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Freight from the USA

Other, random references on shipping goods from the United States 

I. Attention rogue movers (unlicensed OTI/unlicensed international shipping companies)!!!

II. International shipping of S.O.C. - "Shipper Owned Containers"

III. Import goods to the USA in respect of dealing with U.S. Customs Broker

IV. Motor vehicles CAN NOT be shipped from the U.S. as LCL freight. International shipping of motor parts

V. The new customs regulation in BRAZIL - NCM#'s and CNPJ requirements

VI. SAUDI ARABIA’s import rule: 'Country of Origin' must be marked on every package

VII. International shipping to NIGERIA: 'M Form' to Nigeria

VIII. New U.S. Customs rule: Social Security Numbers (SSN) will not be accepted as a valid USPPI ID for international shipping from the USA

IX. Exports to ALGERIA: International shipping to Algeria must always be covered by a Letter of Credit

X. Requirements on international shipping of personal effects, charity goods or gifts into SOUTH AFRICA

XI. Freight All Kind (FAK) definition in international shipping from the USA

XII. Import to the USA: Potential additional cost due to U.S. Customs (CBP) random inspections
XIII. List of U.S. Flag international ocean freight carriers by U.S. Department of Transportation



I. Attention rogue movers (unlicensed OTI/unlicensed international shipping companies)!!!

Federal law (the Shipping Act of 1984) requires Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTI or international shipping companies providing ocean freight service from and to the USA) to be licensed and bonded. Accepting cargo from unlicensed OTI constitutes a violation of the Shipping Act. Knowing and willful violations of the Shipping Act carry a possible civil penalty of up to $30,000 per occurrence.

Amid Logistics, LLC, as a licensed and bonded U.S. OTI, is held responsible for NOT providing service to unlicensed OTIs (rogue movers -  unlicensed international shipping companies, unlicensed international moving companies, or unlicensed individual enterprises that offer international ocean freight service from or to the USA). In order to do so, all shippers, when booking an international shipment with us, must confirm that they are NOT an unlicensed Ocean Transportation Intermediary and do NOT provide international shipping service to their clients unless operating under an OTI license.
Falsification of this statement is considered an attempt to violate the Shipping Act. Information about the attempt, along with obtained information about the unlicensed OTI – unlicensed international shipping company, will be forwarded to the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission in order to punish the unlicensed international shipping company, international moving company, or an individual enterpriser for its illegal activity.


II. International shipping of S.O.C. - "Shipper Owned Containers"

Want to buy an FCL "One Way"sea freight container for international shipping from the US? Here are some suggestions:

Here is a brief list of what you need to consider if you are purchasing an FCL ocean freight container for international shipping from the USA:

1. Does the ocean freight carrier (international shipping company, freight forwarder, or NVOCC) or shipping line (VOCC) that will move the FCL sea freight container for you take shippers-owned containers (SOC), and will the ocean freight rate be affected? Each ocean carrier has a policy for FCL shippers-owned containers. The FCL booking or customer service departments will have the information you need. Professional international moving companies should have the information in advance as well.

2. Is an FCL sea freight container condition survey required for the container before the ocean carrier's acceptance? If so, this must be done before the container is loaded for an international shipment by sea. You want this survey.

3. Who will provide the chassis or flatbed to move the FCL multimodal sea freight container for international shipping? Either the trucker or the ocean carrier provides the 'wheels' (chassis) under a sea freight container. Services offered by international moving companies should include in the total international shipping costs.

4. What is the cargo volume & the weight that you will be shipping from the US? Often, over-the-road weight limitations are much less than the design capacity for a sea freight container. Also, ocean freight rates are typically less for smaller-size FCL shipping containers. Under U.S. law -- YOU will be held responsible for all fines & damages if an overweight container results in a road accident -- or other damage or fines.

5. How will the FCL sea freight container be delivered to the destination? Most container delivery trailers are designed to slide containers off to the ground & cannot handle the weight of a loaded FCL sea freight container. This usually means you will have to hire a crane (expensive) or unload the contents of the sea freight container prior to it being landed on the ground.

6. What about U.S. Customs? Customs rules regarding the import of sea freight containers vary widely. Your international shipping company (freight forwarder, NVOCC) or international moving company will have the ability to confirm import requirements and duties for international shipments by sea.

7. Why do you need a shipper's owned container? If it is to be used as storage at the final destination, often it is cheaper to purchase a sea freight container at the destination & save the extra handling costs of a shipper's owned sea freight container. But beware, YOU are responsible for all FCL sea freight container requirements.

8. Do you have INSURANCE such as the type that will cover you IF FCL SEA FREIGHT CONTAINER FAILURE DAMAGES THE CARGO OF OTHERS, OR THE VESSEL? After 25 years in this industry -- THE CARGO LETTER concludes that YOU likely Don't have such insurance. This is a major question that management must review.

PLEASE NOTE -- before buying an FCL sea freight container -- check your insurance. That insurance will cover ONLY your cargo -- but NOT the damage you do to others.

9. "Shipper Owned Containers" may send a negative message to U.S. Customs:

U.S. Customs assumes that "Shipper Owned Containers" may mean a one-way trip.

U.S. Customs assumes that "Shipper Owned Containers" can often mean junk or even hazardous cargo.

U.S. Customs assumes that "Shipper Owned Containers" are often purchased at the end of their service life


III. Importing goods to the USA with respect dealing with U.S. Customs Broker


IV. Motor vehicles CAN NOT be shipped from the U.S. as LCL freight. International shipping of motor parts.

Any motorized vehicle that requires DMV (U.S. Department of Motor Vehicles) registration (auto, motorcycles, mopeds, jet skis, ATVs) will NOT be permitted for international shipping from the USA as LCL freight. This is due to US Customs Regulations that will not recognize any ocean freight carrier's warehouse as an exam site for inspection.
You can ship motorized vehicles using our sea freight service for international shipping vehicles in containers or Ro-Ro. International shipping freight cost per motorized vehicle should be equal to the freight cost of international shipping a mid-size car but always must be re-confirmed upon a booking request.

FYI: If ship motorcycles as FCL sea freight, then it may fit approximately up to: 8 motorcycles per 20' FCL sea freight container and 18 per 40'.
Motor parts can be shipped using LCL sea freight, however:
International shipping of motors and/or motor parts from the USA that may contain any fluids (such as engines, tanks, batteries, etc.) are subject to the following requirement:


However, even drained motor parts may be considered dangerous goods by international shipping companies when cargo is delivered to the origin international shipping terminal for the international shipment from the U.S.

If motor parts are considered dangerous goods by an international shipping company, then additional documents related to international shipping of dangerous goods must be provided, and hazardous surcharges apply. The international shipping company (freight forwarder, NVOCC, international moving company) or shipping line (SSL, VOCC) will inform the consigner of the additional requirements and charges (if any) once the cargo has been accepted by the carrier’s terminal (CFS) for the international shipment from the U.S.

International shippers of auto parts must be aware of and accept the general conditions for international shipping of dangerous goods by sea from the USA.

IMPORTANT: The consigner's responsibility is to submit motor parts to the international shipment by sea in the proper condition. The international shipping company (freight forwarder, NVOCC, international moving company) or shipping line (SSL, VOCC)  will NOT be held responsible for any delays or difficulties resulting from the failure to properly drain fluids or arrange proper packing before the international shipping, nor for additional charges incurred as a result thereof.


V. The new customs regulation in Brazil - NCM#'s and CNPJ requirements

Commercial import shipments: Now, all shipments imported to Brazil require providing NCM#'S (codes defined by the Brazilian government for the classification of materials) and the CNPJ (number of company’s identification). This information must be provided by shippers to ocean carriers before shipments are released to import to Brazil and get freight to be released in Brazil.

On personal import shipments: Brazil has new requirements for shipments imported into Brazil. The CPF number (the consignee's passport number) is required to be on the bill of lading. Always advise the consignee's passport number. If not advised, then penalties can be costly.


VI. Saudi Arabia's import rule: 'Country of Origin' must be marked on every package.

The Saudi Arabia Port Authority has implemented some new rules that international shippers that are dealing with international shipping companies (freight forwarders, NVOCCs, international moving companies) should be aware of in order to avoid fines.

Effective March 1, 2009, the Saudi Port Authority requires all cargo destined for Saudi Arabia to have permanent markings stating the “Country of Origin” on every package, carton, and box. These markings can be engraved, printed, or affixed by means of non-removable stickers.

Indicating the geographical region of origin (e.g., European Union/Europe) does NOT satisfy this new requirement. The “Country of Origin” has to be clearly stated and spelled out in full. Strict enforcement by the Saudi Port Authority is expected.

Failure to comply may result in the cargo being returned to the country of origin. Penalties may also be imposed on cargo interests. Please ensure that your shipments to Saudi Arabia comply with this international shipping requirement to avoid incurring additional expenses and penalties.


VII. International shipping to NIGERIA: 'M Form' to Nigeria

The 'M form' is some sort of Import Permit that consignees must get whenever they are involved in the international shipping of sea freight to Nigeria.

The customer must apply for authorization with the Federal Bank in Nigeria. When approved, the Bank will issue the M Certificate, and then the consignee will be allowed to import his goods.

The M Form number must be shown in the bill of lading. Without it, it cannot enter Nigeria.

Exporters must do all the necessary paperwork, and once completed, the ocean freight carrier will need the number to input it into international shipping carriers' bill of lading.


VIII. New U.S. Customs rule: Social Security Numbers (SSN) will not be accepted as a valid USPPI ID for international shipping from the USA

New U.S. Customs rules on international shipping from the USA: According to the U.S. Census Bureau / U.S. Customs and Border Protection regulation and per the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), Social Security Numbers (SSN) will NOT be accepted as a valid USPPI ID as of December 3, 2009. Any Authorized Agent that files on behalf of customers using an SSN as the USPPI ID needs to notify their customers that they need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). USPPIs can obtain an EIN by visiting and selecting "Employer ID Numbers (EIN)."

Once USPPIs obtain their EIN, they must provide the ID to their authorized agent. Authorized Agents must update any profiles or templates as necessary. On December 3, 2009, all profiles and/or templates will automatically remove USPPI IDs that are labeled as SSN. All other information in the profile and/or template will remain. Filers will need to update these profiles and/or templates with the EIN of their customers.

Note: We found that some of our customers that do not have an EIN obtain EIN for their international shipping online at by requesting EIN as for Sole Proprietors in purpose …to satisfy banking requirements or local law. Then you may consider following these steps as in the PDF file.


IX. Exports to ALGERIA: International shipping to Algeria must always be covered by a Letter of Credit

The Algerian Government passed a new law on international shipping to Algeria. It requires that all sea freight going to Algeria to be covered by a Letter of Credit.
Since Aug 02, 2009, under the law of 26/07/2009 (article 69), published in Official Gazette no. 44 of the Algerian Republic, the payment of ocean freight imports must be made through a Letter of Credit.

The Letter of Credit must be issued by an Algerian bank.  If a Letter of Credit is not in place, ocean freight will not be able to clear customs, be picked up, or be removed from Algerian ports.


X. Requirements on international shipping of personal effects, charity goods, or gifts into SOUTH AFRICA

International shipping of Household Goods / Personal Effects:

1) The importer must be in RSA at least 10 days prior to goods arriving so that all necessary paperwork is available.  This is paperwork that only the importer can provide, such as Passport, ID Book, Visa, etc.  Customs do not accept copies. Only originals are allowed.  Certified copies are not accepted either.

2) Customs allow household goods / personal effects to be imported exempt from duty and vat ONLY if the following conditions are met:

a) The importer is a returning resident who has been out of the country recently for a period of 6 months or longer, i.e., if they returned 2 years ago, they cannot now bring their goods in as personal effects.  An original passport is required as proof of this.

b) The importer is a foreigner entering the country on a permanent residence certificate, a work permit, or an own business visa.  Exceptions have sometimes been made for study visas but are not guaranteed. A retirement visa is not accepted.

3) Alcohol, tobacco, and consumables (food, soap, make-up, etc.) are not considered personal effects and are NOT exempt from duty and vat at all ever.

4) Personal items such as clothing, shoes, sporting and recreational equipment, books, etc. may be imported if:

a) Goods were exported by a resident for use while abroad and are now being re-imported.

b) Goods are imported by a non-resident for their own personal use during their stay in RSA.

5) ALL shipments of personal effects/household goods MUST have a DETAILED and Priced inventory list showing each item, the number of that item, and its value.  General listings are not allowed, e.g., stationary.  It must be specified as pens, books, notepads, etc.

International shipping of Donations:

1) NEVER send used clothing. It is not allowed at all ever and will have to be returned or burnt under customs supervision.

2) New clothing is generally also excluded from any kind of rebate on duty and vat.

3) Motor vehicles cannot be donated.

4) Always check on the donation of ANY foodstuff.

a) Certain foods items are excluded from any duty and vat rebate

b) Certain food items require an import permit

c) Certain food items are not allowed into RSA at all

5) For any organization to receive donations exempt from duty and vat, they must be registered as a charitable organization/ religious organization.  Registration MUST be checked prior to dispatching the goods.

6) Permission to receive the donation must be granted by the International Trade Administration Commission if an exemption from duty and vat is to be applied.  Best to do this prior to the despatch of goods from the origin.

7) Each donation shipment MUST have a DETAILED and PRICED inventory list.  No general descriptions are allowed, such as stationary.  The list must specify the exact item, the number of that item, and the value, e.g., 7 exercise books for $20, 15 ballpoint pens for $5, etc.

8) Donation shipments should never be sent unless the importer on this side has had time to do the necessary research and apply for the relevant permits, permissions, and rebate facilities.

Donation shipments sent with the best of intentions but without the proper procedures and research may end up costing the receiver more than what the donation is actually worth.

International shipping  of Gifts:

1) Unsolicited gifts are allowed from a natural person to a natural person.  No company/business gifts allowed

2) 2 gift parcels per person per year, each under the value of R400 / parcel, are allowed.

3) International shipping of wine, spirits, or manufactured tobacco is not allowed as gifts.


XI. Freight All Kind (FAK) definition in international shipping from the USA

Unless provided otherwise in an individual Service contract, "Freight All Kinds or FAK" shall consist of all cargo of any kind, EXCLUDING:

1) Cargo moving in the tank or special equipment,

2) Hazardous cargo,

3) Refrigerated cargo,

4) Shipments with one of the following commodities declared on Bill of Lading: Aircrafts, NOS, Boat NOS, Vehicles, NOS, Wearing Apparel, NOS, Garment, NOS, Audio and Video Equipments, NOS, Toys, NOS, Fashion Accessories, NOS, New or Used personal effect, Home decoration, Novelty items, Giftware, Houseware, Home improvement items, House supplies, House, Household goods, Promotional items, Catalog merchandise, Plastic Products or Plastic Goods or Plasticware, Metal, Metalware, Metal product or Metal goods

5) Any commodity listed below: Restricted comm. is subject to possible restriction, quantity limit, or specific stow/block/brace requirements for Operation Department review and acceptance.

  • Automobiles/self-propelled vehicles, USED & NEW
  • Automobiles, crushed hulks
  • Automobiles part or vehicle component, except comm, declared on B/L as "new auto parts in cartons & boxes" (Commodity declared as new auto parts in crates or in pallets is under restricted commodity)
  • Aircraft, set up or in pieces or parts or components
  • Air flite training aids, devices, or electronics Ammunition Class C
  • Animals or carcasses
  • Asbestos or asbestos scrap
  • Asphalt (asphaltum)
  • Batteries, used or for scrap or reclamation
  • Bulk agri NOT bagged or palletized
  • Bulk bakery product waste
  • Bulk bladder shipments, dry or liquid
  • Carbon blacks
  • Chassis, bogies, or flatbeds, stacked
  • Cigarettes, EXCEPT in 6-mil plastic-lined equipment
  • Coil Metal
  • Copper cathodes
  • Counterweights and cylinders
  • Creosote or creosoted materials
  • DDG's (Dehydrated Distilled Grains)
  • Dimensional high/wide loads
  • Dump carts, trailers, or wagons
  • Firearms
  • Fish scrap or meal
  • Hazardous Materials, Hazardous Waste, Waste material, Poisonous / Toxic Inhalation Commodities
  • Hides, pelts, skins
  • Household goods / Antiques / Personal effects
  • Houses, buildings, or prefab building sections
  • Iron oxide slurry residue
  • Lime sludge or waste
  • Marine vessels, i.e., ships, boats, launches, canoes
  • Metal Scrap, unless baled/bundled/palletized/drummed
  • Motor vehicles, new & used/titled
  • Natural Christmas trees, evergreen
  • Nuclear materials, substances, or waste
  • Pipe, Metal
  • Polychlorinated biphenyl
  • Precious metal or stones/articles made from
  • Property of extraordinary value, i.e., currency, stamps
  • Radioactive materials
  • Railway wheels
  • Paper in roll
  • Rolling Mills
  • Rubber shavings or turnings


XII. International shipping  to the USA (IMPORT): Potential additional cost due to U.S. Customs (CBP) random inspections

Please be aware of potential additional costs that may occur during international shipping of FCL ocean freight due to U.S. Customs (CBP) random inspections. New seals and administration charges are for the account of the cargo.

Customs (CBP) and U.S. Coast Guard will select FCL sea freight containers on terminals for random inspections. There is usually very little (if any) advance notice. International shipping terminals (container yards) will advise the steamship lines of the new seal numbers after the inspections are done. International shipping freight charges occurred due to the U.S. Customs (CBP) random inspections on account of the shipper.


XIII. List of U.S. Flag international ocean freight carriers by U.S. Department of Transportation

You can find the list of international shipping terms and list of U.S. Flag international ocean freight carriers by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2008 in this link




A. In respect of international shipping from the USA mixed household goods or personal effects, if there is no major commodity described, we may suggest the HS Code 4016.99.05 “Household articles not elsewhere specified or included.”

B. In respect of international shipping of the rest of the commodities (new stuff, with commercial invoices), you need to provide the HS code (at least the first six digits), which you can find on the following websites:

For more information, please refer to several notifications from different ocean freight carriers (international shipping companies) involved in the international shipping of sea freight from the USA:


A key item from the information on our website relating to the timing of your SI submission can be found below:

In order to comply with the new European Union (EU) 24-Hour, Advanced Manifest Regulation for international shipping of sea freight effective on December 31st, 2010, OOCL appreciates your kind cooperation in providing your complete international shipping instructions (including AES information with sea freight container and seal number information) at least 2 working days prior to the international shipping cargo load port cutoff. This will allow for your international shipping cargo to be included in our manifest documentation preparation and submission to EU Customs within the required time frame. The international shipping documentation cutoff information will be published on and in our OOCL Booking Acknowledgements / Confirmations. Effective December 31, 2010, cargo not included in the manifest process will not be allowed to be loaded onboard the booked vessel for the international shipping of sea freight. 

As an additional note, OOCL's Far East destined service – AEX – also falls under the EU24 international shipping of sea freight rule due to a transship through Cagliari, Italy.



Earlier this week, the European Commission and the EU Member States agreed to introduce in the European Combined Nomenclature a special HS code for international shipping of household goods using sea freight service. This new HS Code will be introduced in Chapter 99 of the Combined Nomenclature with the reference "9905" to cover "personal property belonging to natural persons transferring their normal place of residence" using international shipping sea freight services.

This HS code was created upon insistence from the WSC staff in view of the forthcoming EU advance international shipping cargo requirements, noting that "household goods" is currently listed as an unacceptable international shipping goods description in the "Guidelines on acceptable and unacceptable terms for the description of international shipping goods for exit and entry summary declarations".  Without the creation of such an HS code, the persons lodging an entry or exit summary declarations for the international shipping goods using sea freight would have been compelled to provide plain-language international shipping cargo descriptions or HS codes for each individual item part of the personal effects moved during international shipping of place of residence, which the Commission agreed would have entailed a workload and expenses disproportionate to the interests at stake.

The U.E. International Shipping Regulation for sea freight introducing this new code has yet to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union, which will take several weeks. The European Commission, however, confirmed yesterday to WSC staff that the text of the Regulation would be made available before December 31, 2010, so that economic operators would have a formal reference at disposal when using this code in their entry on international shipping and exit summary declarations.

We shall inform members that use sea freight services for international shipping when the text of the Regulation is available. Based on the information provided by the Commission, however, member lines should feel confident in planning the use of the new "9905" HS Code for use regarding international shipping of household goods using sea freight.

Note: This new E.U. regulation has nothing to do with AES filling and international shipping from the U.S, but with international shipping to Europe as well as any cargo moving VIA Europe. It's a European Union regulation, not a U.S. one.


We would like to advise our customers of the implementation of the European Union's new regulation for international shipping of sea freight from the USA, which will require the transmission of the manifest 24 Hours prior to the loading of European Union Bound vessels. This new U.E. international shipping regulation will come into effect on January 1st, 2011, and Zim, as the Carrier, will be responsible for providing this manifest for international shipping of sea freight (Entry Summary Declaration – ENS) in a timely manner. Of course, we are dependent on the information for international shipping of sea freight provided by you.

What is an ENS?

An ENS is an Entry Summary Declaration that is required for all inbound cargo for international shipping into/via the European Union, regardless of their destination. The international shipping requirement is for:

  • Import Cargo
  • FROB (freight Remains on Board) while the vessel calls at the EU ports
  • Trans-shipment Cargo – for both destinations in and out of the EU

The international shipping requirement is for security measures only and not for Customs related issues

Who must lodge the ENS?

The ENS is lodged by the Carrier based on the required information provided by the client involved in the international shipping of sea freight from the USA.

When must it be lodged?

Similar to the US / Canadian / Mexico / China rule, the ENS must be lodged 24 hours prior to the international shipping vessels' loading (a vessel that will call at an EU port directly).

Where must it be lodged?

The ENS is sent to the Customs Authority at the first Port of Entry into the EU. Currently, we support:

  • Shipping to Austria
  • Shipping to Belgium
  • Shipping to Bulgaria
  • Shipping to Cyprus
  • Shipping to the Czech Republic
  • Shipping to Denmark
  • Shipping to Estonia
  • Shipping to Finland
  • Shipping to France
  • Shipping to Germany
  • Shipping to Greece
  • Shipping to Hungary
  • Shipping to Ireland
  • Shipping to Italy
  • Shipping to Latvia
  • Shipping to Lithuania
  • Shipping to Luxembourg
  • Shipping to malta
  • Shipping to the Netherlands
  • Shipping to Poland
  • Shipping to Portugal
  • Shipping to Romania
  • Shipping to Slovakia
  • Shipping to Slovenia
  • Shipping to Spain
  • Shipping to Sweden
  • Shipping to the United Kingdom
  • Shipping to European Union (EU)

Which Data Is Included?

  • Shipper (EORI number where available)
  • Consignee (EORI number where available)
  • Notify Party (mandatory for “To Order” B/L)
  • 4-digit HS code, but 6 digit HS Code is recommended
  • Code for the type of packages
  • Number of international shipping packages
  • Shipping marks for international shipping packaged goods (not necessary for containerized goods)
  • Container number
  • Seal number
  • Gross mass (in kilograms)
  • UN code for dangerous goods
  • Transport charges method of payment code (e.g., payment in cash, payment by credit card, payment by check, electronic credit transfer, an account holder with the carrier, not pre-paid).

Are amendments allowed?

Amendments are allowed but might be rejected by the Customs Authorities and should be handled case by case.

Is A House B/L Required?

Unlike the requirements of the US / Canadian Customs, a House b/l is not required. The Master b/l filed by the international shipping carrier is enough, even if the Shipper and CNEE are the Freight forwarders.

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