Customs Process and Customs Documents

Clearing customs into the U.S. on your international goods is a long and tedious process. The required customs documents varies depending on the freight forwarding method elected. Customs documents have different due dates and time frames, so it is extremely important to send them in on time, or make sure your selected broker files them on time, to avoid costly fines, shipping delays, and customs sanctions. As you can see, a customs broker is a must!  Three days before departure, the customs broker needs the Importer Security Filing (ISF) and Bill of Landing. Prior to arrival at destination, the commercial invoice and packing list are due to ensure customs can be cleared ahead of time. It is important that all documents are filled out correctly, any small mistake can result in a costly shipment hold.

If you choose FBAforward to clear customs for you, we make sure your customs documents are filed in a timely manner and customs duties are paid on your behalf.

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Customs Documents for Sea Freight

  • ISF (72 hours prior to vessel departure)
  • House Bill of Landing
  • Commercial Invoice 🔑
  • Packing List 🔑
  • Telex Release
  • Arrival Notice

Customs Documents for Air Freight

  • Commercial Invoice
  • Packing List
  • Master Airway Bill (where FBAforward is listed as the notify party)
  • House Airway Bill
  • Cargo Manifest
  • Arrival Notice

Customs Documents for Air Express

  • Commercial Invoice*
  • Packing List*

*These documents will be submitted to the air express carrier by your shipping agent. You will not need to submit these documents to FBAforward if we are not shipping your goods.

If you elect to use Customs Only Support Service ($199), you will need to submit all documents listed under the shipping method of your choosing.
🔑 If you elect to use our Turnkey Support Service ($299), you will only need to submit these documents. 

Our Services

FBAforward offers a Turnkey service that handles and arranges the shipping and customs for you. Our Customs broker will need three documents when the shipment goes through Sea Freight, which is a Photograph of the product, the commercial invoice and the packing list. We handle the entire process for you!