Thinking of moving to the United States? Universal Cargo has been a specialist in international moving for almost 40 years. Whether by sea or by air , Universal Cargo covers all the North American territory including Alaska and Hawaii.
Additionally, we offer furniture storage in the main cities of destination.
All shipments are subject to examination at the discretion of Customs officials.
All foreign diplomats (A-1 visa types) are required to be processed via the Department of State on a DS-1504 form, which is submitted to the Department of State by the consulate / embassy of the diplomat at least 10 days prior to arrival of the shipment.
For duty-free clearance, the household goods must have been used at least 12 months in the foreign household prior to shipment from the origin country.
The owner of the goods must hold the proper long-term visa (non-B1 / B2 visitor’s visa) to import household goods duty free.
The owner of the goods can only import personal effects, e.g., clothing, camping gear, toiletries, etc. on a short-term visitor’s visa.
It is important for agents in the origin country to make sure the ISF is timely filed prior to the sailing of the vessel from the last foreign port for all ocean shipments to avoid penalties.
To import household effects (furniture, dishes, linens, libraries, artwork and similar household furnishings, etc.) for personal use, the items must have been available for personal use or used in a household where the owner of the goods was a resident for 12 months and is not intended for another person or for sale.
U.S. Customs may also order intensive exams on any shipments containing food products, medications or liquor.
Rabies vaccination record.
Veterinary health certificate.
Pets are subject to examination at the first port of arrival for any evidence of disease.
A valid rabies (rage) vaccination record must accompany dogs arriving from areas not free from rabies.
There is no requirement for a rabies certificate for domestic cats.
Contact the destination agent to determine if special certificates and admission requirements apply, providing the common and scientific name of the animal along with the country of origin that it is being shipped to ensure all appropriate government agencies can be contacted.
Plants and seeds (an import permit and plant and plant product declaration form are required).
Fruits and vegetables.
Game and hunting trophies.
Merchandise from embargoed countries (a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control is required).
Certain animal species (contact the destination agent for information).
The importation of alcohol is governed by both Federal and state laws.
In general the Federal Government allows a reasonable amount of alcohol to be imported in a household goods shipment.
If Customs feels the amount is excessive they will require the importer to hire a licensed alcohol importer to file a commercial entry.
Domestic importers should comply with the residence state laws which vary from state to state.
Some states allow no alcohol imports while others require the importer to obtain a permit and pay a fee and still others allow a reasonable amount.
Each state has regulations and must be consulted before making a shipment.
Food Items (The importation of food items is strongly discouraged).
Food products also require a detailed inventory for food and drug filings and duty payment.
Fish / Wildlife
Ivory items, skins, feathers and shells are regulated by Fish and Wildlife.
Many of these items require special CITES permits or may be prohibited from being imported.
Guns (ammunition should not be shipped as it is a hazardous good) previously owned and shipped from the U.S. can normally be imported if military, government personnel can establish to the satisfaction of Customs that the items were sent from the U.S.
The best method is for the owner of the goods is to register the weapons with Customs prior to export from the U.S.
If the owner of the goods does not have a registration then a copy of sales receipts, the export OBL, inventory and a declaration will sometimes satisfy Customs.
Weapons purchased overseas are normally required to be imported using a Federal Firearms permit holder but some exceptions do apply to allow non-resident individuals to apply for a permit directly with Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
The ATF permit filing should be applied for at least 6 weeks in advance of the arrival of the shipment.
The application requires that the Customs broker who will handle the entry be named on the ATF application, so it is important that the application is filed properly from the start to avoid delays on arrival.
The owner of the goods should consult with the U.S. agent when considering shipping any weapons and provide all the facts regarding how and where the weapons were acquired.
It should be noted that not all types of weapons can be imported.
Blank tapes and CDs from Iran.
Counterfeit items or items inappropriately using a federally registered trademark.