
  • royalties and license fees
  • assists

What is a bonded warehouse and how can this benefit an importer?

If one wishes to postpone release of the goods, they may be placed in a CBP bonded warehouse under a warehouse entry. The goods may remain in the bonded warehouse up to five years from the date of importation. At any time during that period, warehoused goods may be re-exported without paying duty, or they may be withdrawn for consumption upon paying duty at the duty rate in effect on the date of withdrawal. If the goods are destroyed under CBP supervision, no duty is payable. While the goods are in the bonded warehouse, they may, under CBP supervision, be manipulated by cleaning, sorting, repacking, or otherwise changing their condition by processes that do not amount to manufacturing. After manipulation, and within the warehousing period, the goods may be exported without the payment of duty, or they may be withdrawn for consumption upon payment of duty at the rate applicable to the goods in their manipulated condition at the time of withdrawal. Perishable goods, explosive substances, or prohibited importations may not be placed in a bonded warehouse. Certain restricted articles, though not allowed release from custody, may be warehoused.

What is a foreign trade zone?

A Foreign Trade Zone is an area in the United States that is not considered “in the U.S. Customs Territory” for certain legal purposes. Duty is not paid when goods are put into a Foreign Trade Zone, but rather when they are taken out and “entered for consumption” in the United States.

Am I allowed to transport my shipment through the US to a port other than the port of arrival?

Yes, not all merchandise imported into the United States and intended for domestic commerce is entered at the port where it arrives. The importer may prefer to enter the goods at a different location in the United States, in which case the merchandise will have to be further transported to that location. In order to protect United States revenue in these cases, the merchandise must travel in a bonded status from the port of arrival to the intended port of entry. This process is referred to as traveling under Immediate Transportation procedures and is accomplished by the execution of CBP Form 7512 (Transportation Entry and Manifest of Goods Subject to CBP Inspection and Permit). The merchandise is then placed with a carrier who accepts it under its bond for transportation to the intended destination, where the normal merchandise entry process will occur.

Is U.S. Customs and Border Protection the only U.S. government agency that gets involved in the administration of U.S. imports?

No, other U.S. government agencies that are involved in U.S. import administration include:
Department of Agriculture which is tasked with keeping insect and other pests out of the U.S. to the greatest extent possible;
Department of Commerce which collects statistical information about import shipments and compiles trade statistics;
Department of Energy which issues license to import petroleum products;
Food and Drug Administration which insures that food and drug conform to certain standards;
Consumer Products Safety Commission which regulates consumer products that the FDA doesn’t handle directly;
Fish and Wildlife Service which is interested in non-domesticated animals, and merchandise made from parts of these animals;
State Department which monitors artifacts and cultural property imported from various countries;
Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration which regulate the import of automobiles and certain related equipment;
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms which issues license and/or permits to import alcoholic beverages of all kinds, firearms, and other weaponry, and tobacco products;
Foreign Assets Control which issues licenses to import products that would otherwise be prohibited (Cuban cigars, Iranian carpets);
Federal Trade Commission which regulates the importation of textiles, fur, articles, and apparel;
Federal Communications Commission which regulates the importations of radios and certain articles emitting radio frequencies.

Are any licenses required to import products into the U.S.?

Generally licenses are not required to import products into the U.S. There are certain exceptions to this general rule however. As a result importers should always check with U.S. Customs before attempting to bring a new product type into the country.

Are containers and holders of imported merchandise subject to duties?

CBP designates such items as lift vans, cargo vans, shipping tanks, pallets and certain articles used to ship goods internationally as instruments of international traffic. So long as this designation applies, these articles are not subject to entry or duty when they arrive, whether they are loaded or empty. Other classes of merchandise containers may also be designated as instruments of international traffic upon application to the Commissioner of CBP for such a designation. If any article so designated is diverted to domestic use, however, it must be entered and duty paid, if applicable.

What is a quota?

A quota is a limitation on the quantity of goods that may be imported into a country from all countries or from specific countries during a prescribed time period.

What is an absolute quota?

An absolute quota is any pre-set quantity of given goods authorized for importation, during a specified period, beyond which no additional quantity of these goods can be imported.

What is a tariff-rate quota?

A tariff-rate quota is any pre-set value or quantity of given goods authorized for importation, during a specified period with a reduction of the Customs duties. Once a tariff-rate quota is met, additional quantity of the goods subject to the tariff rate quota can still be imported, but higher Customs duties must be paid.