Clearing a shipment of goods through customs can be difficult, and there’s a mountain of paperwork that you need to fill out, submit, and keep up-to-date. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agency is extremely thorough in making sure they have updated information on every importer, as well as every single shipment that comes through U.S. borders. There are countless documents you need to know about, but we’re going to highlight one in this article: CBP Form 5106.
CBP Form 5106, also known as the Importer Identity Form, must be submitted to Customs and Border Protection prior to importing commercial goods into the U.S. Once completed, importers will have an account with CBP and be able to import goods. A Licensed Customs Broker can assist importers in completing and submitting this form.
Our complete guide below covers all of the important details regarding CBP Form 5106.
Need to submit CBP Form 5106 quickly? No problem. Choose from one of the two options below (foreign based importer or U.S. based importer) and our Licensed Customs Brokers will guide you through the process and quickly register you as an importer.
CBP Form 5106 is the Importer Identity Form. CBP uses that form to keep track of importers’ identification information, as per 19 CFR 24.5. This is important for verifying the identity of the importer, tracking their importing history, and ensuring that they are abiding by all the laws for importing into the U.S. Once you submit this form, you will become known as the Importer of Record (IOR).
A CBP Form 5106 is required for all importer filings that are classified as formal entries. A formal entry is a type of import that is either intended for commercial purposes or valued at more than $2,500. If your shipment falls under that category, then you’re going to need to fill in and submit the 5106 Form.
When you change your name, address, phone number, or any other type of personally-identifying information or contact information, you will need to submit a revised version of this form to CBP to ensure that your information stays up-to-date. Outdated information can create many problems when you try to import again, including hefty fines.
The CBP Form 5106 can be overwhelming at first glance. The form itself is 3 pages long, with an additional 2 pages of information that follows. The document is extremely detailed, and requires you to put in several pieces of information you likely won’t know off the top of your head.
Here is a general breakdown of the kinds of information you will be expected to provide on the CBP Form 5106:
All of the details that you provide in this document are important. If you are filling out the form and there is a section you do not understand or don’t know how to fill in, do not guess. Additionally, do not leave any sections blank. Unless specifically marked, all sections are mandatory data elements, and your form would be rejected automatically if any of them are left blank.
If you feel like you need help, reach out to a Licensed Customs Broker for clarification and assistance.
There are a few different ways to submit your completed form to CBP. If you are self-filing, you can submit it through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Secure Data Portal. The ACE portal allows importers to submit many different importing and compliance forms, and it streamlines the process considerably.
With that said, the ACE system is not designed for people who don’t have experience importing. The process of importing is incredibly complicated, and if you aren’t sure what you’re doing, messing around with the ACE system could only create confusion and slow the process down.
By far, the quickest and easiest solution for submitting your CBP Form 5106 is to utilize the assistance of a Customs Broker. Customs Brokers have access to the ACE Automated Broker Interface (ABI), and their experience and familiarity with the system mean they can get your form submitted correctly in a matter of minutes.
You can also email your completed CBP Form 5106 to firstname.lastname@example.org, but you will have to be willing to wait a few extra days for your form to be processed. This should be your last resort, however, since emailing such sensitive information could lead to serious vulnerabilities.
If your shipment is being held by customs, it might be because of a missing or inaccurate CBP Form 5106 in CBP records.
Remember that the CBP Form 5106 is the form that informs CBP of your identity. Without it, your file could look suspicious, and that is more than enough of a reason for CBP to not let your shipment pass into the U.S. CBP won’t let anything pass through a port of entry unless it abides by all the rules and regulations for importing.
If you need help creating a new CBP Form 5106 (or correcting an incorrect or incomplete form), then don’t hesitate to reach out to a Customs Broker for help. A Broker can help you complete the form quickly so you can get your shipment moving again in no time.
It’s important to note that even if your shipment is held in customs for a different reason, a Customs Broker will be able to find out exactly what you need to do to get your cargo released.
Helping people import into the U.S. is what we do here at USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC International. Whether you’re looking to buy a customs bond to insure your shipment, or you need help understanding Customs Regulations, you can count on us. Our Customs Brokers are skilled at filing CBP Form 5106 and all other types of Customs Forms quickly and correctly, to save you time and stress.
If you’re interested in working with one of our Customs Brokers, you can request a Customs Brokerage Quote on our website, or you could reach out to us at (855) 912-0406.