CBP Form 3461

Customs release process can feel like forever. Who would not want to speed up the release of goods? If your import into the US, you can speed up the process by submitting CBP Form 3461, the Customs Release document.

What is a CBP Form 3461?

CBP Form 3461 is a US Customs Release document. Thanks to this form, CBP (Customs and Border Protection) officials can determine whether imported cargo should first undergo a customs inspection or be handed over to the consignee. The document allows CBP Officers to verify that the information regarding shipment and the consignee is correct and that a bond is on file with CBP. The officials can close out the manifest and oblige the importer to pay estimated duties in due time.

Importing into the US – when to submit Form 3461?

  1. Cargo arrives at the US port.
  2. The importer of record (IoR) applies to file a single entry.
    • Applications may be made by appropriately annotating a CBP Form 3461, CBP Form 3461 ALT, or electronic equivalent, or submitting a letter to CBP.
    • The application must be made no later than five working days before the arrival of the first conveyance. 
    • A copy of the relevant invoice or purchase order, or electronic equivalent, must accompany the application with the proposed appropriate single tariff number under the HTSUS.
    • The port director notifies the applicant of the approval/denial of the application within three working days of the receipt of the application.
  1. Cargo is released.
  2. The IoR has ten days to submit CBP Form 7501.

CBP form 3461 and CBP form 7501

The aforementioned CBP Form 7501 is a Customs Entry Summary used for cargo imported into the US. It is submitted after the cargo is released. CBP form 7501 can be used to calculate the duty; CBP form 3461 does not serve such a purpose.

CBP Form 3461 and CBP Form 37501

Who fills out CBP form 3461?

CBP Form 7501 is submitted by the importer or importer’s agent (licensed customs house broker) through the CBP Automated Commercial System (ACS) at the port of arrival. If the importer/broker provides the form, the merchandise will be released from CBP custody. Failure to provide the information may prevent the release of the merchandise.

There is an exception regarding submitting method. If customs officials ask for hard copies of shipping documents, CBP form 3461 cannot be submitted electronically.

How to fill out the CBP form 3461?

Blocks to fill out in the CBP Form 3461: 

  1. Port of entry (port code)
  2. Bond type: transaction bond, continuous bond, or no bond required
  3. Importer number: IRS, SSN, or CBP assigned number of the importer of record
  4. Importer name and address
  5. Entry number: the 11-digit alphanumeric code
  6. Bond value in US dollars
  7. Entry value in US dollars
  8. CES (centralized examination site) code
  9. Entry type code
  10. Originating warehouse entry number
  11. Surety code that identifies the surety company authorized by the treasury department for the bond
  12. Port of unlading code
  13. Mode of transportation: air, ocean, rail, truck, hand carry, pipeline, or other
  14. Location of goods: FIRMS codes where the goods are available for examination. If not available, record the name and physical location of the goods
  15. GO number
  16. Conveyance name or FTZ zone ID
  17. Reference ID code
  18. Reference ID number, up to 50 characters
  19. Header party type
  20. Header party type name/address
  21. Header ID number, if applicable
  22. Certification, an electronic equivalent of a signature for data transmitted through ABI
  23. CBP use only
  24. Line information 
  25. Non-AMS (check the box if the bill of lading is not automated)
  26. Split bill (check the box if yes)
  27. BOL type: in-bond, master, house, or regular/simple
  28. SCAC/carrier ID
  29. In-bond number
  30. BOL number
  31. Entered quantity
  32. Unit of measure code
  33. Voyage (vessel)/flight (aircraft)/trip (land transport) number
  34. Conveyance name (name of the vessel, airline, truck, or rail)
  35. Arrival date

For additional HTS lines, In-Bonds, and/or BOLs, use CBP Form 3461C.

CBP Form 3461 example

Free fillable CBP Form 3461 is available on the official CBP site.

If you import into the US by sea, you must submit Importer Security Filing 10+2.