- What is a Customs Broker?
A customs broker is a person or firm who acts as an agent of an importer for the primary purposes of arranging U.S. Customs clearance and payment of duty. Customs brokers also handle a variety of operational procedures with other government agencies involved in regulating imported goods. Customs brokers in the U.S. are regulated and licensed, both individually and as business entities, by the Department of Homeland Security. In general, only customs brokers are allowed to transact customs business on behalf of others. DJS is a licensed entity, with multiple licensed individuals on staff.
- How do I get my import shipment cleared through U.S. Customs?
For DJS to clear your shipment, we need a completed Power of Attorney designating DJS as your customs broker, as well as the basic documents required to clear an import shipment (Commercial invoice, Packing List, and Airway Bill or Ocean Bill of Lading). The DJS New Client Packet contains the POA and some additional forms that will help us understand your product and provide the best service possible.
For additional assistance, please call DJS or contact us at email@example.com.
- What documents are required to clear an import shipment?
The basic documents required to clear an import shipment are:
- Seller’s commercial invoice
- Packing List
- Air Waybill or Ocean Bill of Lading
- What is a Freight Forwarder?
A Freight Forwarder is a person or firm who arranges transportation of goods on behalf of a shipper. DJS is licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission as an international ocean freight forwarder and commissioned by the International Air Transport Association as an air cargo agent.
- How do I get a Freight Quote?
So that we may provide a prompt and accurate freight quote, please submit a DJS Freight Quote Request, providing as much detail as possible about your shipment.
Please call DJS or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance or for additional information on obtaining a freight quote.
- How do I book my Import Shipment?
To initiate your import shipment, please complete one of our routing orders, which can then be provided as instructions to your supplier, as well as to DJS in copy. Please call DJS or contact us at email@example.com to determine and obtain the proper origin routing form, or for any further assistance with your shipment.
- How do I track my shipment?
DJS offers two tracking systems, depending on your specific needs: Customs Import Tracking and Collaborative Logistics Management (CLM) Tracking. To get set up as a user, please contact DJS today.
- What is a bill of lading?
A bill of lading (B/L) is the formal contract of carriage used by carriers for ocean shipments. It is considered evidence of the shipment being loaded on a particular vessel.
- How do I get a telex release?
To get a telex release, there must be an agreement arranged between the importer and the shipper.
- What is a telex release?
A telex release is given when the shipper/seller of goods allows the carrier to release the freight without presentation of the original bill of lading.
- What is demurrage?
Demurrage refers to charges assessed by a carrier if available freight has not been picked up in the prescribed number of days following unloading of the vessel.
- What is per diem?
Per Diem refers to per day charges assessed by a carrier if its empty cargo containers are not returned within the prescribed number of days.
- What is the standard container size?
Exact container specifications may vary slightly by carrier. Most containers are 8 feet wide, although 8.5-foot widths have become available from some carriers. Container lengths generally range from 20 to 53 feet, with 20-foot and 40-foot containers being the two most common. Height is usually 8.5 feet, but may be 8 feet or 9.5 feet, which is known as a “high cube.” There are also many types of specialized containers, such as platform containers (one foot high), bins (four feet high), and flat rack containers of varying sizes.
- What is C-TPAT?
C-TPAT stands for Custom-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), C-TPAT is a voluntary government-business initiative designed to build cooperative relationships that strengthen and improve overall international supply chain and U.S. border security. Through cooperation with participants (which can be importers, carriers, consolidators, licensed customs brokers, or manufacturers) CBP can provide the highest level of cargo security. In exchange for participation in the program, which requires demonstration of a strong commitment to both trade security and trade compliance, C-TPAT members are given certain benefits, such as a reduced number of CBP inspections, and priority processing for CBP inspections.
- What is a Customs Bond?
Similar to an insurance policy for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a customs bond is issued by a surety company to an importer for a specified amount. CBP is named as the beneficiary. The bond guarantees the importer’s financial obligations with regards to the imported goods. CBP requires a customs bond as a condition of accepting formal entry from the importer.
- What is a 7501?
A 7501 is the customs form also known as the entry summary. It is a declaration of goods entering the country and contains specific shipment details, including a breakdown of all items in the shipment, with duties and user fees shown.
- What is FCL?
FCL is an abbreviation for Full Container Load. It describes freight that takes up the entire space of one container, is shipper-packed, and will be delivered as a full container to the consignee, to be unloaded by the consignee. Rather than going to a CFS station to be unloaded like LCL freight, a full container is held at the container yard (CY) until delivery to the consignee. For this reason, FCL freight may also be referred to as CY freight.
- What is LCL?
LCL is the abbreviation for Less-than-Container Load freight, or freight that does not fill the entire capacity of a container. LCL freight is generally loaded loose or on pallets into a container with other LCL freight, and will be unloaded at a Container Freight Station (CFS) prior to delivery to the consignee. For this reason, it may also be referred to as CFS freight.
- What is a port of entry?
The port of entry is the port at which entry is made to U.S. Customs for the purpose of obtaining a customs release.
- What is a Customs Power of Attorney (POA)?
A Customs POA is the legal document that grants customs brokers the authority to conduct customs business on behalf of the importer or exporter who signs it.
- What is CCS?
CCS is the abbreviation for Certified Customs Specialist. The CCS program was developed by NCBFAA as a continuing education and credentialing program for professionals in the customs brokerage industry. Licensed brokers had the option of grandfathering into the CCS program at its outset in 2006, while non-licensed industry professionals were able to take a course and earn the designation by passing a test. Both groups must earn approved continuing education credits each year in order to maintain the CCS designation.
- What documents are required for an export shipment?
The basic documents required for an export shipment are:
Shipper’s Letter of Instructions
Shipper’s Security Endorsement
Power of Attorney (only required if a non-routed shipment)
- What is an airwaybill?
An airwaybill (AWB) is the contract of carriage used for air shipments.
- What is an Incoterm?
Incoterms, standing for International Commercial Terms, are set forth and copyrighted by the International Chamber of Commerce. They are the prevailing international standard for delivery terms (or terms of sale) most widely used and understood throughout the world. The use of Incoterms in international contracts is designed to reduce the potential for disputes between buyer and seller by describing exactly when responsibilities and assumed risks for the freight shift from one party to the other.
- What is a Consignee?
A consignee is the party to which cargo is to be delivered at the point of destination. Often, it is the importer, or buyer of the goods.
- How do I become a C-TPAT member?
Eligible businesses must apply to participate in C-TPAT. There is an online electronic application on www.cbp.gov that includes submission of corporate information, a supply chain security profile, and an acknowledgment of an agreement to voluntarily participate. In completing the supply chain security profile, companies must conduct a comprehensive self-assessment of their supply chain security procedures using the C-TPAT security criteria guidelines jointly developed by CBP and the trade community for their specific enrollment category.