Importing into the United States
A Guide for Commercial Importers

On March 1, 2003, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, was born as an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, merging functions of the former Customs Service, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Border Patrol, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Many changes took place in preparation for this merger and many have occurred since in order to safeguard U.S. borders against highrisk cargo, contraband, and unsafe imports. We encourage you to visit our Website (www.cbp.gov) for the latest information on specific laws, regulations or procedures that may affect your import transactions.

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Get an Export License or Permit
Most items exported to a foreign buyer will not require an export license.  However, all items are subject to export control laws and regulations.

This list of federal departments and agencies is the best way to find out whether you need an export license for your product.  

Save time by following the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) exporting requirements. Or contact the local port of entry used to export your goods.