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US Customs Advice (Part 1) - US Ports of Discharge

icontainers_news_1a50488895.svgLogistics & Shipping
Updated on 26 Dec 2023
6 min read
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In this day and age, an increasing number of practices are migrating to digital platforms. That includes those in the ocean freight industry. However, certain physical paperwork processes remain. And there’s perhaps no greater headache than emerging from a pile of paperwork and signatures, only to reach the end point and realize that you’ve made a mistake somewhere along the way and missed… a stamp. Unfortunately for you, US customs can be more than stringent when it comes to incomplete paperwork. Given that, we’ve created this list of US Customs Advice you should follow.


Follow these US Customs advice


To ensure a smooth and fret-less export process, it’s crucial that you avoid these common paperwork mistakes that could lead to rejections by US Customs.


For easy reading, our team here at iContainers has compiled and divided this list into two parts. Part #1 here will detail common reasons for rejections, as well as clear and concise US customs advice for the required documents for the East Coast ports of New York, Baltimore, Jacksonville, and Savannah. Part #2 lists US customs export clearance requirements for auto-shipments.


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Problem #1: Insufficient copies


Requirement: 8 copies of documentation and Titles/certificates of ownership. Front and back of document Title documents must be copies on all 8 sets.


*Terminal personnel and US customs will not help you make copies


Problem #2: No physical address of shipper and consignee


Requirement: Shippers and Consignee field must contain:


  • A complete name
  • A physical address with building number ( PO boxes are not authorized )
  • City and country (no abbreviations)
  • Telephone number
  • No use of “in transit” anywhere on D/R
  • Be cautious when using “BP” overseas addresses as they may be rejected

Problem #3: Missing proof of payment


Requirement: Cargo clearing on a Certificate of Origin and cargo 2010 – 2012 state titled must have the original title along with a Bill of Sale which has to include:


Name of dealership


  • Year of vehicle
  • Make of vehicle
  • Model of vehicle
  • VIN

These documents must state that the vehicle has been paid in full or indicate a zero balance. These documents must be original and it’s highly recommended to notarize them.


Problem #4: Vessel/voyage fields


Requirement: These fields on the D/R must be indicated by a vessel name and voyage. **TBA is not accepted and will be rejected. **Do take note that these documents must be delivered to customs 72 hours before the arrival of the vessel indicated on the **D/R. The information must also be current. D/Rs with a previously sailed vessel will be rejected. **


Problem #5: Illegible D/R


Requirement: Submitted D/R must be legible. If it was sent to the trucker via fax, it’s recommended that you get in touch with them and confirm that the copy they have received is legible and complete since the quality of fax can’t be verified from your end.


Problem #6: AES


Requirement: All cargo must include AES filling and ITN. The NOEEI 30.37(a) statement is no longer accepted.


Problem #7: Lien release


Requirement: New York customs require that the lien release is stamped and be provided on a company letterhead .


Problem #8: Handwritten corrections


Requirement: Handwritten corrections on D/Rs are not allowed


TAKE NOTE


You must produce these documents the moment your cargo arrives:


Original title and five copies (front and back) , along with six copies of the dock receipt


  • No color copies of titles
  • If unit shipment is not for use on roadways nor have a title, original and notarized bill of sale (which should include seller, buyer, amount paid for unit/crate) should be available for customs checking
  • Separate original and notarized “lien release letter” must be submitted along with title if there is a “lien holder” shown on the title and the unit was manufactured within the past 10 years. It’s highly recommended that the release letter is on a company letterhead.

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Problem #1: Vehicle owner not shipper nor consignee


Requirement: Owner on title must be the declared shipper or consignee on the D/R


Problem #2: Titles not reassigned


Requirement: Titles must be reassigned if titles delivered indicating that unit has been sold but purchaser isn’t filled out on the paperwork


Problem #3: Power of Attorney missing


Requirement: If the owner on the title is the consignee, a power of attorney is required from the consignee to the shipper giving them permission to ship the cargo. Do note that the power of attorney must be **both original and notarized. **


Problem #4: Missing forwarding agent


Requirement: All D/Rs for JAX must have a forwarding agent


Problem #5: Illegible D/R


Requirement: Submitted D/R must be legible. If sent to the trucker via fax, get in touch with them and confirm that they have received a legible and complete copy.


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Problem #1: No proper lien release


Requirement: Delivery of documentation requires proper lien release


Problem #2: Missing proof of payment


Requirement: Cargo clearing on a Certificate of Origin and cargo 2010 – 2012 state titled must have a Bill of Sale which has to include:


  • Name of dealership
  • Year of vehicle
  • Make of vehicle
  • Model of vehicle
  • VIN

These documents must state that the vehicle has been paid in full or indicate a zero balance. It also has to be original and notarized.


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Problem #1: Invalid AES


Requirement: Correct port code on AES filing is 1703


Problem #2: Power of Attorney missing


Requirement: If the owner on the title is not in AES, the owner is required to file a power of attorney to the shipper to give them permission to ship the cargo. Do note that you have to produce the original and notarized power of attorney.


Problem #3: Incomplete copies


Requirement: Four complete copies including front and back of documents and LOI.


*USCBP will not help you make copies


General US Customs advice:


  • Do not use color copies of Titles and other official documents.
  • When you receive a rejection package, send the complete package back to the address indicated on the cover sheet.
  • Send rejects for New York, Baltimore and Jacksonville to the port address provided. It’s only for Savannah where you should return it to the booked carrier.

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