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    1. Koel is offline

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      #1

      Inbound into Customs (U.S.)

      Hiya everybody. I was to receive a package some 15 days back and the USPS tracking status shows it as Inbound into customs. Would anybody have any information on how long inbound into customs takes, in fact even what it means to begin with have the goods been seized? Am I in some kind of trouble? I have absolutely no idea.

      All information on the topic of US customs and shipping is welcome though I am looking mainly at import from China to USA. I have heard horror stories of goods getting stuck at customs for months at a time, being charged high duties or worse getting destroyed.
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    2. Hill_green's Avatar
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      #2
      Inbound into customs means that the goods are being processed by the Customs department. While United States customs regulations are fairly straightforward, China on any other country exports can pose a problem if the goods are counterfeit, prohibited or not declared correctly. Given China’s export history, consignments from there are usually more suspect. Some probable causes of delay in processing include:

      • Insufficient documentation accompanying the goods.
      • Declaration not matching the actual goods by way of description or quantity.
      • Goods suspected to be counterfeit / bootlegged and are being checked with the manufacturer for their authenticity
      • Prohibited, restricted or controlled items.
      • Items marked at less than their value.
      • Items marked as gifts but actually not so.

      As long as you are not dealing in any of the above, there is not much to worry about. They will be released after due process. It could be that they had a lot of backlog or something.
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    3. Neil is offline

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      #3
      Boy, you’re not the first. When I first started importing, I would treat the entire customs function as some kind of deep, dark black whole around which I had to build a smart supply chain and communication system which could tell my customers when they would receive their shipment.

      I could appreciate the delay if I was dealing with contraband but no, my exciting package that was `inbound into customs’ for a whole 10 days contained nothing but a few branded shirts. Thankfully, I got everything finally.

    4. Matt0114 is offline

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      #4
      It’s more about the country of import than anything else. Chinese exports are almost always suspect and get the `inbound into customs’ treatment a lot. It’s a part of the deal when you decide to import from China.

      Even otherwise the customs game is a bigger gamble than anything else that I know.

    5. Specialist is offline

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      #5
      It’s like they assume you guilty till proven otherwise. I once had a box of cheese confiscated for no earthy reason and these guys actually kept it inbound into customs till it expired and went to heaven.

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      #6
      I can understand supplier frustration with the system but the US customs department is responsible for ensuring our welfare. Arms, Ammunition, biological warfare, pests, rare plants and animals would be smuggled regularly if it were not for the watchful eyes of the customs department.

      It’s not like they open every packet. Just think of it as a learning chapter in your import business. Try to see what was so unique or distinctive about this shipment and avoid in future.

      I feel that large shipments attract more attention since it is obviously for resale. Try to break down the order into smaller ones over a period of time. You will face less of inbound into customs.

    7. GeorgieBoy is offline

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      #7
      I don’t agree. If the package has been delayed for so long, you might as well as bid it farewell and wait for the note that is on its way. You as the importer can have no idea of what was in the packet sent, so you may want to double check with your supplier as regards the contents.

      Toys can be filled with narcotics, shirts can have drugs in their lining, people carry diamonds in their intestines for money – why are you still waiting ? Cover yourself while you still can… my suggestion is that assume the worst and act accordingly.

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      #8
      Relax Everybody. From personal experience I think the usps website has a policy of tagging everything delayed as `inbound into customs’ – Just ignore and be patient till somebody comes home with handcuffs.

      I wonder why these guys claim they track anything when they obviously don’t have a clue – Only thing they know how to do is increase prices.

    9. Matt0114 is offline

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      #9
      Could be possible that the usps hasn’t updated its status and it’s lying in their office right now and they are just showing it as inbound into customs.

      Just for your information a friend of mine, got some Ralph Lauren polos seized last month. The customs not only kept the stuff after a month of keeping it `inbound into customs” but have been sending him letters and chasing him for supplier info, polos sold so far, revenue and all.

      How well do you know this supplier in China that you are ordering from?

    10. Koel is offline

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      #10
      I have worked with him in the past without problems if that is what you are asking. But how does anybody really know anybody. I saw him on Ebay and placed an order.

      Doesn’t the onus of providing bonafide stuff lie with him? How and why shd I be responsible? Plus, now my customers are getting tired of waiting. Maybe I should just reject it and file non-receipt with paypal.

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