Are You Importing Legally?


The product you are buying might not be as simple to import as you think. Before you order your product, be certain that the product you are importing is allowed entry in to the country. Do not forget to check up on restrictions, and whether if special licenses are required. Some countries have very specific regulations about prohibited or restricted goods. You should also be aware of entry requirements for the commodity you are importing.

Some items might be banned based on some cafeterias. Before you import ask yourself the following questions.

Is the item prohibited? If not prohibited, is it restricted?

Are any special documents needed at the time of import?

Are there any other government agencies who must approve the import of the product?

Are there any special marking requirement?

Is the product subject to quota?

Below are some basics you should pay attention to in order to find out if the product you are importing is banned or restricted to import into USA.

A) The items by itself prohibited.

Some of the products you might want to import might be banned. For example, products hazards to human health or environment. Check also the item unlawful imports of copyrighted, trademark, patented or trade name products.

B) The country where it is made.

The product might be banned based on country it is manufactured, grown or produced such as Cuba or Iran. Check the countries lists banned from importing. This also applies if you are buying from a country who imported the product from those banned countries.  Just shipping the product through another country does not change the origin. Cuban tobacco purchased from Canada does not change the country of origin to “Made in Canada”.

C) State and local regulations.

Even though US customs might not have a problem importing the product, there might be other government agencies who must approve the import the product. Make sure all laws are abide by. Check if you need any additional permits before you import. Some other agencies might require special documents, permits or license for the product you are importing.  You must pay attention if the product you are importing needs a permit from local agencies. To find the links to other government agencies login on

D) The item subject to Quota.

You should research general quota information and quota requirements for certain commodities prior to importing into the United States.
Import quotas control the amount or volume of various commodities that can be imported into the United States during a specified period of time.

E) Specific Marking Requirements.

Have you assured that the merchandise is properly marked upon entry with the correct country of origin (if required) in accordance with US regulations and any other applicable special marking requirements (watches, gold, textile labeling, etc)?

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Onur Akarca
Onur was born and raised in Turkey, where he got his Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. Onur worked as a Logistic Manager for a garment importing company for 10 years before joining MTS. He has been working in sales at MTS Logistics since February 2008. Having been on the other side as a logistics manager for a garment importing company helps him to understand what customers need from a logistics partner, especially for time sensitive cargoes like garment. Fun Fact: Onur loves skiing and soccer!