Documents after customs clearance in the US – entry summary explained

A customs clearance process is required to facilitate the import of goods. The process usually takes 24 hours in the United States, provided the paperwork is in order. How can you know that the entry was accepted and the goods released? You need to receive a permit to release from the authorities and file some documents after customs clearance in the US.

Documents after customs clearance in the US

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sets the requirements and oversees cargo imported into the US. Many documents are needed to clear the goods, like a commercial invoice, bill of lading, and certificate of origin. But what about the documents after the customs clearance? 

Arriving shipments

When the shipment arrives at the port of entry, the importer has to complete the customs release form, known as CBP Form 3461. It contains essential information, and based on the documentation, the CBP decides if they should inspect the goods.

Released shipments

If the paperwork is in order, the customs agent that deals with your cargo will decide to release your shipment. The CBP will send a CBP Release message, which means that the cargo may be released from CBP custody.

From this moment, you have ten days to submit the customs entry form, CBP Form 7501. It must be included with the payment of all due duties and taxes on imported goods.

Entry summary documentation consists of the following:

  • Entry summary (CBP Form 7501)
  • Return of the entry package to the importer, broker, or his authorized agent after merchandise is permitted release
  • Other invoices and documents necessary to assess duties, collect statistics, or determine that all import requirements have been satisfied.

US Customs Entry Summary document, CBP Form 7501

CBP Form 7501 is used to identify products that formally entered:

  • for consumption in the US
  • for warehouse/re-warehouse
  • temporarily under bond.

It is also the document used to calculate the duty payable on a shipment. The customs threshold (from which tariffs are required) is USD 800 unless the goods are controlled. Customs duties are calculated ad valorem on the CIF value.

Who fills out the CBP Form 7501?

CBP Form 7501 should be submitted by the Importer of Record, usually online. As an importer, you do not need to fill out the form if you hire a licensed customs house broker (CHB). Your payment of duties/fees/taxes must follow with the form. If you make excess payment, you can get a refund. The CBP can require additional copies of the entry summary if filed in paper.

After all the formalities are completed, you can collect your cargo and sell the products on the market.