By: Josephine Ocheni
In the Commodity Analysis Branch of the Foreign Trade Division (FTD) we always strive to make things easier for first time exporters. We definitely want your shipment to reach its planned destination hassle free. We also understand that for some individuals the whole shipping process might be a bit daunting.
If you have been to the United States Postal Service of late, you were probably given a Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note if you were mailing something outside of the country. On the form somewhere you were asked to provide a Commodity Classification Number. An experienced shipper might know all of the filing regulations required for their particular shipment and might know how to determine the Commodity Classification Number right away, but if this is your first time do not fret! If you look meticulously, the form you are filling out directs you to the FTD call center which provides help with filing a shipment in the Automated Export System, classifying your product, or finding out Foreign Trade Regulations. You may obtain more information in any of these areas by calling 1-800-549-0595 and choosing accordingly.
I am excited to inform you that our FTD call center menu has recently been updated with new options. These options will better route you to the appropriate place so that you can receive the assistance that you need. To expedite your experience with an analyst, listen thoroughly to the options and gather the information you need pertaining to your shipment. The following are little tidbits you should know before you speak to an analyst:
- Have you navigated our online search engine in search of the Commodity Classification Number? www.census.gov/scheduleb
- What exactly is your commodity? What is its function or what is it used for?
- What is the value of your commodity? Is it $2,500 dollars or less?
- If it is less than $2,500, do you require an export license or NAFTA certificate of origin?
By knowing this information you will better help us serve you. Our goal as analysts is to provide you with the tools to classify your shipments appropriately and make your shipping experience simple.