The United States of America, like all other countries, has its unique set of rules and regulations when it comes to shipping items to the country or moving to the USA from Japan. Understanding the laws that govern both shipping and moving will help make your experience easier and more successful in your efforts in both moving and shipping to the USA.
What follows are some general tips that will help you better understand the process so you can minimize mistakes and misunderstandings.
Shipping to the USA
All items that are shipped to the USA must be cleared through Customs. This means you will need a so-called commercial Invoice. The invoice will contain information on the contents and the details of the seller and the importer. If you are shipping from Japan, this will perhaps be not an issue as the same kind of document is required to clear goods through Japanese customs.
Be sure to fill out the invoice with accurate information, so that it can be passed quicker through the process. The better the description, the faster the process will be. Keep in mind that US Customs is broken down into two categories, standard and formal clearance.
The threshold for Formal Clearance is $2500. If the shipment you are sending is worth more than that, it will have to undergo Formal Clearance which involves more delays. The receiver of the package will be contacted by Customs for confirmation of their Tax ID. Any additional costs to your parcel must be paid by the receiver.
In addition, there is a maximum threshold of $200 gift value that will not be taxed or have duties apply. This assumes the gift is heading to a residential and not a business address. You can visit the US Customs Import Licenses Page for more details about shipping items to the USA.
Moving to the USA
The better you prepare, the easier it will be to move to the USA. This means you will need the proper documents, observe the Customs regulations, and know how overseas shipping works for your items when they are being shipped.
What follows are the documentation you need to ship your items to the USA when you are moving to the country.
- US Customs Form 3299
- Supplemental Customs Form
- Power of Attorney
- Copy of Work Visa, Passport, and Work Permit
- Pet Customs Documentation
In addition, if you are shipping your vehicle over to the USA, then you will need to include the registration, title, and driver’s license.
The US Customs Form 3299 consists of several different sections that must be filled out if you want to minimize delays and get approval. Be sure to go over the form carefully and consult with US Customs on their web page to answer any questions you might have about filling out the form.
Shipping to the USA is a straightforward process that can be accomplished with a little diligence and attention to detail. And while moving from Japan to the USA does have its hurdles to overcome, it can be done if you follow the rules and regulations that are in place. Just fill out the proper documentation and be patient. If you are not sure about anything, your shipping agent at the origin may be able to give you some advice.
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