Moving to The United States Via Houston
Prohibited: Drugs, Firearms, Explosives, Plants, Fruits, Alcohol
Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco
Customs Regulations: Alcohol is prohibited thru the Port of Houston. Importation can only be achieved by a licensed Liquor Importer.
Remarks: This applies to wine as well.
Required Documents: (1) US Customs Form 3299 (2) Inventory (3) Diplomatic clearances must be requested through US Consulate and US State Dept. and be so stipulated on OBL or AWB.
Customs Regulations: US Customs has right of inspection but no duties or confiscation apply if valid diplomatic privileges have been granted by US State Dept.
Clearance: If approved by US State Dept, no delay if Foreign Embassy has submitted requests/copies of OBL/AWB at least 1wk prior to arrival. Customer presence required for clearance? No
Remarks: Requests for Diplomatic privileges should be made at origin through US Consulate and/or agreed by them.
Firearms and Weapons
Required Documents: (1) Proof of ownership (2) Various registration certificates/ licenses (3) If weapon was originally purchased or owned by shipper in US proof of sale and date of sale
Customs Regulations: Various federal and state regulations make dealing through a licensed weapons broker essential. Automatic small arms and heavy weapons are prohibited
Clearance: At least one week. Customer presence required for clearance? may
Remarks: Must have proper documents at least 3 days before shipment arrives. Shipper must have a gun permit issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. This permit takes about 6 to 8 weeks after application to the ATF.
Household Goods and Personal Effects
Required Documents: (1) US Customs Form 3299 (2) OBL or AWB (3) Inventory of Household Goods (4) Dept. of Treasury Supplemental and Power of Attorney.
Customs Regulations: Used household goods are duty free if they have been in the owner’s possession and utilization for at list one full year and are for owner’s continued use in USA.
Clearance: Free entry clearance 3 to 4 days after ship arrives in port. Customer presence required for clearance? No
Remarks: Must have required documents at least 3 days before ship arrives. Form 3299 must be completed prior to shipping overseas and must accompany shipping documents.
Required Documents: (1) Inventory (2) Sales invoices indicating price of items, date and year of purchase, and place of purchase.
Customs Regulations: Items purchased within one year of import are subject to customs duties.
Clearance: 4 to 5 days. Customer presence required for clearance? No
Remarks: Must have required documents at least 3 days before shipment arrives
Pets and Animals
Required Documents: (1) Proof of inoculation (2) Need export and import permit for endangered species (i.e.: certain birds)
Customs Regulations: Animals may be subject to quarantine by US Dept. of Agriculture, but dogs and cats will have no quarantine period. Endangered species and ‘exotic’ animals can inhibit importation.
Clearance: Depends on type of animal being imported. Customer presence required for clearance? Yes
Remarks: Check with US Customs and agriculture at port of entry regarding any inoculations/quarantines and/or restrictions
Required Documents: (1) DOT/EPA Form to be completed and signed by owner (2) Must have vehicle plate indicating compliance with US emission standards and safety standards (3) Proof of ownership
Customs Regulations: Return of US autos are duty free if owner can supply copy of bill of sale in Us and prove no modifications have been made to vehicle.
Clearance: 1 to 2 weeks. Customer presence required for clearance? may
Remarks: Failure to meet US Emission standards can lead to cost prohibitive conversion costs as well as bonding/detention expenses
Remarks: Shippers should be cautioned about random Customs inspections at U.S. ports, which can result in fees from $300 to $1,000 if all necessary clearance and documentation procedures have not been followed.
Required Documents: (1) Proof of ownership and date of purchase and purchase price or evaluation (2) Sales receipts
Customs Regulations: Varies depending on items
Clearance: Depends on item being imported. Customer presence required for clearance? No
Remarks: Valuables such as jewelry should be hand carried by owner. Recommend antiques and paintings be evaluated prior to shipping
The information on this page is intended as a guide and NOT as a complete or definitive resource.
The information on this page should not be used as an authoritative reference.