Sample Shipments

We posted this newsletter awhile ago and we think it’s about time to remind our customers (U.S and foreign importers, and freight forwarders) that proper requirements must be in place before sending any samples into the U.S..

Samples are probably one of the most critical variables to an importer’s success in marketing their commodities. All future sales and distribution often rest on how samples are delivered to clients. While sample shipments are often small and relatively insignificant in terms of size and value, many contingent sales rest on their viability and expediency of delivery. Since one sample shipment can represent millions of dollars in sales to an importer, it is important that your samples are handled properly.

Flegenheimer International can handle customs and logistics once your sample arrives at any port. We will clear all appropriate government agencies, arrange for airport pick up, arrange for chilled or frozen storage if needed, and coordinate delivery.

Confusion often arises as how US Customs classifies samples. Despite the fact they are small and carry little or no value, they still qualify as a commercial shipment. The same paperwork which applies to larger shipment and full containers applies to sample shipments. This includes: commercial invoice, packing list, air waybill, certificates required by CBP, FDA prior notice, and any other applicable partner government agency (NOAA, F&W, APHIS, etc.) requirements. Importers must declare each product in the sample and list it on the commercial invoice. There may be one box containing ten different types of seafood yet each item must be broken down on the invoice with weights and values for each. There are other importing laws that might also be applicable when importing samples, such as Anti-dumping and Countervailing laws, Quota, FSVP, etc..

In short, ensuring samples are properly handled is smart business when it comes to importing your perishable commodities. Please contact our office for assistance before importing your samples as it is very rare that no additional requirements will be needed upon arrival of these shipments.

Thank you,

Flegenheimer Team

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