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Help! Customs is holding my cargo/shipment! – What do I do?

man moving boxes from a pallet

U.S. Customs is holding my shipment/cargo, what do I do?

As part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection's commitment to protecting our country's borders, cargo examination is a common strategy used by customs officers to confirm the legitimacy and admissibility of shipments.

If your cargo is being held by customs, here are a couple of things you should expect to happen:

  • Notification to broker: your broker will be notified by customs of the hold (and the type of hold) placed on your shipment. From there, your broker will be able to give you more information on your particular situation.

  • There are different types of hold and examination. The most common ones are: X-Ray Exam, Tailgate Exam, and Intensive Exam.

Aside from customs holds, if your product is regulated by another government agency (FDA, USDA, CSPC, EPA, etc...), they will also have the authority to hold and examine the cargo at their discretion.

It is important to be in contact with your broker (or freight forwarder) so they can assist you with the release of your shipment.

Need assistance with a shipment that's currently under customs hold?

We can help!


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