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This article applies to selling in: United States

Amazon Global Logistics importer setup and customs compliance

All inventory shipped to Amazon fulfillment centers is required to meet FBA inventory requirements. When booking transportation with Amazon Global Logistics, you must also provide customs compliance information for your products.

For more information, see these Help topics:

Delivering imports to Amazon

Importing and exporting inventory

Product compliance

Restricted products and dangerous goods (hazmat)

Import and export documents

Documentation requirements for the import or export of goods will vary by country, customs authority, and product type. Typically, the following documents will be required:

Commercial invoice: Provided by you (or the shipper if you’re not the shipper).

Packing list: Provided by you (or the shipper if you’re not the shipper).

Forwarder’s cargo receipt (FCR): Provided by Amazon to you (or the shipper if you’re not the shipper) to confirm receipt of the shipment at the Amazon origin facility when it will be distributed to multiple fulfillment centers.

Note: The FCR is the only document that requires your approval for a shipment that is booked using distributed placement. If you receive and approve an FCR draft, then you will not be asked to approve shipping instructions. (You can also receive and approve an FAI form. Amazon provides this form, which creates the FCR and files the Automated Manifest System and Importer Security Filing). The FCR must be approved within one business day. It can be used for a refund on a VAT export.

Bill of lading (BOL): Generated by the carrier. A BOL for air freight is also called an airway bill.

Entry summary form: Generated by the customs broker.

After you book transportation, you will be informed about the specific documents required for your shipment.

Importer of record (IOR)

You or an entity appointed by you must act as the importer of record (IOR) for inventory entering the US. You’ll be asked to provide information and documentation related to your IOR when you set up your Amazon Global Logistics profile. This information includes your company name and contact information.

Note: For step-by-step instructions on IOR setup, download Using Amazon Global Logistics in Seller Central in English or Chinese.

The IOR is responsible for the following:

  • Ensuring that imported goods comply with local laws and regulations
  • Filing a completed customs entry summary form and associated documents with information provided by you
  • Paying the assessed import duties and other taxes on those goods

The IOR is also the consignee for your shipment. For Amazon Global Logistics, the shipping and customs entry documents will be addressed as:

(Your name), in care of FBA

(Fulfillment center address)

Amazon will not act as an IOR, consignee, or partner government agency (PGA) agent for any shipment, regardless of the size, value, origin, destination, or product. However, Amazon is the ultimate consignee for FBA shipments with a ship-to destination in the US. When you list Amazon as the ultimate consignee, use the following number as the US Customs and Border Protection identification number: 199900-02534.

When booking transportation, you’ll also be asked to provide other contacts for your shipment. This includes an exporter of record (EOR).

Non-resident IOR

An IOR for an FBA shipment entering the US can be a US resident or a non-resident (foreign) entity or person. All non-resident IORs must complete a CBP form 5106 and include their IOR number from US Customs and Border Protection.

  • If you have imported into the US within the past year as a non-resident IOR: You will already have an IOR number. Enter it in the Customs Assigned Importer Number field when you’re getting started with Amazon Global Logistics.
  • If you already have an IOR number even though you have not yet imported into the US: Select Yes under Have you imported into the US before? when you’re getting started with Amazon Global Logistics. Then your IOR number in the Customs Assigned Importer Number field.
  • If you have not imported into the US before and don’t have an IOR number: Select No under Have you imported into the US before? when you’re getting started with Amazon Global Logistics. We will complete a CBP form 5106 and register your business with US Customs on your behalf. Once your Customs Assigned Importer Number (CAIN) is assigned, we will forward it to you. We will also forward your IOR number once it has been assigned.

Customs broker

A customs broker is an individual or firm licensed by US Customs and Border Protection to do the following:

  • Prepare and file customs entries with any additional required documents
  • Arrange for the payment of duties
  • Arrange for the release of goods from CBP custody
  • Otherwise represent importers in customs matters

Amazon Global Logistics provides access to third-party customs brokers as part of our end-to-end service. This means that all of your shipments are automatically routed to an assigned customs broker.

Power of attorney (POA) with Amazon

When you get started with Amazon Global Logistics, we will ask you to sign a master POA with Amazon for imports into the US. A customs POA form authorizes a party to act as your agent during customs clearance.

A POA can take some time to receive approval, but it simplifies the movement and clearance of your future shipments. The POA allows us to issue sub-POAs to other carriers and customs brokers on your behalf. Your assigned customs broker may contact you directly if there are questions about your shipment, customs entry, or both.

  • If your company is a corporation, sole proprietorship, or limited liability company (LLC), your POA with Amazon is continuous.
  • If your company is a partnership, your POA must be renewed every two years.

Whoever signs the POA for your company must have the proper authority. This authority varies according to the type of company or seller and is determined by US regulations:

  • Corporation or sole proprietorship: The president, vice president, treasurer, corporate secretary, chief executive officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, chief administrative officer, chairman, sole proprietor, or owner may sign.
  • LLC: The manager, director, president, officer, member, or managing member may sign.
  • Partnerships: The partner or general partner may sign.

We will ask for additional information and documents when you’re getting started with Amazon Global Logistics to confirm that the signatory is an authorized person for you or the company. This may include a business license, proof of business in good standing, annual reports, proof of individual authority, or all of the above.

For non-resident IORs signing a POA, we will also ask you to complete a Non-Resident Corporate Certification (NRCC). The NRCC is signed by another company officer to confirm that the officer signing the POA is authorized to do so.

If the POA requires documentation such as a continuous US customs bond, we will upload it to your IOR profile. This information will be available for your shipping transactions, saving you time with future shipments.

US customs bond

A US customs bond is a contract used to guarantee the payment of import duties, taxes, and fees to US Customs and Border Protection. Shipments into the US via Amazon Global Logistics require a customs bond on behalf of the importer of record (IOR).

There are two types of US customs bonds:

  • A single-entry customs bond is for importers who ship occasionally.
  • A continuous customs bond is for importers who ship regularly.

To import goods into the US with Amazon Global Logistics, you must have or obtain a continuous US customs bond. You will be asked while getting started if you already have an active continuous US customs bond. If not, Amazon can help you obtain one. You can find sample customs bonds on CBP’s website.

A fee for your continuous US customs bond will be applied to your first booking. You will be charged annually thereafter to renew. The fee structures below are based on your estimated duty, taxes, and fees paid in the past 12 months (or estimated for the next 12 months if you don’t have an import history).

$500,000 or less: The fee will be $350.

Greater than $500,000: Amazon will calculate the fee and provide a quote with your first shipment.

Your US customs bond must equal 10% of the estimated duties, taxes, and fees that you pay for as long as the bond is valid. You or the IOR are responsible for ensuring that the bond coverage amount is current.

Note: If your IOR’s address has changed since your US customs bond was issued, request a bond update through the customs broker who issued the bond. The address of your bond must match the address used in your master POA and supporting documentation in order for you to complete your IOR setup.

Tariff classification (HTS codes)

Most countries classify globally traded goods using tariff classification codes. These codes determine the customs value of products and flag requirements such as anti-dumping or countervailing duties (ADDs and CVDs) for partner government agencies (PGAs).

You can provide or review tariff classifications for your inventory when booking transportation or later in the shipping process.

While many countries use Harmonized System (HS) codes, the US uses Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes. HTS and HS codes both use a universal set of six digits at the beginning of each tariff classification and use the final four digits to convey country-specific classifications.

Accurate HTS codes help reduce clearance and shipping times, and ensure that your shipment complies with regulations. Inaccurate codes can result in shipment delays, customs duties being incorrectly calculated, your shipment being held or rejected by customs, or all of the above. You may also be subject to financial penalties or other actions by customs authorities if your HTS codes are inaccurate.

You can find appropriate tariff codes for your goods by using the US International Trade Commission’s HTS search. Enter a keyword such as “food,” “shoes,” or “plants,” then choose the appropriate code.

Note: When booking transportation, you may see an option to provide the HTS codes for your products. If you don’t see this option, you can provide this information later.

In some cases, Amazon may suggest an alternate HTS code that describes your product more accurately. We may also suggest the first six digits of your HTS code and then ask you to provide the final four digits.

It’s ultimately up to you to determine the most accurate HTS code. Your IOR is responsible for that determination. You can consult the Harmonized Tariff Schedule for guidance, your customs broker can review your HTS code for accuracy, or both.

Example HTS code: 0901.21.0050 (non-organic caffeinated coffee)

  1. The first and second digits of an HTS classification code refer to the product’s chapter. In our example, "09” refers to “coffee, tea, mate, and spices.”
  2. The third and fourth digits of an HTS code indicate the specific category within a chapter, or heading. In our example, “01” refers to “coffee.”
  3. The fifth and sixth digits of an HTS code define the sub-heading, or subcategory, of a product. In our example, “21” refers to “caffeinated coffee” (decaf coffee is “22”).
  4. The last four digits of an HTS code are for US-specific classifications. In our example, “0050” refers to “non-organic coffee.”

Customs value and duties, taxes, and fees

Customs value is the assigned monetary value of an imported good. It is also what countries and customs authorities use to assess duties, or the taxes collected on imports and some exports.

You can provide or review customs values for your inventory when booking transportation or later in the shipping process.

The World Trade Organization outlines six methods for determining customs value. Importers must use the first applicable option from the list below.

Transaction value is the primary method for determining customs value of an imported good. It is the total actual payment for that good, including all payments made as a condition of sale like packing costs, royalties, and licensing fees.

Transaction value of identical goods determines the customs value of an imported good using the transaction value of an identical good. To be considered identical, goods must have the same quality and physical attributes and be produced in the same country by the same producer.

Transaction value of similar goods determines the customs value of an imported good using the transaction value of a similar good. To be considered similar, goods must have a close resemblance and share common characteristics. They must also be commercially interchangeable and produced in the same country by the same producer.

The deductive method determines the value of an imported good using its unit price (or the unit price of an identical or similar good). The importer must use the unit price of their product when it is sold in the greatest quantity to an unrelated buyer in the country of importation. Applicable deductions for profits and commissions, transportation charges and insurance costs, and customs duties are subtracted from the unit price.

The computed method determines the customs value of an imported good using the cost of production (materials and fabrication), as well as profit and related expenses (processing, transport, loading and unloading, insurance, handling charges).

The fall-back method uses the other valuation methods above and makes minor adjustments as necessary to determine the value of an imported goods. This method is only used when no other method is applicable.

Make sure that each item in your shipment has the correct appraised value as its customs value on all commercial and entry documentation. US Customs may scrutinize nominal or false values in order to prevent under- or overpayment of duties. If no customs value is provided, the shipment will be rejected.

To determine the proper customs value for your product, you can contact your Amazon-assigned customs broker or ask an external consultant. For information on how US customs values are assessed, visit the CBP website.

The amount of customs duty, additional taxes, and fees assessed on your shipment depends on what you are importing (determined by their HTS codes), its customs value, and the country of origin. Some products may also have additional taxes that are assessed by customs authorities, such as excise taxes or anti-dumping duties (ADD). US Customs and Border Protection also assesses two fees for each shipment:

  • A merchandise processing fee is imposed on all US imports. It is charged at 0.3464% of the customs value (not including duty, freight, and insurance charges) and is a maximum of $485 per shipment.
  • A harbor maintenance fee is imposed on all US imports shipped via ocean freight. It is charged at 0.125% of the customs value.

Remember that your IOR is responsible for declaring the proper customs value to customs authorities. They are also responsible for all customs duties, taxes, and fees assessed for your shipments.

Note: The information above does not constitute tax, legal, or other professional advice and must not be used as such.

Entry summary

An Entry Summary (CBP Form 7501) lists the duties and taxes paid for an imported shipment as assessed by US customs authorities. You will receive an email from the Amazon Global Logistics team when the Entry Summary for your shipment is ready. You will be asked to review the Entry Summary within 72 hours and confirm or dispute the duties and taxes listed. If you do not respond within 72 hours, the Entry Summary will be automatically submitted to customs authorities for processing to continue the import process. Please note that you and/or your importer is still responsible for the information on the Entry Summary.

To review your Entry Summary, do the following:

  1. Click My Entry Summary in the email you receive from the Amazon Global Logistics team, which will take you to the Book Transportation workflow.
  2. In the Step 6 – Shipping documents tab, find the Entry Summary and click Review.
  3. After reviewing the Entry Summary, click Confirm to indicate your agreement with the duties and taxes listed. Or click Dispute to provide comments and a reason for disputing, and then press Submit. You will receive a reply within one business day for a dispute.

For more information about the Entry Summary, visit the US Customs and Border Protection website.

Partner government agencies (PGAs)

A product’s tariff classification (HTS code) may flag country-specific requirements for importation. In the US, the requirements are assessed and regulated by various partner government agencies (PGAs). The requirements often require special permits or additional documentation

When uploading your products via Amazon Global Logistics, you can enter relevant PGA information. You can also upload PDFs or other documents with test results, trademark authorization letters, permits, licenses, or other applicable forms.

Your carrier, customs broker, or Amazon may contact you if PGA data is missing or incorrect. All such data must be accurate and complete before your booking can proceed. Shipments not declared with proper PGAs will be held or seized by US Customs and Border Protection and returned or destroyed at your expense.

You must obtain a US-based agent when a PGA requires one for your inventory. For example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires IORs to have a Foreign Supplier Verification Program agent. Visit Service Providers Network for companies that can provide an FSVP agent, customs brokerage, or other import-related services. Note that Amazon cannot be a PGA agent.

Common PGAs and requirements

Agency/program Examples of regulated items Required
US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) leathers, furs, feather, bone, mother-of-pearl F&W certificate
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cosmetics, kitchenware, cookware, human food, devices FDA product code, manufacturer name, address
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) animal or plant products (items incorporating wood) Lacey Act certificate, CITES, PPQ 505
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) meat, poultry, egg products dairy licenses, agricultural permits
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) toys, baby products, children’s clothes general certificate of conformity, children’s certificate of conformity
CBP intellectual property rights (counterfeits) trademarked items, branded apparel proof of trademark ownership, trademark authorization letter
Department of Commerce anti-dumping and countervailing duties wooden bedroom furniture, Canadian softwood lumber, types of steel non-reimbursement certificate
Note: These are just some of the most common PGAs and their requirements. Other PGA requirements may apply to your products.

Additional information that may be required

When booking transportation or later in the shipping process, you may be asked to confirm whether these standard import regulations and requirements apply to items in your shipment:

  • Anti-dumping duties (ADD)
  • Countervailing duties (CVD)
  • Toxic Substance Control Act
  • Radiation-emitting devices (RAD)
  • Lacey Act (for importing wood or plant products into the US)

For more information, visit Amazon Global Logistics product compliance.

Restricted and prohibited products

Common items that require additional permits or authorizations include agricultural products, plants and seeds, food, alcohol, vitamins, supplements, medical devices, drugs and medication, hazardous goods, and pesticides. To learn more, visit FBA product restrictions. For potential CPB or other government prohibitions or restrictions, visit the CPB page.

Failure to comply with product preparation requirements, government safety requirements, and product restrictions may result in one or more of the following for Amazon Global Logistics and all of your FBA shipments:

  • Refusal of inventory at an Amazon fulfillment center
  • Disposal or return of inventory
  • Blocking of future shipments to Amazon
  • Charges for preparation or non-compliance at the fulfillment center

Return of imports

Amazon cannot return inventory stored in fulfillment centers to an address outside of the US. To have your inventory returned to you, provide a US return address when creating a removal order.

Frequently asked questions

Where can I find a US customs bond template?

You can download a US customs bond template from the CBP. We also recommend that you consult the power of attorney specialist on our compliance team as you draft your customs bond.

How can I verify the validity of my US customs bond?

You can verify your customs bond with your customs broker. If you bought your customs bond through Amazon, contact us with your customs bond number. We will identify your broker for you.

I have the US customs bond details, but not a physical copy of the bond. Is it OK to submit the bond details only?

Yes. It’s OK to submit the customs bond details without the physical copy as long as you provide the full details of the bond.

My US customs bond is expiring and needs to be renewed or updated. Whom should I contact?

If you bought your US customs bond through a customs broker or surety, contact that party to renew or update your bond. If you bought a customs bond when getting started with Amazon Global Logistics, your bond will automatically renew. You then will be charged on the first shipment after the renewal. To update your details on a bond bought through Amazon Global Logistics, contact us.

My US customs bond has been renewed, but I only have a scanned copy of the original. What should I do?

Provide the Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Customs Assigned Importer Number (CAIN) when you create your importer of record. We will then confirm the details on your behalf.

My US customs bond has been renewed, but isn’t in effect yet. What should I do before it becomes effective?

If you expect to import goods before the start of your bond, contact your customs broker and ask them to change the start date of the bond. If you aren’t sure whether the bond will be in effect at the time of your import, provide your bond information when you create your importer of record when getting started with Amazon Global Logistics. We will confirm the details for you. If the customs bond is not yet active, we will let you know.

Does my company name need to be the same as the name on my US customs bond?

The company name, physical address, and signatory information on your US customs bond, power of attorney, Non-Resident Corporate Certification, and other documents must be exactly the same. The only exception is if the company name has been cut off on the bond because of the character limit in the US Customs and Border Protection system (see the question below). In this case, your customs broker can abbreviate part of your company name. For example, if your company name ends in "Limited," the bond can use "Ltd" as an abbreviation.

The company name on my US customs bond can’t be shown completely because of the character limit in the CPB system. What should I do?

As long as you have updated the relevant address information in the customs system, we can accept an abbreviated company name. We will review your submission accordingly to confirm that the business name is recognizable. If further action is required, we will contact you directly.

My office address has changed, so the business license address is not the same as the IOR, customs bond, POA, or NRCC address. Can Amazon accept still it?

Amazon can’t accept a business license if the address doesn’t reflect what is on your customs bond, POA, and NRCC. However, it’s OK if the address on your business license doesn’t match the address on your IOR.

My US customs bond address and company address have changed. What should I do?

If your company address changes, make sure you also update your US customs bond address with the customs broker who issued your bond. This update typically takes less than a day. If you don’t know how to reach your customs broker, contact us with your customs bond number. We will identify your broker for you.

How is the information I enter during my IOR setup used?

The information you provide during importer of record setup is used to create the power of attorney for your IOR. It also verifies the signatory party of the POA and their business details. If you need to change the information that you provided during IOR setup, do so before submitting the IOR. If the information is incorrect, your IOR approval may be delayed.

Where can I find my IOR number, either for a US-registered or non-US-registered seller?

Your IOR number will be listed under the Principal section of your customs bond in the CBP Identification Number field.

My IOR previously submitted a direct-broker POA with Amazon’s customs brokers. Why am I being asked to submit another POA?

If your IOR completed a direct-broker POA with Amazon’s customs brokers before or during January 2020, they must complete a new POA with Amazon. This requirement allows us to expand our routing options for shipments.

If I have companies registered in multiple countries, which country should I use with Amazon Global Logistics?

Select the applicable company for registration according to your own business conditions. To avoid delays in processing, make sure that your information is correct. If your business conditions change, also update your registration with Amazon Global Logistics.

What are the requirements for filling out the power of attorney form?

When filling out the POA form, make sure 1) the signatory name is both printed and signed, 2) the printed name is in English, and 3) the signature is consistent with the printed name, including being in the same word order. (For example, if the printed name is "Zhang, San," the signature name must read “Zhang San,” not “San Zhang.”) Chinese characters, a company stamp (chop), or both are allowed as long as printed English is also used. (For example, the printed name can read "张三 Zhang, San.")

Which document is required for Hong Kong business license documents: a certificate of incorporation or Form 2 of the Business Registration Ordinance (Chapter 310)?

Either document is acceptable for Hong Kong business license documents.

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