If you need to import or export items to/from the USA, the first thing to know and to research is US customs procedures. Also, if you are moving to the USA or if you are leaving the USA for another country, knowing how to transport items and what items you can transport is a must. Getting a visa and all permissions are long processes. You can save time and money with the right info.

If you are owning a business and need to ship goods worldwide, one of the most important things is to have a good team and to know the rules and regulations.

US customs procedures to know

International relocations have a lot of paperwork. Almost a million people enter the US every day and the first thing that they see is a Customs inspection. It is the same if you are leaving the USA. The key is to have the right info, so you won’t have problems with a Custom inspection.

Prohibited items

To save money, nerves, and time do not pack prohibited items when crossing the US border. Every country has items that are not allowed. Some of them are the same, but, there are differences from country to country.

Some of the prohibited items are alcohol, firearms, drugs, and medications, animal and animal products, gold, fruit and vegetables, soil, plants, and seeds, etc. You can import/export some of these items but you must have special permission.

If you are moving o the USA, make sure you are meeting the immigration needs.

The luggage.

Pack only allowed items, you won’t have problems with US customs procedures


When it comes to money and other monetary instruments, you can import and export how much money you want. There are no restrictions. But, if you have $10,000 or more, you must report it. By MONEY we include coins, currency, travelers’ checks, money orders, etc. Otherwise, it is against the law and you will have consequences. To avoid moving mistakes you should have all the info, so ask professionals.

Documents importers must have

Before the cargo arrives, you as an importer, for ocean shipment, required documents are:

  • commercial invoice
  • bill of lading
  • arrival notice and
  • importer security info

If items arrived with air shipment, you only need a commercial invoice and airway bill. Submit these documents to the customs broker.

Go through the US Customs

All passengers need to go through the Customs. To know what to do, this guide may help.

The US airport.

Travel without problems

Filling out the form

  • Your passport must be with you, not in your suitcases.
  • Staff on a plane (or boat) have a customs form. The form contains your personal information.
  • You should know the value of your items.
  • Write that list on the back of your form and be as specific as you can.

Passport control

  • Get in the line for foreign citizens and give your passport to the officer.
  • He/she may ask you questions about your trip, answer them.
  • If you are a visitor, you may need to provide your fingerprints

Baggage and Customs

  • The US customs procedures and procedures in any other country include baggage checking.
  • Retrieve your luggage.
  • Hand the officer the customs form you filled before and they will ask you additional questions about your items.