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Customs Inspections
Don't go through it alone

customs inspection

Have a Customs Inspection on Imported Freight?


All imported freight is subject to a physical inspection by Customs and Boarder Patrol. The majority of freight coming into the U.S. is not inspected, but can happen randomly at any time during Customs selection process. Importers are required by law to make imported freight available for inspection.

A customs inspection almost always incurs additional costs to the importer. These fees vary from shipment to shipment and include (not limited to) storage fees, penalty fees and transportation costs of the cargo to the examination facility. Most of the the time when a customs inspection takes place freight will be moved to a Centralized Examination Station (CES). CES is a private facility that is not operated by CBP. Freight that arrives at CES will be unloaded for the examination and reloaded back into the container for delivery. All charges incurred by CES are the responsibility of the importer of record.


customs inspection

Customs Inspectors Look For

  1. Trademark Infringement

  2. Country of Origin Markings

  3. Accurate Weight and Quantity Count

  4. Goods Are Declared and Classified Accurately

  5. Accurate Weight

  6. Commercial Invoice is Accurate

  7. All Required Paperwork is Filed

Obtain Representation by a Customs Broker for an Inspection

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Reduce The Chances of an Inspection


  • Using the same customs broker and classifying freight consistently can reduce the chances of imported freight getting inspected.

  • Make sure that imported cargo is marked properly with the country of origin

  • Know what materials your goods are made of, by whom and where.

  • Include a detailed description of freight on the commercial invoice. Mark and number each package so that it matches corresponding numbers on the commercial invoice

  • Make sure all paperwork is filed with corresponding government agencies

freight inspection
customs inspection of live animals

Specialty Services


Cargo Insurance

Want to make sure that your imported freight is covered in the event of an accident while in transit to the US? Purchasing additional cargo insurance is an option that a customs broker can offer to protect importers from financial loss due to damaged freight.


Have an import shipment valued at $2,500 or more? A customs bond will be required. Both single entry and continuous bonds can be obtained at a discounted rate through one of our Chicago customs brokers.

Read More about

Customs Bonds


Get a customs clearance at any port in the U.S. before it even arrives. Our experienced customs brokers can file remotely at any port in the US.

Read more about Customs Clearance


Think you are getting overcharged by your customs broker? International shipping charges vary depending on the mode of transportation. Learn about the various fees that incur to keep importing costs down. Compare rates and stop getting overcharged.

Read more about Shipping Charges

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