USA Customs Delays: Random Inspections for NZ bound cargo

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Us Customs Inspections

Post by: Burnard Intl.

In recent months, we have seen a steep increase in random customs inspections by US Customs, for both ocean and air shipments to New Zealand. We closely monitor this process for each consignment however in some cases this can cause delays of up to 21-30 days with shipments.

The inspections are primarily related to the "war on drugs" and the customs program established between the customs authorities of the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. This program is aimed at targeting the major pathway of drug trafficking from Mexico and South America to Australia and New Zealand. 

There are some considerations to be made to help with preventing these delays and minimizing the impact of these delays on your import shipments from the USA:

1. Accurate and complete documentation

Documents such as commercial invoices, bills of lading, free trade certificates and other necessary paperwork to satisfy US regulatory requirements should be complete and accurate to ensure seamless clearance processing.

2. Classifying the goods

For all imports and exports, it is vital to determine the correct classification of goods in accordance with the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) to identify rates and potential additional requirements.

3. Regulation compliance

To prevent any penalties or fines from government bodies, is it important to be familiar with the US customs regulations. Any lack of compliance can also cause further delays with import.

4. Awareness of prohibited items

Some goods such as: weapons, illegal substances and counterfeit goods are highly restricted by US customs, it is important to know if your goods fall into any sensitive or dangerous goods categories, as additional requirements may apply to avoid any penalties or seizure of goods.