In this exam, Customs or PGAs have the container moved to an exam area within the port and open the back of the container without handling the cargo.
The seal is removed and, pending any suspicious indicators, could at that time be flagged for a more intensive examination or released.
But wait, you may say…‘if they are already going to open my container, why do I have to pay for an X-ray?!
’ Although there are a multitude of reasons (and plenty of speculation), we’ve been told that it is for the safety of the off-site workers who will be unloading and handling your cargo.
You should also note that CBP as well as any Participating Government Agencies (PGA) that regulate your cargo have the right to recall your goods with a redelivery notice up to 180 days after release.
The following is a quick breakdown of common exams that importers may encounter.
Although some examinations are completely random, there is a track record that follows you and your supply chain.
If you are a first time importer, CBP will likely examine your first few shipments in order to establish credibility.
Keep in mind that although you know your freight is safe, or at least you think so, the determining safety factor is each and every hand in your supply chain.
It’s all risky business, not only on the terrorism side, but also for PGAs, like U. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Depending on the size of the freight (number of pallets, container type), exam fees can range from (per CBM, if LCL) to 0 (40’ container) plus any transportation/trucking to exam plus any PGA fees, if applicable.
Exam charges must be paid before the container can be released from the port, even if it is moving to another CBP or PGA mandated exam.
Under , Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the right to examine any shipments imported into the United States, and you, the importer, are required to bear the cost of those cargo exams. Let’s take a different approach and break out the process as well as define some common examinations you may experience as an importer.