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What is Customs Intensive Exam Hold?

a man opening a container door

Updated post:

Learn about the customs intensive exam hold.

The customs intensive exam is considered the most thorough inspection.

Once a container is selected for the intensive exam, the container will then be assigned to a bonded warehouse (Centralized Examination Station, or CES) to undergo the inspection.

The CES will pull the container from the port and unload the shipment to make the cargo available for customs officers for inspection. This examination process varies for each shipment. Customs officers may open the packages during the inspection to examine the content. Advanced scanning technology may also be used as part of the process.

During this stressful time, it is important to work with a knowledgeable customs brokerage who can facilitate communication with the customs officer and assist in expediting the release of your shipment.

Need assistance with a shipment that's currently under customs hold?

We can help!


Original post:

This is the most intense exam performed by Customs, the container is assigned to a bonded and licensed warehouse where the container will be opened and unloaded.

The price of this exam varies according to each warehouse and the amount of work (labor work) spent on it. Customs at some point will determine whether they want to see 1/2 of the container or the entire container. The fees tend to be less if the warehouse only unloads 1/2 of the container. The time frame of this type of exam can take anywhere from 2 days to weeks. It all depends on Customs. Once the product is on the floor,

Customs will open and inspect your product. Stay in touch with your Forwarder, Agent or Customs Brokerage for status.


Disclaimer: Please note that all information provided in this post is for reference purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with a qualified professional for specific inquiries or concerns. This website is not comprehensive and does not encompass all the necessary aspects of import procedures. 

If you require Customs Brokerage assistance, contact our main company, Elleo Global today!



a subdivision of Elleo Global, Inc.

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