Custom & Duty Fees

All importers - U.S. based or foreign


If you are shipping by air express courier (i.e. DHL, FedEx, UPS), and the value is $800 or less (March, 2016), the courier will most likely clear the shipment through the port without requiring any further documentation.

If your supplier will be shipping via air express courier and your shipment is valued less than $2,500, it is suggested that you allow your supplier to choose ‘door to door’ shipping in which case the express courier will be able to ‘batch clear’ your shipment allowing for an all-inclusive transaction. You will not need a freight forwarder or an external customs broker for this. Due to special regulations offered to air express couriers, they are allowed to clear shipments under their name and customs bond without a Power of Attorney from you, up to their own discretionary value.  It would be best to ship it DDU (or DAP) as most suppliers will not ship under DDP terms because they do not wish to be responsible for payment of duties.  Therefore, even if your shipment is valued at more than $2500, if it’s low-risk, the air express courier will most likely clear and deliver it.

By definition, informal entries do not usually require a customs broker when the importer is going to clear the shipment himself.  But in this day and age, when so much business is done on the internet, an importer may not be located within reasonable distance to their shipment’s port of arrival.  Shipments valued more than $2,500 will be filed as formal entries.

          Regular* air cargo and sea cargo shipments – regardless of value – require the services of an external customs broker.  A customs broker requires a signed Power of Attorney from the importer of record in order to conduct customs’ business on their behalf.  Your company’s Employer Identification Number (aka EIN# or Federal Tax ID#) will serve as your importer number.

If you are shipping by regular air cargo or sea cargo, U.S. Customs will assign an 11-digit importer number to you once you provide the customs broker with your Power of Attorney.  This importer number will be used in lieu of an EIN#.  However, for entry purposes, U.S. Customs will require a U.S. based ultimate consignee and their EIN #.  It is highly recommended that you hire a customs broker and are assigned an Importer Number before you arrange your shipment. 



          Ultimate Consignee is defined by Customs as:


          … the party in the United States, to whom the overseas shipper sold the imported merchandise. If at the time of entry or release the imported merchandise has not been sold, then the ultimate consignee at the time of entry or release is defined as the party in the United States to whom the overseas shipper consigned the imported merchandise. If the merchandise has not been sold or consigned to a U.S. party at the time of entry or release, then the ultimate consignee at the time of entry or release is defined as the proprietor of the U.S. premises to which the merchandise is to be delivered.


FBA Inspection can act as the Ultimate Consignee for your shipment, but we will not act as the Importer of Record, (YOU are the importer of record). Our EIN# can be used at our discretion. If you need to use FBA Inspection as the ultimate consignee for regular air cargo or sea cargo shipments, please contact us for further instructions.





Please arrange with your shipper to list your company as the receiver/consignee on the Air Waybill with FBA Inspection as the In Care of party with our address.  For example:


                                                ABC Wholesalers Inc.

                                                C/O FBA Inspection (WO#___) <— we will assign this # to you

                                                1230 N. Main St., Suite B2

                                                Fort Bragg, CA 95437


The Destination airport will be San Francisco International Airport also known as SFO.


If your cargo is being shipped by air through an express courier, please note that it is very likely that their own in-house customs brokerage department will clear the shipment and deliver it to us without notifying your appointed customs broker.  This is almost always the case with DHL and UPS.  If this happens, they will bill us for any duties and taxes which we will bill back to you with an additional service fee of $35.00 + associated PayPal transfer fees.

Please arrange with your shipper to list your company as the consignee on the Ocean Bill of Lading with FBA Inspection as the In Care of party with our address:  For example:


                                        ABC Wholesalers Inc.

                                       C/O FBA Inspection (WO#___) <–we will assign this # to you

                                       1230 N. Main St., Suite B2

                                        Fort Bragg, CA 95437

          The Destination Port of Unlading will be Oakland, CA.


The commercial invoice and packing list should indicate your company as the buyer/importer of record.  FBA Inspection should be listed as the deliver-to party only, if mentioned at all.


Certain commodities require special licenses and/or requirements so please do not to attempt to ship your products without understanding your product’s classification.  For any questions regarding duty fees,taxes, and requirements for your product(s), please contact your customs broker.

________How To Receive Your Own Duty Fee Invoice and Bypass Us________

Set up a UPS, Fed Ex, or DHL Global/International account specifically for billing purposes. Make clear to your supplier you want them to select ‘bill third party’ on your shipping declaration and provide them with your account number.  (We cannot attest to the success of this option, as in our experience, the supplier may fail to follow through despite your efforts). Your duty fee invoice will be sent to the receiving party by default in the event that no “billing account” is provided.



Although we cannot assist you with logistics (freight forwarding or customs brokerage). We would be happy to recommend a reliable company to help you with both of those aspects.

If you are looking for a broker or freight forwarder, we recommend the following Freight Forwarders for knowledgeable, timely service and competitive rates. 


Sprint Forwarders – Custome Broker & Freight Forwarder

Corey Bradford

Telephone: (206) 926-9207

Email Address: [email protected]


Freightos, Inc – Freight Forwarder


Telephone: 1(203)872 9109

Enabled partner codeFBAINSPECT50as a special promotion to incentivize FBA
Inspection customers, which provides $50 off the total order value for orders over
$500, valid for the first Freightos shipment only. Enter the partner code
at checkout to redeem.

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