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How to Fill Out U.S. Customs Forms
Every year, there are millions of goods transported to the U.S., either by ship, plane or by truck. In fact, the U.S. has a $700 billion trucking industry, as trucks are responsible for moving about 70% of all goods. But when goods are transported from a different country, the foreigner that transports them will have to file what is known as the U.S. customs form. What exactly is this form and how can you complete it without too much difficulty?
What Is a U.S. Customs Form?
A U.S. customs form, also known as form 6059B, is one that you will need to petition if you’re going to the U.S. transporting goods. Usually, this form will be given to you by the transport provider in the sea vessel, bus or flight. If you don’t receive one, then you can just find and take one when you arrive at the port of entry. This paper will serve as a way to tell the government of the United States what you and your crew are bringing to the country. Therefore, it’s important to be honest and mention everything that you are transporting.
Who Needs a U.S. Customs Form?
This form has to be completed by any foreigner who enters the United States transporting goods. It has to be filled out at the Port of Entry for most of the visas. This applies unless you came to the U.S. as U.S. citizens or Canadian citizens, if you use the Automated Passport Control Process (APC) Kiosk as B1/B2 Visa Holder, or if you use a D Visa or ESTA.
After you file the U.S. customs form, a U.S. CBP Officer will have to review it and stamp it. Then, you will be free to transport your goods to the United States without any issue.
How to Complete a U.S. Customs Form
Completing the form is not that difficult as long as you know exactly what to write in each section. You need to read every requirement carefully and check twice before you write anything. It’s also important to keep in mind that this document has a front side and a back side, and both of them will have to be completed accordingly. Thankfully, you can find samples of the document on the internet so you can familiarize yourself with the format.
You will be interviewed by the CBP officer, after which they will review your completed form and stamp it with the date of your arrival. They should also scribble something on it.
Completing the Front of the U.S. Customs Form
First of all, you will have to complete the front of the document. Before you start filling out the form, keep in mind that only one form is allowed per family member. That means that this document should be filled out by any arriving traveler or responsible family member.
At first, you will have to offer some basic information about yourself. So, with that in mind, the first section will require you to write your last name (family name) and your first name (given name). You should also print the first letter of your middle name.
Afterward, you should introduce the date of birth in the specific boxes for day/month/year. If other family members are traveling with you, you should mention how many there are. Don’t include yourself in this number.
Then, give your current street address in the United States. At the same time, if you don’t have an actual address and you’re staying at a hotel, it’s important to mention that. So, type the address of the hotel you’re staying at. In the appropriate boxes, print the city and the state as well. Also, write the name of the country that issued your passport, and write your passport number as well.
Below, in the appropriate box, give the name of the country you currently live in, and then the name of the countries that you went to before you arrived in the United States. Conversely, if you traveled by plane, you should print the name of the airline and the number of the flight. A similar thing should be done if you traveled by vessel. Print the name of the vessel.
You will then be asked if you are traveling on a business trip and will have to mark an X in the Yes or No box. There will be other Yes and No boxes as you’re asked if you are bringing any animals, meats, wildlife products, fruits, plants, insects, food, cell cultures, disease agents, snails, or soil in the United States. You’ll also be asked if you visited any ranch/farm/pasture outside the States.
Then you will have to answer whether you have any family members traveling with you that have been close to/touched any livestock outside the U.S. If yes, you should read the monetary instruments on the reverse sides and also complete Customs Form 4790.
If you or any of your family members are bringing commercial merchandise into the States, you will have to mark an x in the yes or no box.
Lastly, if you are a U.S. resident or non-U.S. resident, you need to print the total value of all goods that you or any other family member is bringing into the United States. Declare all articles on the form, and indicate retail value if there is any gift. At the end of the front side of the form, you will have to provide a signature that says you’ve read the important instructions on the back and you’re making a truthful declaration.
Completing the Back of the U.S. Customs Form
Once you complete the front of the document, it’s time to move to the back of the U.S. customs form. This part will welcome you to the United States and tell you some essential information about where you can ask for help and what you have to do. For instance, visitors will have to declare the value of all articles that are going to stay in the U.S. Also, U.S. residents have to declare the value of all articles acquired abroad that are about to enter the States through them.
On this side, you will also have a table where you have to introduce the goods you are transporting into the United States. You’ll have to write a description of the articles, as well as their value. If you have a longer list of goods, then you can have the list continue on another CBP Form 6059B. Once you’re done reading all the information and you completed the list of goods, you have to go back to the front side and sign the declaration.
The U.S. customs form is a necessary document for anyone who transports any goods into the United States. Without it, access to said articles may not be possible. When completing the form, it’s important to be honest and write the proper number of items, as well as the right value, and make a correct description of these articles. Don’t worry, the CBP officer will help you in case you have any difficulties completing the form. You can also check out the forms yourself before traveling or ask Stilt for information.