An import to USA can seem like an overwhelming task to those that have never done it before, especially if you’ve never had to go through the entry process for your products before. It can seem confusing at first, but with all the necessary documentation importing to the US might mostly be a cakewalk.
When importing a product into the U.S., several documents are required before an entry can be accepted and processed. This post will take you through the list of important documents and when they need to be included or submitted.
- Commercial invoice
A commercial invoice is a document that details the products you are importing, their value, and the country of origin. In addition to that information, it also includes the description of the product, item number, product name, and classification code.
Upon choosing which shipping company to use for your import you should ask for an international commercial invoice template. This will make filling out the necessary information much easier when it’s time to print out your invoices.
- Packing list
The packing list is a document that details all of the items that are included in the shipment. This list is especially helpful when dealing with multiple shipments, which is why it’s a must-have for any person importing goods to the US.
The packing list is similar to a commercial invoice but with more detail. If you have multiple products being shipped, they will need to be listed separately, and there should be as much detail as possible in order to avoid any mistakes or confusion during the entry process.
- Bill of lading
The bill of lading is a document that includes all details regarding the transportation of the shipment. This includes:
- The point of origin
- The point of departure
- The ‘to’ and ‘from’ ports or addresses
- Details about any consolidation
- Weight and volume measurements
- The carrier that will be responsible for transporting your shipment.
- Evidence of Form or Application and Special Permit for Immediate Delivery
These are documents that are used to physically prove the existence of an import entry. Evidence of Form or Application is a document used to prove that you have applied for and received an import entry permit before shipment can be accepted by the US Customs office. The Special Permit for Immediate Delivery is a document that is designed to allow the shipment to be entered into the U.S. right away, as opposed to having it go through additional inspections and processing after being officially entered.
- Entry summary
This is a document that is used if your shipment has been consolidated with other shipments to the US. It’s used to create an entity, which combines all of the shipments into one record that can be tracked. If you are working with a freight forwarder or shipper, they will be responsible for making sure this document exists and is filled out correctly.