W.B. Skinner > Our Services > Customs Brokerage > Formal Entry Processing

Formal Entry Processing

To make or file a consumption entry (for imported goods going directly into the commerce of the United States without any time or use restrictions placed on them) the following documents are generally required:

  1. A bill of lading, airway bill, or carrier’s certificate (naming the consignee for customs purposes) as evidence of the consignee’s right to make entry.
  2. A commercial invoice obtained from the seller, which shows the value and description of the merchandise.
  3. Entry manifest (Customs Form 7533) or Entry/Immediate Delivery (Customs Form 3461).
  4. Packing lists, if appropriate, and other documents necessary to determine whether the merchandise may be admitted.

When a consumption entry is filed, the importer indicates the tariff classification and pays any estimated duty and processing fee. A surety bond containing various conditions, including a provision for paying any increased duty that may be found to be owed at a later date, may also be required.

A majority of the formal entries are cleared under the 3461 clearing procedures. That is, the duty is not paid up front. It is paid within ten days of the release of the goods. Depending on the arrangements you make with us, we may advance the duty by paying Customs on our account, or we may ask that you send us a check. Some importers with high volumes like to use an ACH (automated clearing house) account which allows for the payment of duty via automatic withdrawal. You can apply for an ACH account by fax. The application is in PDF format and can be downloaded here. Simply fill it out and fax it to us at (201) 644-7244.