A Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) form 5106 is used to create or update a unique number for any importer bringing products with a value over $2,500 into the United States. Any goods arriving in the US are considered an import and, therefore, must be approved by CBP. In order to be processed for approval, all imports must have documentation containing information regarding the contents of the shipment and must include the identification of the receiver/importer, known as the consignee. A consignee is a person or entity in the US that will receive the shipment and is identifiable to CBP by either an Employer (or tax) ID Number (EIN) or a Social Security Number (SSN). The consignee’s ID number must be on file with the CBP in order for the CBP to review and approve the import. This is done by filling out and submitting CBP Form 5106. This form is filed prior to the first time a person or entity imports goods into the US but will expire after one year if no subsequent imports are made. As long as the consignee continues to receive goods on a regular basis, this form will only have to be completed once. If their 5106 importer record is not used for over a year, then they will have to reactivate their number.
Many importers use the services of a freight forwarder or customs broker. The forwarder or broker will usually gather the information from the consignee and fill out and submit the forms as part of their service. Those not employing a forwarder or broker can download CBP Form 5106 directly from the CBP
CBP is tasked with ensuring that the US government collects all the required duties pertaining to all imports. But it also has some other important enforcement functions that ensure the safety of the homeland and compliance with all laws and regulations pertaining to importing goods into the US.
Agriculture and Quotas – Import quotas are used to control the volume of various commodities that can be imported into the United States during a specified period of time. Quotas are established by legislation or Executive Orders and are put in place as protections for specific
● Fair Trade – The Department of Commerce prevents imported merchandise from being sold in the U.S. at unfairly low or subsidized prices. To level the playing field for U.S. companies injured by these unfair trade practices, CBP is responsible for collecting what is called the Antidumping and Countervailing Duties (AD/CVD). The goal is to detect and deter circumvention of the
AD/CVD law, and to collect final duties timely and accurately, while at the same time facilitating legitimate trade.
● Safety – CBP seeks to ensure that unsafe products do not enter the U.S. by working collaboratively and collectively with partner government agencies and foreign governments by the sharing of information to encourage greater use of partnership and best practices to protect the
● Intellectual Property – CBP ensures the protection of intellectual property rights by preventing the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods, which threatens America’s economy, innovation, the competitiveness of our businesses, the livelihoods of U.S. workers, national security, and the health and safety of consumers.
● Trade Agreements – The United States negotiates and signs free trade agreements (FTAs) and preferential trade legislations (PTLs), also known as preference programs, to promote prosperity for the U.S. economy. FTAs and PTLs open up new markets for U.S. exports, protect American producers and workers, and encourage free and equitable trade among our trading partners. CBP’s Office of Trade oversees the implementation of these international instruments.
● Textiles/Apparel – Textiles and Apparel are their own unique category, as there are very specific regulations regarding imports of those products. CBP is responsible for ensuring that the trade community complies with all statutory, regulatory, policy, and procedural requirements that pertain to textile/apparel imports under free trade agreements and other trade preference programs.