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  5. Common Entry Types
  1. Import Basics

Common Entry Types

When importing your product, you must first determine the entry type to be filed with Customs and Border Protection (CBP). All entry types are created and defined by CBP.  Additionally, some entry types must be filed in CBP's Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). See CBP's ACE Transaction Details page for more information.

As per CBPs “A Guide for Commercial Importers”, entering merchandise is a two part process consisting of:

  • Filing the documents necessary to determine whether merchandise may be released from CBP custody and;
  • Filing the documents that contain information for duty assessment and statistical purposes.

Both of these processes can be accomplished electronically via the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) program of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).

Consumption Entry

A consumption entry is a type of entry used when products are imported "for use in the United States" and going directly into United States commerce without any restrictions of time or use placed on them. “For use in the United States” means for commercial, business or personal purposes.  A consumption entry is the most common entry type for FDA-regulated products.  Products may only be entered by their owner, purchaser, or a licensed customs broker. Once the shipment is presented for entry, it may be examined by a government agency.  Below is a table of various consumption entry types.



Importation via U.S. Postal Service (commercial senders) is subject to the same requirements and restrictions as importation by any other entry types.

Informal Entry

Informal entries, as defined by CBP regulations, are usually valued at less than $2,500 (value subject to change), and usually do not require a bond. Some products are restricted from informal entry (for example, high risk products), regardless of value.

De minimis Entry

An administrative exemption to admit duty- and tax-free shipments of merchandise imported by one person on one day having an aggregate fair retail value in the country of shipment of not more than $800. 

Note: Entry Type 86 is an option for filers to electronically submit de minimis entries through ABI, given that it is an informal entry type.

Formal Entry

Formal entries, as defined by CBP regulations, generally have an aggregate value of $2,500 or more and are required to be covered by a bond.

In addition to consumption entries, other entry types are used to clear products entering the United States.

Other Entry Types

Below are examples of other entry types. Please note that this list does not include all entry types, but does cover the most common types submitted to the FDA.


Immediate Transportation (IT)

An IT entry allows bonded merchandise to arrive at a U.S. port, with another port in the U.S. as the final destination (the declared port of entry). The FDA makes its admissibility decision on the merchandise at the declared port of entry.

Transportation & Exportation (T&E)

A T&E entry allows goods to be transported through the CBP territory of the U.S. under bond and then exported intact. For FDA purposes, goods entered via T&E are not considered “imported or offered for import”; therefore they are not subject to an FDA admissibility review. If at any time the entry of the goods changes to a consumption-type entry, they will be subject to an FDA admissibility review.

Temporary Importation under Bond (TIB) 

A TIB entry allows goods to be imported duty-free up to one year with a guarantee the goods will be exported or destroyed at the end of the bond period. The importer posts a bond for twice the amount of the duty. A TIB entry may be used when an article for repair is imported and will subsequently be exported. For FDA purposes, articles entered using a TIB entry type are considered "imported or offered for import" when they arrive; therefore they are subject to an FDA admissibility review when they arrive.

Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)

An FTZ is an area set aside to hold or otherwise manipulate goods for an unlimited period of time. The FDA has jurisdiction over FDA-regulated products in an FTZ and has inspectional authority over FDA-regulated processes conducted in an FTZ. For foods, the Prior Notice requirements should be met when brought into an FTZ. However, products brought into an FTZ are otherwise not considered “imported or offered for import.” Therefore they are not subject to an FDA admissibility review when entered into an FTZ.  Instead, the FDA admissibility review occurs when the articles are withdrawn from the FTZ. If products in an FTZ are withdrawn for domestic consumption, an entry must be filed with CBP and the import process begins. The FDA’s policy regarding FTZs can be found in the Compliance Policy Guide for Exports/Imports  (CPG 110.200 and 110.600).

For more detailed information regarding importing into the United States, CBP has A Guide for Commercial Importers, which provides a wide range of information about the importing process and import requirements.

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