United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is tasked with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations regarding trade and customs. This means that orders coming into the U.S. from our overseas manufacturing partners are subject to be inspected by a U.S CBP officer and at times, some of the shipments could be delayed due to a customs inspection. 

This article contains some of the most common reasons for why shipments are held up at customs, as well as methods to minimize the possibility of a customs hold.

Most Common Reasons for Customs Holds

There are numerous reasons why a shipment could be placed on a “customs hold”, including:

  1. There is no sufficient description of the items that allows the customs officer to identify the content of the shipment.
  2. The HTS code used flags an FDA or other PGA’s inspection.
  3. The description of the goods flags an FDA or other PGA’s inspection (parts for medical devices or other parts for the health sector).
  4. The description of the goods in the commercial invoice do not match the HTS code used.
  5. The value of the goods are lower/higher than the average market value of those goods.
  6. Shipment requires importer's identification number to process the customs clearance or missing CBP Form 5106.
  7. The shipment is missing the broker's contact information. This could be solved by checking with your Trade Compliance or Logistics department if there are special instructions set by them on how the carrier should proceed with customs clearance. 

Ways to Minimize Risk

The best way for you to prevent customs delays is to provide us with the five pieces of information outlined in this article. If we have all of that information, the likelihood of a customs delay is typically lessened.

Troubleshooting a Customs Hold

Fictiv's Customer Experience team monitors every international shipment we send out in order to ensure that they arrive on time. In the case of a delay, our team will communicate with you to keep you on informed on whether there are any actions that you need to take from your side.

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