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How to Import Food Products to the U.S. For Resale

How to Import Food Products to the US For Resale
The list of agencies that play a vital role in regulating food imports to the US is lengthy. However, a licensed customs broker can simplify the process to ensure food remains safe.
December 4, 2020
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Last Modified: January 19, 2024

The United States is home to a massive variety of imported food from all over the world. Americans’ appetite for unique flavors drives the demand for businesses to bring this food into the U.S. If you’re planning to import food to the U.S. to meet this demand, there are some important details you need to be aware of.  

To import food products into the U.S. for resale, you’ll need to comply with numerous import regulations in place through the FDA, USDA, and CBP. Food that comes from wildlife is also subject to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) requirements. Due to the strict nature and amount of regulations, CBP recommends working with a Licensed Customs Broker when importing food. 

To get a complete understanding of how to import food products to the U.S. for resale, we’ve put together the comprehensive guide below. The information below outlines the entire process for importing food and gives you a clear path to success.

If you’re in a hurry or don’t have time to read through all of the information below, no need to worry. Our Licensed Customs Brokers are available to provide immediate assistance for your importing needs. You can schedule a 1-on-1 import consulting session with our Licensed Customs Brokers. They’ll answer all of your questions and address your specific importing needs to help you safely import your food.  

Food Import Regulations

Importers of food products are responsible for making sure their goods meet all required import regulations. As noted above, this includes rules in place through the FDA, USDA, CBP, and in certain cases, the FWS. While additional regulations apply for specific food products such as milk, meat, honey, and more, some requirements apply to all food products. General import documentation required for ALL food products is explained below.

Prior Notice

Arguably one of the most important aspects when importing food is filing Prior Notice with the FDA. Prior Notice is an electronic submission made through either CBP or FDA’s electronic interface system. This submission allows FDA and CBP officials to prioritize inspections for upcoming food imports scheduled to arrive in the U.S. There are a number of details that are required when submitting the Prior Notice including, but not limited to:

  • Country of production
  • Anticipated arrival details(location, date, and time)
  • Shipper’s information
  • Carrier and method of transportation
  • FDA Product Code

The timeframe for submitting Prior Notice will depend on the mode of transportation of your imported food and whether you use CBP or FDA’s electronic interface system. Depending on these factors, your prior notice can be submitted no later than 2 hours prior to arrival and no sooner than 30 days. 

The consequences for failing to submit Prior Notice or submitting incorrect information are worth noting. At the very least your goods will be refused entry and temporarily held at the port of entry until you provide CBP and FDA with the required information. Worst case scenarios range from permanent seizure and destruction of goods and monetary penalties to a ban on future imports, and civil prosecution. Needless to say, it’s critical to submit Prior Notice accurately and on-time. 

Similar to prior notice, an ISF Filing is required if your food products are arriving to the U.S. via ship. To learn more, read our comprehensive article on the ISF Filing.

FDA Facility Registration

FDA Facility Registration

Another important component of successful clearance of imported food is ensuring your foreign partners are registered with the FDA. Nearly all foreign manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors of food intended for import to the U.S. must register their facility with the FDA. This requirement stems from regulations outlined in the FDA’s Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP)

In short, the FSVP requires importers to maintain and provide records showing that foreign suppliers they’re obtaining food from are abiding by all FDA requirements. Viewing these records allows the FDA to identify whether the proper procedures for handling, processing, and storage of food are being followed.

To expedite the food import process, it’s recommended to include the facility registration information at the time of import along with all other required documents. This will avoid the delay of import agents having to verify this information themselves, which in turn furthers the clearance process. 

Want to learn more about clearing FDA regulated products? Check out our article on FDA customs clearance

Bill of Lading

Also known as a BOL or B/L, a Bill of Lading is an essential document when it comes to importing and shipping. A Bill of Lading serves multiple purposes in the importing and shipping process including:

  • Serving as a title of the goods as they’re transferred from the shipper to the receiver
  • Providing a contract of carriage between the carrier and the shipper
  • Acting as a receipt of the delivery of the goods upon completion
  • Giving tracking information so that involved parties can follow the status of the shipment

For customs, the bill of lading allows CBP agents to verify shipping details against other included documents. If there are any inconsistencies or concerns, agents will investigate further to determine if any importing rules have been violated.

Typically, the bill of lading is created by the shipper. If the shipper is working with a freight forwarder, they will create the BOL on behalf of the shipper. 

Commercial Invoice

Commercial Invoice

As is the case with many commercial transactions, an invoice plays an important role. A commercial invoice is designed to provide as much detail as possible regarding the sale of the goods being shipped. 

Information that must be contained on a commercial invoice includes:

  • Country of origin of the goods
  • Date that the sale of goods took place/will occur on
  • Purchase price of each item
  • Currency and payment method that was used for the transaction
  • Total value of the transaction
  • HTS Code
  • And more

All of the above information is used by CBP agents to calculate and verify import duties. Having incorrect information on your commercial invoice can lead to higher than expected import duties or increased inspection times. 

Packing List

In many ways, a packing list contains much of the same information that’s found on a commercial invoice. However, this doesn’t change the need to include and attach a packing list for your imported food. 

A packing list is more concise in the information it provides and pertains specifically to dimensions and quantity of products covered in the shipment. 

Packing lists include the following information:

  • Number of packages within the shipment
  • Specific dimensions of each package
  • Quantity and description of goods contained within each package
  • Total weight of all combined packages
  • Invoice numbers for the products being shipped (Must match invoice numbers found on the commercial invoice)

Along with all of the documents mentioned thus far, the packing list can be transmitted to CBP electronically to clear and release your goods. 

Customs Bond

Whenever you’re dealing with importing commercial goods, your import will need to be covered by a customs bond. CBP requires a customs bond for all commercial shipments arriving into the U.S. A customs bond acts as a financial guarantee that all import duties and fees will be paid to CBP. There are two main types of import bonds that are used for standard import situations which we cover at the end of this guide. 

In a hurry and need a customs bond now? We offer continuous customs bonds for as low as $235*. You can purchase your customs bond online, complete the easy application, and have your bond in as little as 48 hours. Purchase your bond today and cover your upcoming food imports.

The first step in importing foods to the US is getting the right customs bond.

We make it easy to get the bond you need.

Entry Summary

Entry Summary

The last document that’s required to clear your imported food is the entry summary. Officially recognized as CBP Form 7501, the entry summary is a combination of nearly all of the information found on the other documents mentioned above. 

As the name implies, this form acts as a complete summary of all relevant and critical information for your import. There is some additional information required on the entry summary including the entry type, estimated duty and tax to be paid, bond type, and more. 

While it might be frustrating and redundant to list much of the same information across multiple forms, CBP relies on this process to cross reference critical details. In reality, this process of cross referencing information across various sources ensures that imported goods are safe and legally imported. 

Just like the other required forms, the entry summary can be submitted on your behalf by a Licensed Customs Broker. When it comes to the entry summary, this can be extremely helpful as this form can be quite confusing and intense, especially for a new importer.

Our Licensed Customs Brokers have extensive knowledge and experience when it comes to importing food to the U.S. Our goal is to simplify this often challenging and difficult process. Whether you need us to manage the entire process for you or just want answers to a few specific questions, we’re here to help you. 

Food Labeling Requirements

If your food is already packaged and ready for consumer use, you’ll also need to be aware of and comply with labeling requirements. While different foods can vary on a few labeling rules, some requirements are universal for all food. While the full list of food labeling requirements is exhaustive, we’ll cover some of the main guidelines below. Specifically, we’ll go over unique labeling rules that come into play for imported food.

  1. Country of Origin. For imported foods, the country of origin must be clearly included on the label. Most packaged imported foods list the domestic company that distributes the food along with text that says “Distributed by…” on the label. In this case, the label must also indicate where the product is from and be located near the “Distributed by…” text. The simplest approach to do this is to use “Product of…” and include the country where food originates from.
  2. Foreign Language. If a foreign language is present anywhere on the labeling, there must also be an English translation for each instance of foreign language. 
  3. Name and Address. The full name and address of the company distributing the food product must be listed on the label. If the company listed isn’t the manufacturer of the food, accompanying text stating “manufactured for…” or “distributed by…” must be included.
  4. Brand Logo. Labels that contain the logo and/or name of a U.S. company must be used with permission in terms of copyright laws. Importers need to be able to provide proof of copyright permission if requested by CBP.

As noted above, these are just a few of the many food labeling requirements for packaged foods. In rare cases, some packaged food is exempt from certain labeling requirements. Common exemptions include food manufactured by small businesses(criteria is based on annual food sales to consumer and total sales), certain foods that provide little to no nutritional value such as instant coffee and many spices, and medical foods. 

Before ordering pre-packaged food from a foreign supplier, be sure to verify that the labels are in compliance with FDA requirements. Special labeling requirements for USDA, FWS, and more are covered below in sections discussing specific foods such as meat and seafood. 

Some food products, like organic food, require very specific labels. For more information on this topic, check out our article on importing organic food to the U.S.

Understand the Incoterms for Your Imported Food

Understand the Incoterms of Your Imported Food

Experienced importers can attest to the importance of having a deep understanding of Incoterms. New importers might be wondering, what are Incoterms? When it comes to importing food products to the U.S., knowing your Incoterms is a must.

Incoterms, short for International Commercial Terms, outline who is responsible for the various logistical and financial components of an international commercial shipment. In total, there are 11 Incoterms, each represented by a unique 3 digit abbreviation, that determine the buyer and seller’s responsibilities for these shipments. 

Because the focus of this guide is on importing food, it’s important to note the responsibility of customs clearance for each Incoterm. For example, a shipment that is using the DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) Incoterm, puts nearly all of the responsibility and risk on the seller of the goods. This includes all aspects of customs clearance including paying for import duties and filing all appropriate import paperwork. Conversely, the EXW (Ex Works) Incoterm, puts the majority of responsibility and logistics costs on the buyer, even including export customs clearance.

Before agreeing to an international shipment, make sure you understand the Incoterms that will be used. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of importers being blindsided by thousands of dollars in import duties that they assumed the seller was responsible for. 

Our Licensed Customs Brokers can review your international shipments and help you understand what you’ll be responsible for in all aspects of the shipment. We’ll ensure that you aren’t caught off guard by any unwanted surprises in the import process.

Get Help Importing Food Products to the U.S.

Our team of licensed professionals work with food importers everyday. Consult with our experts and safely import your food.

Importing Dairy Products into the U.S.

If you’re looking to bring dairy products into the U.S., you’re going to have some additional hoops to jump through. Dairy products are regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in addition to the FDA requirements already discussed. This situation is further complicated by the varying requirements depending on what type of dairy products you’re importing to the U.S. Certain dairy products require a special import permit from the FDA, while others don’t. 

The products listed below are some of the dairy items that require a milk import permit under the Federal Import Milk Act(FIMA). 

  • Cream
  • Half and Half
  • Milk
  • Ultra-filtered milk
  • Concentrated Milk
  • Heavy Cream
  • Flavored Milk

Somewhat surprisingly, some of the items that don’t require a milk import permit include: Evaporated milk, sour cream, dry milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. It’s important to note that the milk import permit can only be obtained directly through the FDA.

Additionally, some dairy products from certain countries are eligible for free or reduced duty entry under the Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) system for U.S. dairy imports. The TRQ system limits how many imports are eligible for the reduced duty entry and you must obtain a license from the USDA. Once the TRQ is exceeded for specific dairy products, future imports can be brought in, but at a higher tariff rate according to the U.S. Harmonized Tariff System (HTSUS).

Lastly, depending on the type of dairy product and country of origin, you may need to obtain an official USDA veterinary permit. This requirement is in place to ensure that products with a higher likelihood of having a foodborne illness are closely examined before import.

Especially when importing dairy products, it’s advisable to consult with a Licensed Customs Broker. With confusing requirements and lots of red tape, there’s many opportunities for things to go wrong. Our team of experts will review the details of your shipment to let you know precisely what requirements you’ll be responsible to comply with and work with you to ensure everything you’ll need is in order.

Get Help Importing Food Products to the U.S.

Our team of licensed professionals work with food importers everyday. Consult with our experts and safely import your food.

Importing Fruits and Vegetables

Importing Fruits and Vegetables

Importing fruits and vegetables to the U.S. falls under additional regulations through the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) which is a division of the USDA. Thankfully, the requirements are fairly straightforward and easy to decipher thanks to APHIS.

Much of this ease comes from the approved commodity database developed and maintained by APHIS. This tool contains comprehensive information on all fruits and vegetables that have already been approved for import into the U.S. The information is organized by type of fruit or vegetable and country, letting you quickly know if what you’re looking to import is allowed. Additionally, once you select the type of food and country, APHIS provides you with the requirements to do so.

Generally, you’ll need to obtain an APHIS import permit by completing PPQ Form 587 in order to import fruits and vegetables. Luckily, this form can be completed online and approval can be received in as little as one day. 

For even more information on this topic, check out our article on importing fruits and vegetables into the U.S.

Importing Meat and Poultry into the U.S.

Importing meat and poultry into the U.S. is one way to keep supply chains strong and supermarket shelves stocked. However, it is important to know that there are a few essential rules and regulations to follow.

Guidelines for importing meat and poultry into the U.S. are set by the USDA and FDA. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)  works to ensure that all imported meat, poultry and egg products are safe and properly labeled. FSIS also ensures that imported meat and poultry products meet the same quality standards as U.S. produced products. 

According to information from the USDA, you can import meat into the U.S. from about 30 different countries. This means you can source meat and poultry imports from around the world. Major sources of beef imported into the U.S. include Australia, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand. Poultry imports can come from about 10 different countries. Top sources of poultry imported into the U.S. include Canada, Mexico and New Zealand.

Steps for Importing Meat and Poultry into the U.S.

The USDA and the FSIS work together to make sure all imported meat is safe and healthy. They’ve put together a handy checklist for importers to make sure meat and poultry can clear customs and make it into the U.S. supply chain. 

According to the checklist, the following conditions must be met when importing meat and poultry into the U.S:

  • Imported products must come from eligible and certified countries.
  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) restricts imports of some meat and poultry products due to animal diseases. Importers need to be sure the meat and poultry they’ve sourced is approved by APHIS.
  • The establishment or country from which you are importing meat and poultry had an approved equivalent determination process to make sure products are the same quality you’d find from a U.S. source
  • Imported products are labeled properly.
  • All customs forms and requirements set by CBP are met and all imported poultry and meat are presented for inspection by FSIS.

It is also important to know that you must file prior notice with the FDA when importing meat and poultry. Notice can be filed as little as 2 hours before arriving at the port of entry when traveling by road. Notice can be filed as little as 4 hours before arrival at the port of entry when imports are traveling by rail or air. Imported meat and poultry requires prior notice as little as 8 hours before arriving by sea.

For even more information on this topic, check out our article on importing meat into the U.S.

How to Import Seafood to USA

How to Import Seafood to USA

The United States imports a vast amount of seafood from all over the world each year. Much of this comes from China, which ships us farm-raised tilapia, shrimp, salmon and catfish directly from their shorelines each year. Other imported seafood includes:

  • Haddock
  • Grouper
  • Whiting fish
  • Red bream
  • Squid
  • Flounder, Atlantic cod
  • Lobster
  • Crab

The FDA ensures your U.S. seafood imports are safe for American consumers. Imported seafood safety measures include:

  • Inspecting filers of seafood imports
  • Inspections of seafood importers
  • Sampling of imported food products
  • Inspection of foreign food processing facilities
  • Assessing country program assessments
  • Reviewing information from all foreign food import partners

Importers need to complete USFWS Form 3-177 when importing seafood. At the time of entry CBP will review the information provided on this form. FWS agents will also review the information provided and conduct an inspection of the imported seafood.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide on how to import seafood to the U.S.

Benefits of Joining the VQIP

If you’re planning on sticking around in the food import industry for a long time, participating in the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) should be a strong consideration. Managed by the FDA, this program provides some valuable benefits to participating importers including: Faster & easier entries, limited number of exams, access to an FDA help desk, and more.

Of course, access to these benefits isn’t for just any importer. 

In order to qualify for the VQIP, importers must meet certain criteria, including:

  • A 3 year history of importing food to the U.S.
  • Current FDA facility registration for all foreign suppliers that you plan to import food from
  • No CBP penalties, sanctions, or forfeitures within the past 3 years
  • Have an active DUNS number
  • No imported foods on a current import alert or class 1 recall list
  • Develop and implement a VQIP Quality Assurance program

It’s worth noting that the 2021 user fee to join the program is $17,000. The benefits, requirements, and cost should all be given considerable thought before deciding to join the program.

What Foods are Imported Into the United States Most Frequently?

Determined to start importing food products for resale, but not sure what food to start with? No problem. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you! The United States is made up of nationalities from all over the globe so American consumers love importing food into the U.S. Check out the most popular imported food products list from the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Census Bureau below:

The Most Imported Types of Food in U.S. Markets

  • Live animals
  • Meats
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Dairy
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Coffee, tea and spices; To learn more about importing tea, check out article, Importing Tea Into the U.S.
  • Grains
  • Candy and sugar
  • Chocolate and cocoa
  • Beverages
  • Liquor

Another food product that has a high volume of imports into the U.S. is honey. Importing honey to the United States comes with a strict set of rules and guidelines. If you need help importing this multi-use food, our Licensed Customs Brokers are here to help. 

Importing Food With a Licensed Customs Broker

As you can see, importing food products to the U.S. for resale is a highly involved process with many regulations and rules. Unfortunately, it’s easy for mistakes to occur which can lead to major issues for importers. To avoid these problems and make the process easier, many importers choose to work with a Licensed Customs Broker. Dealing with strict customs requirements and regulations is part of a customs broker’s daily responsibilities.  

When you work with our Licensed Customs Brokers, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your import will safely and quickly clear customs. We take the stress and worry out of importing food and allow you to focus on other critical aspects of your business. 

Which Customs Bond is Best for Importing Food?

Which Customs Bond is Best For Importing Food?

As noted near the beginning of this guide, you’ll need a customs bond when importing food products to the U.S. Depending on your specific situation, you can opt for either a single entry or continuous bond. 

In short, a single entry bond is used to cover a one-time import of goods, while a continuous annual bond covers all import shipments for 12 months. Essentially, if there’s any chance that you’ll have more than 1 import shipment in a calendar year, it makes more sense to obtain a continuous bond.

We offer continuous customs bonds for just $235*. You can purchase the bond directly on our website and complete the easy, hassle-free bond application. Upon completion of the application, you can receive same-day approval and your bond can be active in as little as 48 hours. 

The first step in importing foods to the US is getting the right customs bond.

We make it easy to get the bond you need.

Importing Food Products to the U.S. With USA Customs Clearance

When you’re ready to take the next step in importing food products to the U.S., we’re here to help you. Our Licensed Customs Brokers have extensive knowledge and experience in importing food products to the U.S. From meat and eggs to fresh fruit and vegetables and everything in between, we’ve done it all. We’ll manage the entire import process for you, ensuring that your shipment is compliant and all details are processed efficiently and accurately.

In addition to our customs brokerage services, we can help you with your other critical supply chain needs. Thanks to our partnership with our sister company, R+L Global Logistics, we’re also able to help you with the following:

  • FDA Compliant warehousing
  • Domestic transportation
  • International shipping; Ocean & Air
  • Reverse Logistics
  • Order fulfillment
  • And more…

We make it possible for you to get all of your logistics and supply chain needs taken care of with one provider. 

Schedule your customs consulting session or request a customs brokerage quote today and get the expert support you need. 

Get Help Importing Food Products to the U.S.

Our team of licensed professionals work with food importers everyday. Consult with our experts and safely import your food.

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65 comments on “How to Import Food Products to the U.S. For Resale”

  1. How do I import pulses and rice to United States from Canada that were originated in India and redistributed to Canada?

  2. We have two clients in Italy that would like us to import their olive oil into the US. We don’t have an import partner yet and are wondering if we can play the role if partnered with a licensed customs broker.

  3. If I want to import maybe 3-4 boxes of chips and soda from Mexico to US, do I need all of the above? I plan to keep it under $800 of merchandise per month.

  4. Hi,

    I would like to import dried larvae, insect meals, insect oil (HS CODE 2309.90.11). What are the steps necessary and regulations in place for the supplier to enter the US?

  5. I am planning to import Indian frozen food items.. Is there a list of to do items anyone has, which might help me?

  6. I am looking forward to Import, smoked catfish, and freezer live Catfish packaged and weighing 20kg per carton, vegetables, poultry Products; crates of eggs, chickens.
    All from Nigeria. What are the procedures to deliver to US?

    1. Hi Onyekwere,

      Because all of the items you listed are food products, you’re going to have many steps to go through in order to import all of these goods. One of our import experts will reach out to you shortly to setup a 1-on-1 consultation with our Licensed Customs Brokers. We look forward to helping you!

  7. I am wanting to import bottled juices and condiments and jams and honey from france. What questions do I need to ask the manufacturer and how do I begin? They already have an importer in usa.

    1. Hi Janet,

      If they’re already working with a U.S. importer to bring in their goods, that’s a great sign. This likely means that their facility is already registered with the FDA. There are some questions you should in regards to the shipping terms that they use and whether you’re responsible for clearing customs or if they handle it.

      One of our import experts will reach out to you shortly to provide further assistance and setup a 1-on-1 consultation with our Licensed Customs Brokers. We look forward to helping you!

  8. Hello
    I’d like to import NON dairy products from Vietnam to US. Am I required an import permit? if required, what US government agency can I apply to?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Huong,

      Whether or not you need an import permit will depend on exactly what you’re importing. For example, some fruits and vegetables require a PPQ permit, while others don’t. When it comes to importing any type of food product, you can end up dealing with USDA, FWS, FDA, and more.

      One of our import experts will be reaching out to you shortly to gather some additional information to assist you. We look forward to helping you!

  9. I would like to import processed chips and other processed foods from Zimbabwe to the USA. What do I need and what should I do?

    1. Hi Simon,

      You’re going to have many steps to go through when it comes to importing food into the U.S. Our Licensed Customs Brokers can give you a full overview of this process and answer your specific questions during a consulting session. The link below provides information about our consulting services and a link to purchase a session. We look forward to assisting you further!

      Import Export Consulting Services

  10. I am looking at importing fruit syrup from Colombia to the USA. I am being told I can’t pack them in vacuum-sealed bags. Does that sound right, and if so is there a reason why

    1. Hi Andrew,

      One of our customs experts will reach out to you shortly in regards to your question. We look forward to helping you!

  11. We want to import Food Products from Puerto Rico. Is that still consider import since PR is Us territory. Can you help me with the details. Is there any specifics regulations?

    1. Hi Pablo,

      While Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, there will still be a review process similar to importing involved. Our Licensed Customs Brokers can help you with this. You can consult with our brokers through our import consulting services to get the help you need.

  12. Greetings from Malaysia. I want to export halal snacks and energy bars from Malaysia to the USA. Can you advise me on the estimation of costs and typical timeframe expected to obtain FDA certification? Thank you.

    1. Hi Farriz,

      Our Licensed Customs Brokers can review this information with you through our import consulting services. During your consulting session, our Broker will review the details of your import and provide with estimated costs, timelines, and more. We look forward to assisting you further.

  13. Hi There,
    We are planning on importing vegetarian, soy base products from China. Please advise FDA guidelines in terms of ingredient limitations.


    1. Hi Chris,

      There aren’t many rules in place regarding ingredient limitations. However, you’ll need to comply with FDA import requirements, including, filing prior notice. It’s also best to work with a Licensed Customs Broker to properly classify your imported food with the correct HTS code.

      You can schedule a consulting session with our Licensed Customs Brokers at the following link- Import Export Consulting Services. We look forward to assisting you further!

  14. Hi,

    I am looking to import non dairy pre packaged baby food powder from india to usa.

    Can you help me with the details.


    1. Hi Hk,

      We can absolutely help you with this! One of our customs experts will reach out to you via e-mail to assist you further.

  15. Hello!

    My wife’s family in Peru has a small farm and want to start importing organic Avocados, pecans and grapes to the United States.

    We want to set up a little business to be able to help them best do this.

    What would that process look like?

    1. Hi James,

      There are many steps involved in getting setup to import food products into the U.S. One of our import experts will reach out to you shortly to provide you with an overview and schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you!

  16. Hello,

    I was approached by a distributor in Greece about importing a variety of prepackaged gourmet foods. I’ve never done this before and I’m trying to figure out what that would entail. Your article is very helpful but I obviously need more help.
    If someone could reach out, that would be very much appreciated.

    1. Hi Kelly,

      We appreciate the feedback! We’ve reached out to you privately via e-mail to assist you futher.

    1. Hi Fuat,

      Tahini will be subject to FDA regulations. You’ll need to ensure that it’s being processed in an FDA registered facility and follows all of the relevant guidelines inclcuding labeling requirements and more.

      We’ve responded privately with additional information to assist you.

  17. Hello,

    I’m trying to gather some basic info on importing jams, pickles, fruit syrup And olive oil from Lebanon. What do I need to do/know? Thanks !

    1. Hi Alex,

      All of the products that you listed will need to comply with FDA and standard customs regulations. Our Licensed Customs Brokers can assist you with this and walk you through all of the details.

      Schedule an importing consulting session with our Licensed Customs Brokers to get definitive answers to all of your questions. We look forward to helping you!

    1. Hello,

      All imported honey and nuts are required to comply with FDA standards. This includes proper labeling on the goods, as well as providing documentation that the goods were process in an FDA approved facility.

      Our team of Licensed Customs Brokers can assist you in ensuring you have the proper documentation and everything you need to safely import your honey and nuts. Reach out to our team at (855)912-0406 or schedule a consulting session today. We look forward to assisting you.

  18. Hello we are a startup at UC Berkeley looking to import dehydrated insects (Black Soldier Fly Larvae) from either Europe or Singapore/Malasya. The end use is to make dehydrated pet food. Could you guide us about the steps that we eventually have to take?
    Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Adolfo,

      Thank you for reaching out to our team. There are a number of steps you’re going to need to take. Your import will need to include proper paperwork through the Fish and Wildlife Service. If you end up importing from Singapore and want to take advantage of the free trade agreement with the U.S., there will be additional paperwork to complete as well. This is all in addition to standard import procedures, including securing your import with a customs bond, that need to be followed.

      Our team is more than happy to assist you with all of this. You can reach out to our Licensed Brokers at (855)912-0406. We look forward to working with you and helping you bring your insects into the U.S.

  19. Hello,

    I would like to import canned Hummus dip to the US. What is the custom duty cost for this product?

    1. Hi Maria,

      One of our Licensed Customs Brokers can provide you with this information. Give us a call at (855)912-0406 to speak with our customs experts.

  20. We want to export from Mexico ready to eat meals, with deferments flavors. All this meals have meat from beef, chicken and pork. What I have to do??

    1. Hi Sergio,

      Since your import contains food products intended for consumers, it will need to be in compliance with FDA regulations. You’ll also need to abide by all CBP regulations as well.

      Our team can assist you with all of this. Please give us a call at (855)912-0406 and our team will be happy to help you.

  21. Hi! can a product to be imported to the United States from Colombia can have two different nutrition facts label at the same package? the local and the USFDA? or need to have just the USFDA?


    1. Hi Sandra,

      The labeling rules vary from product to product. The best course of action is to consult with our Licensed Customs Brokers. They’ll be able to review your product to determine the specific labeling rules that apply. You can schedule a consulting session at the link below. We look forward to helping you!

      Import consulting services.

  22. hello am working to import yellow cucumbers from Egypt toUSA for resale to the retailer store I like to inform you this kind of cucumber is not existing in US I never import before can you advise how to start thank you

    1. Hi Ron,

      We can absolutely help you with this! One of our customs experts will reach out to you shortly to provide you with the information you requested.

  23. I would like to know the requirements of the United States to allow for the import of raw, un-pasteurized citrus juice from Costa Rica.

    1. Hi Matt,

      Thank you for your question. Importing citrus fruit into the United States is regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and US Customs. We can help you with understanding the process and obtaining the information that is needed. Through our consultation services, we will explain what the requirements are, if permits and registrations are required as well as the US Customs requirements. We know it can be confusing, especially for first time importers which is why we created this program – It’s a perfect place to start.

      Our fee is $275 for a 30 minute consultation. During your consulting session, our Licensed Brokers cover all of the basics for importing and go over your specific situation and what will be needed to successfully import your products.

  24. I am in Australia. I have a friend in the USA who has asked me to send him one packet of chicken salt for his personal use.

    1. Hello, for personal shipments you are not required to work with a customs broker and I don’t see any issues with shipping this commodity to the US. Is there a specific question that you have for us that we can answer? Thank you, Jonathan Heiland

  25. I want to import Lanzones from Thailand to USA, with a high volume of it
    Tell me what I have to do since I have a continuous service Bond?

  26. What is required from a manufacturer in Mexico to us to import to the US? Does this manufacture have to be HACCP or IS22000 approve. Looking to import shelf stable bakery fillings in large packaging format.

    1. Hi Rick! We’d be happy to help with your import into the US. For importing food, you’ll be to meet FDA requirements in addition to Customs requirements. You’re in luck, we can help you with that! One of our customs experts will be in touch shortly at the email address you provided!

    1. You’ll need to register your import with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first and if you’re importing for business, you’ll need a customs bond. You can buy a customs bond right on our website, You can also come back and chat with one of our import experts by clicking on the chat bubble in the bottom right corner of the page.

    1. The next steps would depend if you’re importing the berries for personal or commercial purposes and the volume of berries you plan to import. We offer consulting services and can walk you through the steps and paperwork you’d need to file. You can chat with us by clicking the chat button in the bottom right corner of the page and one of our import specialists will be happy to help.

    1. Thanks for reaching out with your question. The import of Mangosteen from Thailand was illegal in the US until 2007 because of concern over importation of fruit flies. While it is now legal to import the fruit, before you ship, it must be irradiated to make sure there are no fruit flies present. Documentation of this process must be presented before fruit will be allowed into the US. Here is a helpful link with some FAQs about what is needed. When you’re ready to purchase a bond, we can help. You can buy it easily right through our website, or you can chat with us for more help.

  27. i want to import snacks like potatoe chips, cassava chips, arracacha chips, and plantain chips and trail mixes of nuts, as well. What are the steps knowing that i dont have any company so i have to create one, and what is the spending time or lead time to achive this goal?

    1. The regulations for importing foods like the ones you mentioned are different if you are a business than if you’re importing for personal use. When you’re ready to start importing for your company, feel free to chat with one of our import specialists by clicking on the bottom right corner of the page and we can help you through the process.

    1. You can use our chat feature in the bottom right corner of the page to speak to one of our import specialists. They will answer any of your questions there. Thank you for reaching out.

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