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How to Import Personal or Household Goods into USA

Thinking about importing your personal or household goods from overseas back into the United States? U.S. Customs under Chapter 94 allows duty free treatment for goods which are over 1 year of age which were located in your overseas residence during that time period or longer. The goods must also be not intended for sale or for any other person even-though they are located in your residence for that time period, and strictly for your own non commercial use.

Importing personal household effects requires the use of a Customs Broker to make sure all your paperwork and documents comply with CBP regulations to qualify for duty free treatment.

When you have decided to go ahead to ship your goods through the overseas freight forwarder, go and source a customs broker who will agree to handle your shipment. Below are some of the basic documents and filings required for CBP.

Documents and Info Required for Household Goods

1. Manifest or Packing List which indicates all the goods being imported into the U.S.

2. Approximation or depreciated value of the goods on a separate document, or indicated on packing list.

3. Foreign address of residence of where the goods originated from.

Filings Required to CBP

1. ISF Filing (24 hours before loading of vessel)

2. Customs Entry Declaration (when goods are near arrival)

How should I proceed?

1. Arrange your goods to be shipped with an overseas shipping company or freight forwarder.

2. When shipper confirms the goods are arranged to ship, with ETD and ETA. Contact a customs broker for service to prepare for the ISF Filing, and to fill out the required brokerage forms to start service.

3. After goods are shipped, ensure all financial dues are paid to shipper overseas to avoid any hold up upon arrival.

Importer's are also advised to check CBP's Restricted and Prohibited Items List to prior to shipping the goods. Any goods CBP's or other PGA's deem may pose a risk or harm to the U.S., your shipment may be held for exam or refusal at time of arrival. It is recommended to leave any restricted or prohibited items behind if possible to avoid any complications with your shipment upon arrival.

If you have any questions regarding the importation of personal household goods, feel free to give us a call or email. We are experienced in the clearance of household goods shipments for New York, New Jersey and all U.S.A Ports through our National License.


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