Shipping from the United States of America

Get up-to-date local information about export procedures and restrictions, demurrage and detention, container drop-offs and more.

Customs House Brokerage

Core product

Export Customs Clearance Transit Documents
Standard full export customs clearance process

Full range of trade advisory services

Technical support on complex customs issues

  • Export declaration
  • AES filing
  • Summary reporting
  • HTS review and validation
  • FTA certification
  • Post Entry Claims
  • Drawbacks

Custom House Brokerage services at a glance 

Service Description Additional notes
Global presence In house operations in most of the countries we serve  
Automated Systems API/EDI and streamlined processes which ensure fast and reliable customs clearance Flexible automation solutions - we use a variety of formats and structures and are actively exchanging data with most of the top-tier ERP and Trade Management solutions
Importer Security Filing Sophisticated ISF (10+2) solutions help you avoid customs penalties Broad selection of ISF filing options. 
Duty Deduction Innovative Duty Deduction program lets you save money on your dutiable goods Integrated service with our SCM solutions at origin to provide SKU level freight deductions that lower the amount of duties and taxes you pay at destination
Single Visibility Platform Customs Brokerage Services in the USA and Canada under a single visibility platform New way of looking at your supply chain and trade data. By using exception management method, CHB App provides you with ability to focus on important issues and use actionable intelligence to make informed decisions positively impacting your supply chain. Available on your desktop, tablet or mobile phone.
Reporting Customizable reporting to include landed costs, section 301 analysis, PGA releases and so much more Automated delivery of reporting based on event triggers.  Reports can contain virtually any retained database element.
Compliance Expertise in all matters of trade compliance International Trade experts ready to work for you and provide bottom line benefit to your organization by analyzing your supply chain compliance practices and suggesting improvements
Cost Mitigating Solutions Proven track record of implementing solutions to reduce and increase compliance Our clients save millions of dollars annually in duties and Customs fees
Post Entry We can perform post entry work as well as offer consultative services Post Entry solutions include reconciliation, drawback, protest. Consultative services include tariff engineering, Special Programs Management, Product Database Management and more.
CTPAT First Customs Broker to become CTPAT in 2002 We can also provide services to help importers obtain CTPAT status as well as manage requalification.
FTZ Foreign Trade Zone Specialists as well as bonded warehousing We are both an FTZ proprietor and offer FTZ entry filing solutions. 
Bonds Assistance with securing Continuous Bonds Assistance with government required customs bonds to ensure smooth entry clearance of your freight.
ACH Assistance with ACH set up for transactional or monthly payment options Electronic payment of government required duties and taxes for ease of transacting business.
Newsletter CHB.GURU provides updates on all your latest industry news around the world

What is required to complete Customs House Brokerage?

Customer set up US Resident Customer set up Non-resident importer Entry process
1. Signed Power of Attorney 1. Signed Power of Attorney 1. Commercial invoice and packing list
2. Signed rate sheet 2. Signed rate sheet 2. Bill of Lading
3. Valid US Tax ID or Social Security Number 3. Additional books and records may be required. 3. Free Trade certificates/certificate of origins
4. Completed CHB questionnaire 4. Completed CHB questionnaire 4. HTS if available 
5. Customer product database if available 5. Customer product database if available 5. Customer product database if available


Q:What is the Pricing / Cost of these services?
Answer :Please refer to the pricing schedule shared with you.

Q:What can hold up my Customs Clearance?
Answer : In the US, most cargo is processed and released before its arrival, however there are things that can cause delays; missing mandatory documents, Customs or other agency holds or exams, vessel delays are just some examples of potential delays.  Talk to your sales representative about how to prepare and mitigate risk additional costs related to delayed Customs release.

What do I need to import goods into the USA?
Answer : 
The USA allows commercial imports by individuals, by US companies and by foreign companies.    Goods may be entered by their owner, purchaser or a Customs Broker designated by such parties. To process Customs entries, a duly authorized Power of attorney must be collected before we can transact business on your behalf.    All entries must be accompanied by a surety bond, which provides guarantee that all duties, fees and charges will be paid.

Commercial documents, including a commercial invoice, a packing list, bill of lading or cargo receipt are required to be completed in English and contain detailed and specific information.  Additional documents may be required depending on the commodities imported.

Importers are expected to understand their obligations and responsibilities surrounding compliance with laws and regulations governing their products.  For more information follow the link to CBPs publication on import basics.

Q: Is CBP the only agency concerned with my imports?
Answer : Depending on the commodity there are many other agencies that govern and monitor the import of cargo into the US with an aim of protecting the American consumer.  Agencies like FDA, NHTSA, Fish & Wildlife, FCC and more access data collected at the time an entry is filed to review before release can be obtained.  The Maersk team is knowledgeable in all types of imports and can help you navigate other agency requirements. 

Q: Will I have to pay duties and taxes on my imports?
Answer : Unless exempt, all imported goods are subject to duties and taxes based on their tariff classification according to the Harmonized Classification Number. Certain commodities can be assessed with other taxes – including anti-dumping and excise duties.  In the US, CBP assesses various fees which are also paid at the time of entry.  Fees can be driven by commodity (e.g. cotton fee, beef fee), by mode of transportation, or by other importing conditions.

Q: I believe I've been paying too much in duties and/or taxes. Do I have any recourse to recover the funds?
Answer : The rate of duties and taxes payable on any given product is entirely dependent on the type of goods imported and the Customs Tariff. Origin and end use can also affect the duty rate assigned to your product line. It is important to ensure that the description of your merchandise is clear and accurate to ascertain the correct tariff number.  Our team of consultants can help provide classification assistance in advance of importation at your request.  Should an error occur and duties be overpaid, there are methods to correct entries after they are filed; certain limitations and time-constraints may apply. 

Q: Can you help us educate our staff regarding Customs?
Answer : Yes. We provide a variety of training solutions for your teams; seminars, webinars, or individual training classes can be provided at your request.

Q: CPB are performing an audit. What support can you provide?
Answer : We can assist with the document preparation and collection as well as review both your transactions and internal procedures in preparation for your audit.  As well, we can provide in-person representation and guidance throughout the audit process.

Q: I am not sure how to classify new products. Can you help?
Answer :We can provide product classification as an ad-hoc solution or as an ongoing project.  Detailed product descriptions along with supporting details like ingredients or content listings, construction, packaging details and more may be required depending on the commodity. 

Q: How do I set up an account ?
Answer : The following documents are required to set up an account:

  1. POA (Power of Attorney) – this legal document assigns the ability to sign entry declarations on your behalf.  Please follow the instructions carefully; the document must be executed by a duly authorized individual and must include identity validation.  Additional details may be required for foreign importers.
  2. A surety bond.  Surety bonds are a guarantee that the importer will comply with all import rules and regulations and that all duties and charges will be paid.  We will help you obtain a bond if you do not already have one.
  3. A signed rate agreement.  As a part of our onboarding discussions, we will provide you with a written explanation of our charges.  Simply return a signed copy acknowledging the rates quoted.

Abbreviations & Explanations

CHB = Customs House Brokerage
CTPAT = Customs and Trade Partnership Against Terrorism
HTS = Harmonized Tariff Schedule
MPF = Merchandise Processing Fee – this fee is charged by CBP on every entry processed.
HMF = Harbor Maintenance Fee – this fee is charged by CBP on every shipment moving via a waterway.
ISF = Import Security Filing – this is a security screening filed in advance of the export of any cargo destined for a US port.  Failure to file ISF can result in fines and/or trigger physical examination of the cargo at the time arrival.
CBP = US Customs and Border Protection

Shipment Details / Invoice Quality

We Know your time is precious, So we want to share some pertinent information with you to ensure we have everything we need to get your invoices right the first time.

1. At time of booking the following information is required:

  • Place of Receipt & Delivery
  • Service Mode (CY,SD)
  • Service Contract #
  • Service Contract Holder (AKA Contractual Customer or Price Owner)
  • Commodity Description
  • Container Size / Type
  • Shipper
  • Name, contact info and location of party responsible for any prepaid charges
  • Name, Contact Info and location of Party responsible for collect charges

2. On your Shipping Instructions, The following information is required:

  • Payment Terms (Please use one of the following)
    • Freight Prepaid = Origin and ocean charges prepaid, destination charges collect
    • ALL Freight Prepaid = Origin, ocean and destination charges prepaid
    • Freight Collect = Origin charges prepaid, ocean and destination charges collect
    • ALL Freight Collect =  Origin, ocean and destination charges collect
    • Name, contact info and location of party responsible for any prepaid charges
    • Name, Contact Info and location of Party responsible for collect charges



Free time will commence on the first calendar day following the equipment's arrival at the loading port. Free time includes Saturday, Sunday and holidays. After expiration of free time, equipment remaining on the loading port will be assessed demurrage as follows:

  • For containers in-gated prior to the shipment’s earliest receipt date, but loads its originally scheduled vessel, demurrage will apply for each calendar day including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays prior to the earliest receipt date.
  • For containers in-gated before, on, or after the earliest receipt date, and do not load its originally scheduled vessel for any reason not a result of Carrier error, demurrage will apply per calendar day including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays until the cargo loads, or scheduled vessel sail date, whichever event occurs first.
All Terminals 7 Calendar Days
Charges per calendar day after freetime (excluding Newark)
Dry equipment, including shipper owned equipment and non-operating refrigerated containers Days 1-4 USD 150.00 per day
Day 5 and above USD 180.00 per day
Operating refrigerated containers Days 1-3 USD 350.00 per day
Day 4 and above USD 480.00 per day
Flat beds, flat racks, open top containers or any other specialized equipment Days 1-3 USD 350.00 per day
Day 4 and above USD 480.00 per day
Charges per calendar day after freetime (Newark): APM Terminal in Port Elizabeth New Jersey, PNCT (Port Newark Container Terminal), Global Terminal Jersey City, Maher Newark Terminal, Global Container Terminal, Bayonne, New Jersey and Howland Hook, Staten Island, New York.
Dry Equipment, including shipper owned equipment and non-operating refrigerated containers Days 1-4 USD 215 per day, or fraction thereof
Days 5-9 USD 265 per day, or fraction thereof
Days 10 and above USD 415 per day, or fraction thereof
Operating refrigerated containers Days 1-3 USD 490 per day, or fraction thereof
Days 4 and above USD 590 per day, or fraction thereof
Tanks Days 1-3 USD 490 per day, or fraction thereof
Days 4 and above USD 590 per day, or fraction thereof
Flat beds, flat racks, open top containers or any other specialized equipment Days 1-3 USD 535 per day, or fraction thereof
Days 4 and above USD 635 per day, or fraction thereof


  • Free time for carrier’s equipment commences on the day equipment departs from carrier’s container yard.
  • Business days are defined as Monday – Friday, excluding holidays at ocean terminals, and Monday – Saturday, excluding holidays at rail ramps.
Detention Freetime
Dry Four (4) business days
Reefer, Non-Operating Reefer and Special Equipment Three (3) business days
Detention charges per calendar day after freetime
Dry & non-operating reefer equipment Days 1-4 140 USD per day 
Days 5-8 190 USD per day 
Days 9+ 220 USD per day 
Operating reefer Days 1-3 330 USD per day 
Days 4+ 435 USD per day
Special Equipment Days 1-3 310 USD per day  
Days 4+ 415 USD per day

Exception to Above

5 working days freetime

Applicable to operating reefer cargo for the commodity meat at all U.S. ocean terminals except: Baltimore, MD, Boston, MA, Jacksonville, FL, Mobile, AL, Newark, NJ, Port Everglades, FL, Staten Island, NY

Demurrage & Detention Disputes

  • Demurrage and Detention disputes for U.S. shipments can be raised through our website in the MyFinance section. In the event you wish to change the party invoiced, please e-mail for assistance.
  • When registering a dispute, please include the shipment number, container number, and a detailed description of the dispute including the applicable service contract number if pertinent to the claim. For disputes involving a change of paying party, written confirmation from the party who will pay is needed.
  • Disputes must be submitted to Maersk within 30 days of the invoice date. We will provide feedback on your dispute within 5 business days of receipt. 

Export Service from Alaska

Maersk offers the flexibility to meet your seasonal needs with service built to match your requirements.

We’re offering seasonal service from Alaska to the Far East to deliver your seafood fresh and on time. With expert support and innovative reefer technology, your refrigerated cargo is safe in our hands. Discover more about these export opportunities, including sailing schedules, in our online flyer.

Contact us

If you want to speak to a sales person about a new shipment or if you have a question about your existing shipment, you can email us and we will respond within the next two days. If you have a more immediate question, you can search for help online.