U.S. Customs and Border Protection (formerly named the U.S. Customs Service) is now part of the Department of Homeland Security. Since 9/11, Customs has been given broad authority to inspect and hold up suspicious merchandise. While the vast majority of merchandise is legal to import, the amount of time and effort required to clear merchandise through U.S. Customs has been affected. Similar to the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Customs is less likely to perform unnecessary inspections if all required paperwork is in place. We keep master files of each of our clients with copies of necessary forms that are needed for each of their products. Since time is of the essence, all shipments are processed immediately on the day paperwork is received and hand carried to Customs via a messenger the next working day. With airfreight, processing and submission to Customs is done on the same day. As a result, most shipments are cleared through Customs prior to the unloading of the vessel.