CB4u—Intro to U.S. Customs Brokerage, Part 4: Documentation and Admissibility; Product Compliance and Marking Requirements

Subscriber price: $181.00, Non-subscriber price: $286.00
Estimated total study time: 15 hours 10 minutes [Enroll now]

This the fourth of the nine-part series of introductory courses in the practical work of U.S. customs brokerage work groups, and should be taken after completion of the prior 3 courses for proper continuity:

This course begins with documents necessary for specific imports by country and by product. Next we address admissibility issues and product compliance. The course concludes with marking requirements for imported products.


  1. The actual processing of a customs entry is covered in Part 6 of this introductory course series.
  2. If you are looking for the trade agreement documentation it is now in CB7u—Intro to U.S. Customs Brokerage, Part 7: Trade Agreements and Supporting Documentation

Transaction Information Requirements

The requirements regarding the transaction will be explained in this lesson. This will include the need for a commercial invoice or pro-forma invoice and packing list. We will also touch on imports of personal effects, household goods, and tools of the trade.

(Estimated study time: 48 minutes)

Invoice Requirements for Imported Product Information

In this lesson, we discuss the information required for the commercial or proforma invoice about the imported product. This includes the description of goods and the special products that have additional descriptive requirements.

(Estimated study time: 42 minutes)

Documents and Information Based on Disposition of Goods

The product description is not the only information required on the commercial or proforma invoice. The pertinent value and currency information, quantities in weights and measures, country of origin and any applicable customs rulings must also be shown on the invoice. Here we also cover document requirements based on disposition of goods.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 21 minutes)

Transportation Documents Required for Entry

The requirements regarding the transportation documents will be explained in this lesson. This will include why a bill of lading is required, what information is needed, as well as different types of bills of lading and transportation bonds.

(Estimated study time: 56 minutes)

Product Specific Information Requirements -- Fresh and Minimally-Processed Agricultural Products

The import of many products requires special documents and information in order to comply with regulations for government agencies other than CBP, although CBP may be required to enforce these regulations. We will start by reviewing the requirements for agricultural goods and minimally-processed products. This includes animals, birds, plants, or insects (dead or alive) and products or parts thereof.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 31 minutes)

Product Specific Information Requirements -- Food, Drugs, Cosmetics and Medical Devices

Continuing our review of document and information requirements of imported products, we will cover the special requirements for food, drugs, cosmetics and medical devices. This will include reporting requirements, biological materials, vectors, drugs, and narcotics.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 6 minutes)

Product Specific Information Requirements -- Food and Drug Bioterrorism Prior Notice; Electronic Devices

Continuing our review of document and information requirements of imported products, we will cover the special information needed for FDA bioterrorism prior notice reporting. We will also review the documentation necessary for radiation-producing products and radio frequency devices.

(Estimated study time: 47 minutes)

Product Specific Information Requirements -- DOT and EPA Regulated Products

This lesson addresses the documents and information necessary for other U.S. Government agency processing that affects a variety of types of goods at the time of customs entry. Some of these products are regulated by more than one agency including APHIS, BATF, DDTC, DOE, DOT, EPA, FDA, NHTSA, NRC, USCG and the USDA.

(Estimated study time: 56 minutes)

Product Specific Information Requirements -- BATF; Other Products and Regulations

In this lesson we will review some of the duty free provisions that are available for items such as antiques, artwork, prototypes, and civil aircraft. In order to take advantage of these provisions, documentation proving they qualify must be provided with the commercial invoice. We will also review the additional documentation that is required in order to make sure the item is properly classified and the correct duty is assessed for certain products like alcoholic beverages, textiles, and footwear.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 0 minutes)

Embargoes, Sanctions, Controls and Other Forms of Economic Protection

Admissibility issues are a concern. Some of these take the form of country based embargoes, sanctions and controls. They are administered by different agencies for political, economic, moral, or environmental reasons. In this lesson we review some of these controls. Antidumping duty and countervailing duty are trade remedies that protect our economy from the "dumping" of unfairly priced merchandise or "counter"ing government subsidies that generate low-priced imports. These will also be explained further in this lesson.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 17 minutes)

Quotas Administered by CBP as Additional Trade Remedies

Quotas are established by presidential proclamation, executive order or other legislation and offer a limited amount of merchandise in annually or at a reduced rate as opposed to the embargos and sanctions administered for political, economic, moral or environmental reasons.

(Estimated study time: 57 minutes)

Tariff Rate Quotas and Quotas Administered by Other Agencies

In this lesson we will go into further detail on those quotas allowing reductions in duties for limited quantities. Some quotas are administered by other agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of the Interior. Also we will discuss requirements for exemption as goods for personal use and commercial samples.

(Estimated study time: 53 minutes)

Rules of Origin and Product Marking Requirements

Rules of origin are needed in order to determine the country of origin of an article. Once the proper country of origin is determined, it must be marked on the product. Improper country of origin markings or removal of these markings after the fact is punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. There are some exceptions to the marking rules and some country of origin markings are required to be designed and applied in a certain way to be acceptable. We will touch on these requirements which can cause problems at the time of customs release.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 14 minutes)

Special Marking Requirements and Handling Goods Not Legally Marked

Not only is the country of origin required, some products also require special marking and, in some cases , additional labeling before they can be imported. Here we will learn about some of these requirements and how to handle shipments that have been examined by CBP and determined "not legally marked".

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 42 minutes)