What happened with those unclaimed cargo? -Trade talk of General Order

There is an upcoming auction Sep 15-22nd 2020 open to the general public except for CBP Employee and family member of CBP employee. More than 350 lot government-owned items available for your to place the bid including Gold & Diamond Jewelry, Coins, High-End Watches, Designer Handbags, Electronics, etc.


Gucci small top-handled bag


Apple iPhone XS Max


White Gold & DIamond Ring, 0.5 cart


Fendi backpack

Swiss luxury brand Breitling Watch



A lot of auctioned merchandise are eventually sold at a fairly great price lower than the market value, it sounds attractive, right? This is called a General Order Auction established by the U.S Customs Board of Protection for the purpose of maintaining control of unclaimed and or abandoned merchandise. These live auctions are held every month throughout the United States or on-line.


So you must wonder where are those auctioned merchandises come from? They are from General Order Bonded Warehouse.


General Order = Uncliamed / Uncleared cargo


Generally, when a shipment arrives into the United States, the merchandise will stay at the importing carrier's facility until the importer/broker files their entry with CBP; the importer has 15 calendar days ( including Sat & Sun & Federal Holiday ) to do this. After the 15 -day period has elapsed, the shipment becomes eligible for entry into a G.O (General Order) warehouse. The importer has two options. One, they can have their customs broker to file the entry and pay the relevant storage fee and liens as long as the merchandise is still at the G.O Bonded warehouse. Two, the merchandise will be sent to the government auction event after a period of six months from the date of arrival.


Most major US ports have at least one General Order warehouse, and at least one General Order trucking company, each of which is operated by a private-sector contractor approved by US Customs. In the NY/NJ area, we have HWC Logistics G.O warehouse, East Coast warehouse, Van Brunt Logistics, etc. We have several G.O Warehouse because NY/N has a few very busy airport and ocean ports in the US.


What is the fee to pay in order to release the General Order goods to the consignee


At about the time a shipment is delivered to the General Order bonded warehouse, any interested party which performs service “for the account of cargo” will normally issue a lien against the shipment, which is filed with both US Customs and the G.O. warehouse operator. The lien could be issued by airport grounding agents, CFS Stations, and freight forwarders, etc. On top of the lien charges, you also need to pay storage fees to G.O Warehouse. The longer it stays, the more fees you need to pay. Letting an import shipment go to General Order (instead of clearing it) becomes very very expensive, for any importer who later chooses to clear the goods instead of just abandoning them to G.O. 


To give you one example, last year I did a G.O entry for goods that the importer forgets to send the document to us. After about 4 months, we cleared this G.O entry. Then we paid storage due to HWC bonded warehouse in Georgia & 610.5 USD to the airline to remove the lien & 500 USD to the trucker to move the cargo from the bonded warehouse to the customer facility. On top of that, the importer still needs to pay all the applicable duties, fees, and customs clearance services fees.


Therefore if your shipment is low valued, it would not be worthy to pay the fees to release the G.O order cargos.


How to clear G.O Merchandise Entry


When you ready to file the G.O entry, you will be provided a GO# by G.O Bonded warehouse operator or CBP officer. You will need to enter the GO# both in the General order tab and the manifest tab. Be sure to check the NON-AMS file (Bill will not be manifested electronically) . Remove the AMS bill and enter the GO# as the Master Bill of Lading Number. Then submit the entry via ABI.


Have some thoughts? Let us talk :)




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