What you should know
There are two major ways in which goods can enter the United States: as an informal entry or as a formal entry, also called a commercial entry.
But In most cases informal entry can be used if the merchandise is valued at $2,000 or less. (There are some exceptions such as textiles, certain types of footwear and other goods subject to quota/visa restrictions.)
Formal entries are generally commercial shipments supported by a surety bond to ensure payment of duties and compliance with customs regulations. A bond is like an insurance policy that is payable to Customs in the event that the importer does not comply with import requirements.
Most exports from Canada enter the U.S. as a formal entry, and given the greater complexity of the process, the expert services of a customs broker like SCACLI are essential.
As well as meeting the U.S. Customs and Border Protection requirements, your exports may have to abide by regulations established by a number of other U.S. agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, etc. Our experts at SCACLI can help you understand and deal with these special requirements that apply to a wide range of commodities.
Bioterrorism Act: If your company produces, processes or handles food for human or animal consumption in the U.S., you must register with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. You will also be required to provide the name of a U.S. agent/contact to act on your behalf. You will also be required to notify FDA of your shipments in advance of their arrival at the border.
Trade Act of 2002: Under these regulations, traders shipping goods to the U.S. are required to submit certain cargo and conveyance information to U.S. CBP before the goods arrive at the border.
FAST: A Canada-U.S. Border Facilitation Program
The Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program is a joint U.S. and Canadian effort designed to ensure security and safety while enhancing the economic prosperity of both countries. The FAST program expedites the clearance of transborder expedites the clearance of transborder shipments of compliant partners by reducing Customs information requirements, dedicating lanes at major crossings to FAST participants and physically inspecting cargo transported by low-risk clients with minimal frequency.
FAST is coupled with C-TPAT, the Customs Trade Partnership against Terrorism. Utilizing risk management principles, C-TPAT seeks to identify compliant trusted trade partners who have good supply chain security procedures and controls to reduce screening of their imported cargo. This enables CBP to focus screening efforts on transactions involving unknown or high-risk import traders. Any vehicle using FAST lane processing must be a C-TPAT approved carrier, carrying qualifying goods for C-TPAT approved importer, and the driver must possess a valid FAST-Commercial Driver Card.