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Guide to international shipping requirements
Guide to international shipping requirements

Everything you need to know to import parts from overseas with Fictiv

Mallory Dakan avatar
Written by Mallory Dakan
Updated over a week ago

At Fictiv, we’re proud to offer customers access to economical, highly vetted manufacturers overseas. When you place an order using Fictiv overseas manufacturing, it’s important to understand the additional requirements involved in importing parts into the United States. For navigational ease, we have redesigned the page outlining the requirements in a simple 3-step process. This article will guide you through each step to ensure you’re prepared for your shipment.

Step 1: Are You Ordering Prototype Parts?

To prepare for U.S. importation, you first need to know whether or not ALL of the parts in your order are for prototype use. If they are, read on. If not, proceed to the "Ordering Commercial Production Parts" section of this article.

For overseas prototype orders in non-commercial quantities that do not exceed $800 and are delivered to a U.S. address, Fictiv assists customers by becoming the Importer of Record to mitigate the risk of shipment delays when Fictiv prepays the freight. To take advantage of this Shipment Upgrade program, you must also provide a detailed description of each part in your order and a detailed explanation of the Parent Product & End-Use (discussed in Step 2 below).

If your order qualifies, you don’t have to worry about filling out the importer ID form (CF5106), special customs codes, or paying customs duties. You can read more about Fictiv's international shipping upgrade program here.

If you’re unsure whether your parts qualify as prototypes, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) defines a prototype as:

  • The part is to be used exclusively for development, testing, product evaluation, or quality control purposes.

  • The part is NOT intended to be sold or incorporated into other products that are sold.

  • The order is limited to noncommercial quantities in accordance with industry practice.

  • The order cannot contain material excluded from the prototype provision under U.S. Customs Regulations (i.e., Extruded aluminum)

At the time of entry or a later date, you may have to provide CBP a written statement declaring the actual use of your parts or furnish additional information supporting the prototype certification.

Certifying Overseas Prototype Orders

1. After you place your order on the Fictiv platform for overseas fulfillment, locate the “Required customs information” section to designate the prototype status of your order. This can be found in the Customs Information tab (next to Order Status) on your Orders page.

2. To certify that the parts in the order meet the CBP’s definition of a prototype, select “Yes (prototype).”

Step 2: Provide Required Information (Part Description, Parent Product & End-Use)

In order for Fictiv to facilitate import formalities and comply with U.S. regulations, you must provide detailed information for the (a) Part Description and (b) Parent Product & End-Use. To complete these fields, you will need to describe what the part is, the part’s associated parent product (i.e., upper assembly), and the part’s intended use. To help speed up the customs clearance process, you can also assign the HTS code related to each part.

Note: Your shipment is not eligible for the shipping upgrade if you don’t provide Fictiv with the required information to comply with U.S. regulations (a.k.a. when the information is not descriptive) or if you are utilizing your customer shipping account. In those situations, you are responsible for the import formalities and any customs inquiry associated with your import entry.

Ordering Commercial Production Parts

If your overseas order contains parts intended for sale (i.e., commercial parts), the incoterm will remain as Ex Works (EXW), and your company will be listed as the Importer of Record on the import entry. This means that you will be responsible for ensuring your company has submitted the importer ID form CF5106 (discussed in Step 3 below) and supplying appropriate HTS codes to ensure import formalities are completed timely and correctly.

Failing to provide the requisite information may prevent the carrier from making entry and cause a customs hold that will impact on-time delivery. Your shipment may also be returned to the shipper if your carrier is missing your CF5106 or if a customs hold is not resolved by you within an appropriate time.

Additionally, you may be required to pay any import duties affiliated with your parts — import duties are taxes collected by the U.S. government upon importation into the United States of foreign goods. A few days after your shipment has been delivered, you will receive an invoice from your shipping carrier (FedEx, UPS, or DHL) detailing all charges, including duties. As the Importer of Record, you are required to pay all duties, taxes, and fees to CBP by way of your shipping carrier.

Note: If your order is less than $800 in value, you are not responsible for paying import duties as the carrier will act as the Importer of Record, provided that your company allows “low value” customs entries (aka section 321 type entries). However, you should still provide (a) the Part Description and (b) the Parent Product & End-Use to help the carrier facilitate import clearance of your shipment.

Required information for Overseas Commercial Production Orders

IMPORTANT: Your Orders page and the order confirmation email will prompt you to provide your international shipping information (Step 2) using our on-platform feature no later than 24 hours after order confirmation.

For commercial production orders, you will also need to be a registered importer with the carrier.

Step 3: Your Importer ID Form CF5106

You are required to be registered as an importer with your carriers. You do this by submitting a CF5106 form. The purpose of the form is to create or update the importer’s unique identification information with CBP. It is used by CBP to collect and maintain a company’s or an individual’s information for goods imported into the United States.

Repeat Importers: Click Checkbox: “I have submitted by CBP Form 5106 with the carrier I selected.”

Note: Once you or your company have submitted a CF5106 and it’s on file with CBP and the carrier, you do not need to submit the CF5106 again unless the information contained in the submitted form has changed.

First-time importers: If you or your business have not submitted the CF5106 to the carrier handling your shipments. Please prepare this document by following the steps below. The carrier will reach out for document submission if required.

  1. Download and prepare the 5106 form

  2. If (a) incoterms are EXW, and (b) you don't already have this form on file with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, you will be contacted by the express consignment operator (e.g., FedEx, UPS) to submit a completed 5106 form.

  3. Send the completed form to the carrier when they reach out to you.

Note: You cannot send this form to the express consignment operator before your goods are shipped. You will have to wait until the cargo is shipped and you have received the tracking number.

You will want to have the following information ready in order to complete the form:

  • Company EIN (taxpayer ID) or your SSN

  • Company shipping and billing address

How to Assign HTS Classification Codes

Given the default incoterm for commercial production, orders are Ex Works (EXW). It is your responsibility as the Importer of Record to provide us with the HTS code for each item in your order. For assistance in obtaining HTS classification, you may use this Tariff Finder Tool by selecting “Exporting (from Canada to) the United States.” Then, follow the guided instructions to get a U.S. HTS code(s).

Below are some examples of the most common HTS codes used in orders placed through our platform:

If you do not know your HTS codes, reach out to your internal trade or logistics department. Otherwise, we encourage you to work with a customs broker or trade professional.

Note: The duty rates listed in the table above are controlled by the U.S. government and are subject to change. Given the applicable rate of duty is dependent on the assigned HTS code (U.S. HS Code) at the time of entry, it is critical to assign an accurate tariff number — the Importer of Record can be penalized by CBP for misclassification, so exercise reasonable care when classifying each part.

We’re Here to Help

If you’re still unsure about how to classify your parts and/or need additional assistance ensuring you have the correct information, you can consult with a customs broker.

Fictiv is not a licensed customs broker and cannot provide direct assistance related to customs business matters, but we can refer you to our customs broker, American Royal International, Inc.

American Royal International, Inc.

1021 Washington Street

San Carlos, CA 94070

Tel: +1 (650) 685-7330

Fax: +1 (650) 685-7334

Disclaimer: Fictiv will not be responsible for:

  1. fees incurred from American Royal International, Inc. (ARII) should you elect them to provide assistance with classification or any other services, or;

  2. any action taken in response to information provided by ARII.

Fictiv is not compensated for referrals or any service rendered by ARII.

Have additional questions on how to import goods into the United States using Fictiv overseas manufacturing? Contact our team of experts any time at

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