• Workplace Type: On-site

U.S. Customs Brokerage

Importing into U.S.

Comprehensive solutions for your U.S. imports

Your company’s success depends on moving your goods to their final destinations smoothly, seamlessly and without compliance issues. We know there’s no time for needless, unexpected and often costly delays. With our help, your shipments can move at an accelerated pace through the customs process. Make supply chain disruptions, delayed shipments and unexpected costs a thing of the past. 

You expect—and deserve—to partner with a customs broker who offers timely, efficient and one-on-one service and our legacy certainly qualifies us.

Instead of taking a bird’s-eye view of Customs from a far-away perch, our offices are located along the U.S. Northern Border and strategic air and vessel locations. Not only are we always close by—we have a National Permit and the ability to clear goods at all commercial ports of entry across the U.S. This means our attention is always focused on getting your goods where they need to go, in a way that meets your business needs.

Major ports of clearance with local offices

Gap Period Project Management

Whether it’s an anti-dumping duty (ADD) or countervailing duty (CVD) case pending–or other potential increases to your costs of importing–we’re here to help.

With strategic gap period entries, we’ve been able to save our customers millions of dollars in duties. From working with bonded warehouses and foreign trade zones (FTZ) to arranging the timely arrival of freight into the U.S., we work around the clock to ensure logistics and customs challenges don’t alter your gap period timelines.

We know every gap period project is unique. Because of this, each project receives personalized, detailed preparation of documentation while prioritizing time-sensitivity and freight flow.

When it comes to gap period project success, you need a partner who brings:

  • Skillful coordination
  • Careful oversight
  • Proactive troubleshooting

We not only support you by providing the above, our legacy of experience with customs challenges of all shapes and sizes means there’s little left to surprise us. 

Keys to a successful import

Help us help you

In the 1996 film “Jerry Maguire,” title character Tom Cruise begs his client: “Help me help you!”

Nowhere do these words ring truer than in our world of full-service logistics. As the importer, your job and responsibilities start far earlier than the moment you receive your goods. Not recognizing this, and relying solely on your vendors or shippers to have all the essentials in place, is among the biggest mistakes we see our clients make time and time again.

As an importer, you are responsible for more than you may realize. The more you understand the details and requirements your role as importer involves in coordinating a successful import by ground, ocean and air into the U.S., the more success you will have.

Our job is to help you—and we need your help to do it effectively.

One of the most important things our experience has taught us is that the more our customers  understand what’s required, the smoother their goods will move. Don’t make the mistake of relying only on your vendors or the shipper! Understanding your role and responsibilities as the importer is vital to saving you time and money in the long run.

Be Prepared

What a customs broker will need to process a U.S. customs clearance entry:

  • Original Bill of Lading (BOL) from vessel or air charter
  • Invoice
  • Packing List
  • Arrival notice
  • Comprehensive description of the goods
  • Harmonized Tariff System of the U.S. (HTSUS) Classification
  • Participating Government Agency (PGA) information and classification if applicable
  • USCMA/ CUSMA certification
  • Any other certifications the material may have (MSDS sheets, mill certificates, etc.)
  • Pictures, product names as well as an in-depth description of the product and intended usage

Without these items prepared, you can anticipate:

  • Goods taking longer to clear
  • Unexpected duties
  • Returned items
  • Risk of audit
  • Possibility of goods being refused entry
  • Possibility of goods being seized by a government entity
  • Unnecessary storage fees if goods aren’t moved within two days of arrival notice
  • Additional costs and delays for rush documents
  • Liquidated damage claims
  • Penalties
  • Demurrage/detention fees
  • Increased scrutiny from government entities involved in your clearance
  • Delays in delivery time
  • Potential missed delivery dates to your customers

You expect timely, efficient and one-on-one service, and we deliver. Consistently. When it comes to moving your goods over the border by land, air or sea, partnering with Cole International is partnering with success.

Get ahead by sending pre-alerts

A pre-alert is when you send us your shipping documents prior to the goods arriving at the border.

By sending a pre-alert to us, we have time to review your documents before arrival. This way, we can prepare everything we need to clear your goods the moment they arrive.

When should you send a pre-alert?

A pre-alert can be sent anytime you are shipping complex commodities or PGAs are involved. You can also send one whenever you are shipping something different from your normal shipments, as you may not yet fully understand or be aware of everything that is required.

Sending pre-alerts reduces the chance of your shipment being delayed due to missing paperwork or invalid information when it arrives at the border.

Make cross-border delays and the costs of customs non-compliance things of the past. We ensure your shipments keep moving forward to their final destinations the moment they’re offloaded from truck, ship or plane. We’ve been moving goods by truck for decades, by air since before passengers flew regularly and by sea since before the shipping container came along. When we say we’ve seen it all, we mean it.

Best practices for importers

Partnering with our customs brokers means partnering with over a hundred combined years of wisdom.

Empower yourself by knowing what’s needed so you can steer clear of audits, avoidable delays, overpaying duty and unnecessary surprises. Work with us and we’ll get your goods—and your knowledge—moving in the right direction.

Deepen your understanding of the U.S. import process

Check out these easy to follow Infographics, where we break down the logistics language!