USA Customs Delays: Random Inspections for Australian Imports

In recent months, we have seen a steep increase in random customs inspections by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), for both ocean and air shipments to Australia. We closely monitor this process for each consignment however in some cases this can cause delays of up to 21-30 days with shipments. 

There are some considerations to be made to help with preventing these delays and minimising the impact of these delays on your import shipments from the USA: 

1. Accurate and complete documentation

Documents such as commercial invoices, bills of lading, free trade certificates and other necessary paperwork to satisfy US regulatory requirements should be complete and accurate to ensure seamless clearance processing. 

2. Classifying the goods

For all imports and exports, it is vital to determine the correct classification of goods in accordance with the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) to identify rates and potential additional requirements.

3. Regulation compliance

To prevent any penalties or fines from government bodies, is it important to be familiar with the US customs regulations. Any lack of compliance can also cause further delays with import. 

4. Awareness of prohibited items

Some goods such as: weapons, illegal substances and counterfeit goods are highly restricted by US customs, it is important to know if your goods fall into any sensitive or dangerous goods categories, as additional requirements may apply to avoid any penalties or seizure of goods. 

5. Security regulations

Cargo Passage requirements set by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) must always be adhered to for all freight movements. 

As we are aware, countries such as the United States have stricter regulations with customs and these regulations can vary based on multiple factors such as cargo volume, goods type and other complex factors. The delay indicated above 21-30 days is a wide approximate range, as this is dependent on how compliant a shipper is with these above regulations.

For best practice, it is important to consult and work with credible and trusted customs officials to ensure that your whole cargo shipping process is smoothly and properly done. For freight forward and customs clearance service requirements, you may contact our sales team.

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