1. The differnce between Import shipment from an Export sea freight shipment?
When dealing with an U.S. Freight Forwarder (international transportation company), when importing goods to the USA by sea, shipper should understand that unlike with export to the USA, U.S. Freight Forwarder initiates import shipments via its worldwide service partners network and may continue working on shipper’s behalf as soon as goods are entered in the U.S. Commerce zone. I.e. when importers tender goods to the international shipment by sea in the country of origin, they will work directly with carrier’s agent in the country where goods are shipping from. Direct contact information of carrier’s agent at origin will be provided in our email containing booking confirmations and/or shipping instructions. This approach allows avoiding misunderstandings and error at a time of submitting cargo to the import sea freight shipment. After cargo actually departs from the country of origin, U.S. freight forwarder collects all charges occurred on the import sea freight shipment on FOB (Free On Board) basis and pays it to the carrier and its agent on shipper’s behalf.
Upon receipt an Arrival Notice on an import shipment by sea, as a rule (if not agreed in advance), our freight forwarders’ service fee is 7.99%/$89 minimum on top of FOB freight charges paid on shipper’s behalf. We invoice the importer of records (as a rule the consignee) including copies of all invoices related to the shipment paid by us.
However, if a part of these freight charges (for example: delivery, THC, documents etc charges) had been paid by shipper directly to the carrier and/or to the agent in advance, then a proof of the payment (copy of paid invoice(s) should be provided to us in advance. Then we will not include these paid charges in our FOB invoice.
NOTE: The approach above may differ if you intend on using service from an international moving company on shipping cargo to US (particularly household goods or personal effects). If you intend on using an international moving company instead of an international transportation company (i.e. international freight forwarder, particularly our service), then please conduct the business with the international moving company. International moving companies have special rules and requirements on importing goods to the USA.
FOB and DDU or DDP are Incoterms terms. Incoterms are not actually transportations, but trade terms that are widely used in International Trade practice (particullary in the Sea Freight industry) to indicate responsibility and ownership of goods when it is transferring from seller to buyer.
Important: This topic is not intended to be a concise definition of Incoterms abbreviations, but rather to provide the meaning as they may apply when you are dealing with US Freight Forwarder (an international transportation company) on sea freight import shipments.
We will go around just two terms: FOB - Free on Board (1), and DDP - Delivered Duty Paid (2), which are most commonly used by freight forwarders in sea freight. We use an example for importing goods to the USA using LCL sea freight service. However the procedures are common regardless of type of service in the sea freight.
IMPORTANT!: All ocean freight import shipments with us are initially on FOB (But DDU or DDP).
2. DDP -- Delivered Duty Paid means that freight forwarder will continue his work on sea freight shipment recovery at the destination (in the USA) on behalf of the importer of records (as a rule the consignee) and collect and pay all charges related to the import recovery on the importer of records' behalf.
However destination charges on DDP shipments can be assessed only after the goods enter in the U.S. Commerce Zone. Therefore, destination charges in quotes on DDP are provided (if provided) just a rough estimation. You may refer to estimation of destinations charges in this link. NOTE: it may not apply if you plan using service from an international moving company.
Refer to this table below.
Import sea freight shipments with us, unlike export, are always divided by two parts: FOB (1st) and DDP (2nd). See above.
Our policy states that we may proceed to the second part of shipment - on DDP, only after the first part -FOB is completed and we had issued to the importer carrier’s Bill of Lading along with all other related shipping documents. In ohter words we may accept responsibilities to work on your ocean freight recovery - the second part on DDP in the United States only after we got:
Here are the six steps that you should be aware of:
1st STEP – BOOK YOUR SEA FREIGHT SHIPMENT ONLINE.
The first and absolutely necessary step to begin a sea freight shipment with us is to schedule the shipment online in our website. I.e.:
In order to avoid mis-interpretation, mis-spelling and mis-typing we do not accept bookings over the phone or via fax.
IMPORTANT!: THE QUOTE IN OUR WEBSITE IS THE OCEAN FREIGHT ONLY. NO ORIGIN AND DESTINATION CHARGES ARE INCLUDED IN THIS QUOTE. REFER TO THIS LINK.
2nd STEP – FIRST-TIME CUSTOMERS PAY SECURITY DEPOSIT.
After submitting your booking request online you will receive our e-mail with our Customer Reference Number for your import shipment and:
We accept major credit cards online via Google Checkout and PayPal. We accept business and personal checks, money orders and wire transfers. Refer to our paymens options in this link. Please review the Payment Conditions and Return Policy.
3rd STEP – RECEIVE SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS VIA E-MAIL, SUBMIT YOUR GOODS TO THE OCEAN CARRIER AT ORIGIN AND SHIP TO THE USA.
Scheduling Import sea freight shipments may take up to five working days from the day of booking. In certain circumstances it may take longer.
We will work with an ocean carrier/its agent on your import shipment by sea. Upon the completion shipper will receive our e-mail with a booking confirmation. It should contain:
Contact the ocean carrier/agent at origin in order to proceed with your shipment. Follow the ocean carrier/agent instructions on your cargo delivery to the ocean carrier sea freight ship terminal (CFS). Provide proper export documentation in forms obtained from the carrier/agent including complete info on filing of ISF.
ORIGIN CHARGES: The ocean carrier/agent should provide you with complete FOB price quote based on w/m information entered by you at the time of booking your shipment in our website.
CORRECTIONS IN YOUR INITIAL BOOKING REQUEST: In order to avoid mis-understandings and errors in your shipping documents including b/l, having contact info of the ocean carrier/agent, we strongly recommend working on all corrections in your booking request directly with the ocean carrier/agent. Keep us posted on all your corrections in email (cc your emails to the ocean carrier/agent to us).
NOTE: We may email to you links to fill out your Valued Packing List and/or Commercial Invoice online. However, we strongly recommend you to follow requirements from your ocean carrier/agent in all aspects related to your international shipment at the origin.
IMPORTANT: You may be asked to pay entire or part of origin charges directly to the agent. Keep records and receipts of your payments. We will ask you to re-confirm all those payments before issuing our final invoice on FOB. We will not include any charges paid by you at the origin in our FOB invoice.
4th STEP – WAIT FOR AN ARRIVAL NOTICE, PAY OUR FOB INVICE AND RECONFIRM YOUR CHOICE ON DDP. W/M.
It is too hard to predict precise w/m (i.e. total size and weight) of sea freight shipment at a time of booking. Actual w/m on your shipment most likely will differ from those that you had estimated in your initial booking request. Shipper may obtain verified w/m at a time of tendering his/her boxed, crated or palletized cargo to the ocean freight ship terminal at origin (CFS).
After the ship terminal accepted you cargo to the international shipment by sea, the carrier will bill us based on the actual size and weight of your sea freight shipment. Our FOB invoice to you will be based on this verified w/m information. This verified w/m info will go through all your further shipping documents including your bill of lading - the title of your shipped goods.
Upon receipt an Arrival Notice/Pre-advance we e-mail to you our FOB freight invoice with total charges less the security deposit and any charges and fees (if any) that you had paid directly at the origin already. Upon your payment on FOB we will send to you our confirmation e-mail. Consider this e-mail a receipt on your FOB invoice paid.
VERY IMPORTANT!!!: IF YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE AN ARRIVAL NOTICE AS EXPECTED (i.e. at least in a few days before ETA - Estimated Day of Arrival for your shipment) THEN URGENTLY CONTACT US IN EMAIL AND OVER THE PHONE!
After our FOB invoice is paid we will ask the importer of records to reconfirm to us his/her choice (A or B):
NOTE:IMPORT RECOVERIES ARE TIME-SENSITIVE. PLEASE ACT PROMPTLY!
5th STEP – RECOVER YOUR GOODS OR REQUEST US TO CONTINUE ON DDP (OPTIONAL).
If you choose A, i.e you will work on the recovery of your sea freight import by yourself/use service of your Customs Broker:
Carrier’s Arrival Notice is issued to the importer of records along with the Bill of Lading and freight forwarder’s Release Transfer/Turnover letter (if necessary), all cargo recovery formalities and charges at the destination (in the USA) are importer of records’ responsibilities and are on account of the importer of records. Our service provided to you is completed.
If you choose B, i.e. you need us to work on the recovery on your behalf. Please notice our service fee on the second stage of you shipment - DDP, the cargo recovery in the USA: 7.99%/$89 minimum on total charges related to the recovery excluding U.S. Customs duty and Taxes (if any).
IMPORTANT! In order to accept responsibilities on recovery of your sea freight import shipment ALL DOCUMENTS NECESSARY TO COMPLETE THE RECOVERY MUST BE TIMELY PROVIDED BY THE IMPORTER OF RECORDS. We, along with our customs broker, should guide you. However in event of lack or delays with any import documents related to the recovery we cannot be held responsible on any problem and/or extra charges that may occur on the recovery due to insufficiency of documents provided.
6th STEP – HAVE YOUR CARGO RELEASED TO YOU.
Having your cargo released by U.S. Customs, sea freight carrier’s terminals and all other parties related to the cargo recovery (if any), we will e-mail you our final DDP invoice including our service fee - 7.99%/$89 minimum on total charges related to the recovery excluding U.S. Customs duty and Taxes (if any). It will combine all DDP charges assessed on the release of your shipment. We will furnish you with copies of documents that confirm each charge in our invoice.
After our DDU invoice is paid, we will issue you our release letter. At this point you can pickup your released goods at the destination warehouse in the USA. You may hire an international moving company or a local moving or cartage company on delivery and unload of your imported goods.
Destination charges and fees are time sensitive matter.
However, we do not add any fee on top of actual destination charges occurred on your cargo release. Our service fee is flat sum - 7.99%/$89 minimum on total charges related to the import sea freight recovery excluding U.S. Customs duty and Taxes (if any). We will furnish you with copies of documents that confirm each charge in our invoice to you. You are advised of this fee in advance.
Follow this link to estimate destination charges on LCL sea freight import shipment in the USA http://www.oceanfreightusa.com/ser_lcl.aspx#dest_charges
Find about shipping documents when importing cargo to the USA by sea at http://internationalshippingusa.com/Import_%20to_USA.aspx
Any amendment in a sea freight Bill of Lading after it had been issued is a headache for you. It may not always be possible. Especially when goods had arrived to the destination. We strongly recommend you paying extreme attention to information that you are entering at a time of booking your sea freight import shipment. While submitting your shipping documents you will have several opportunities to verify and correct the entered info before your cargo will depart to the USA.
As soon as a sea freight Bill of Lading is issued, any amendments in it are subject to carrier's amendments' fee. This fee varies from $70 to $200 or even more.
One cubic meter is a considerably large volume.
W/M – weight or measurement, whichever is greater. W/M presents cargo density limit. Typically per Cubic Meter.
Find more about W/M at http://www.oceanfreightusa.com/shipref_cbm.aspx#wm
Palletized and shrink-wrapped sea freight cargo has much higher probability to reach the destination without damages or loss. However additional charges for palletized cargo will appear:
Cost of pallet and labor
Find more about insurance on sea freight at http://www.oceanfreightusa.com/shipref_mi.aspx
ETT - Estimated Transit Time, i.e. a time slot between ETD - Estimated Time of Departure and ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival in sea freight quotes are not precise and should be verified upon a booking request. Transit time in booking confirmations on shipment by sea cannot be guaranteed as well. Although ocean freight cannot guarantee transit time, normally shipments depart and arrive as scheduled.
Find about ISPM15 rules - wood packing restrictions in this link http://www.oceanfreightusa.com/shipref_wpf.aspx
Now that ISF (aka 10 + 2) is a reality, what is everyone supposed to do? We hope the following document will help you understand exactly what needs to be filed and when, as well as helping you to figure out where to obtain the data elements. Any brokers reading this document should feel free to share this with your clients.
Who is responsible for filling?
ISF stands for Importer Security Filling. This is definitely an importer responsibility and not a broker responsibility. However we do expect that most importers will need assistance of the broker to prepare the filling. For each importer you will need to look at the supply chain and identify where each data element can best be found and how to obtain the information before vessel is loaded.
When do we need to file?
As of January 25th 2009 EVERY ocean containerized shipment will require an ISF filling for every group of cargo on the vessel. This filing must be CBP at least 24 hours before the vessel is loaded.
1.Bill of Lading
This is used by CBP to control the filing. You should report by house bill if you have one otherwise use the master bill. You will be reporting all the parties to the transaction so on one filing these parties should be identical. If you have one bill of lading with several consignees (for instance) then it will need to be split into multiple filings using the same B/L.
2.Importer of record
This should be the easiest to report. It is exactly the same as the importer on the entry side. It will normally be reported using an EIN, SSN or customs assigned number. For personal effects it can also be reported by passport number. The importers bond will also be indicated on the transmission. The regular bond will be used unless a new ISF bond is obtained just for security filing.
This will be the name and address of the last known party by whom the goods are sold or agreed to be sold. If the importation is not the result of a purchase then the name and address of the owner must be given. This would normally be found on the commercial invoice. You will now need access to the commercial invoice data at the stat of the shipment cycle. Another catch is that you cannot just send the MID. You need to send a full detailed address but the Xtheta software will let you look it up by MID.
This will be the name and address of the last known party to whom the goods are sold or agreed to be sold. If the importation is not the result of a purchase then the name and address of the owner must be given. In most cases this party will probably be the importer of record. Our software will let you default this address based on the shipment profile but you need to send a full detailed address and not just the EIN. If this party is NOT the importer then the commercial invoice is a good place to find it.
5.Manufacturer or supplier
This may be either the name or address of the party that manufactured (assembled, grew, produced) the product or the name and address of the supplier of finished goods in the country of export. Once again no MID is sent but we will let you look it up in the MID database to get the address. This address may be on your commercial invoice or packing list.
This is the name and address of the first deliver to party who will receive the goods after release. This will normally be the same as your customer or may be one of the delivery addresses on file for the customer. This may need some research on your part to get this information earlier but you will need it later for delivery order.
This is reported the same way as it would be reported on the 3461 as an EIN, SSN, or Customs assigned number. In most cases on an ocean shipment it will be the same as the importer. If it is different you will need to obtain this information much earlier.
8.Container Stuffing Location
This is the name and address of the physical location at which the goods were stuffed into container. This may be at the overseas plant or at a freight consolidator. This (and the next element) will be the hardest piece of information to locate. You will need to work with your supply chain providers to identify who has this information and how the can get it to you BEFORE the vessel is loaded. CBP allows some leeway in these fields as they can be filed as an amendment once the vessel is on the water.
This is the name and the address of the party stuffing the container. This may well be the overseas freight consolidator
You will need to report every HTS# (at the 6 digit level) needed to classify the cargo. This will probably be best accomplished from the commercial invoice.
If you ship household goods or personal effects to the USA, you may want to read this link.
Notice: These rules are as well valid on sea freight for shipping household goods or personal effects to the USA when you use service from an international moving company.
Find more answers to your questions in our RANDOM TOPICS web-page
Click on this link for general info on FCL http://www.oceanfreightusa.com/ser_fcl.aspx
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