• ImportNewbies

U.S. Customs is holding my shipment! – What do I do?

Updated: May 16, 2019


Once in a while, your cargo are held by US Customs, this sometimes happens randomly and sometimes for reasons unknown to us. If Customs is holding your shipment, there are the things you should expect to happen.


1) Exams/Inspection: A lot of times they just want to make sure that what you’re importing it is what you claim. So if you’re importing a pallet of plastic boxes, they better find plastic boxes when they open your package.


There are multiple types of Exams, but the following are the most common ones:

X-Ray Exam

Tailgate Exam

Intensive Exam


2) The following are the most common types of hold:

MET Hold (Merchandise Examination Team)

CET Hold (Contraband Enforcement Team)

AQI Hold (Agricultural Examination)

FDA Hold (Food and Drug Administration)


3) It is important to stay in touch with your Forwarder, Agent or Customs Brokerage when your cargo is on hold by Customs. Some holds requires additional documentations and it is important for you to get the requested documents to Customs ASAP.


4) Sometimes Customs may require a sample of your product for testing, it is important that you submit your sample ASAP also. Your Forwarder, Agent or Customs Brokerage will be able to advise your where and to whom the sample should be sent to. I strongly suggest sending your samples by FedEx or UPS  (if physical address is provided) so that it is trackable and less likely to get lost or delayed.


If you are in need of Customs Brokerage assistance, contact our main company, Elleo Global today!


Disclaimer: The information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of a licensed agent!

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