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Welcome to Livingston!

As an importer, you understand the importance of clearing your goods rapidly and reducing your trade compliance risk. To help ensure this happens, we have put together a collection of materials to help you with your first shipment with Livingston.

Your first shipment

Importing into the United States

The administration of international trade can be daunting to first time importers, but fear not. Livingston has a fool-proof, step-by-step process you can follow.

Topics covered in the guide

Where to submit your commercial documents
Steps to import into the United States

Where to submit your commercial documents

Where to send
Truck - Northern Border 
Commercial paperwork accompanies the physical shipment.

PAPS Email:
Instructions: Please include only one attachment (pdf, tiff, jpg, bmp, doc, docx, xls or xlsx file) with all crossing details included. Paperwork for each PAPS shipment needs to be in one multi-page file. Please do not include any text in the body of the email because these do not go to a monitored inbox.

PAPS Fax: 877-548-7277
Instructions: Please fax paperwork for each PAPS shipment separately. Please do not combine paperwork for multiple PAPS shipment in one transmission.

Contact: Provide completed commercial documents (and your PAPS coversheet) to the driver when they are picking up the shipment. The carrier will submit them on your behalf to Livingston for processing.
Truck - Southern Border 
Your welcome package includes a Livingston Contacts file. For live shipments, please prepare an email to your Service Delivery Team and include the following:

Subject line: Client no. 123456, Legal Name, Commercial documents for review/processing.
Body of email: Any instructions for Livingston, or questions for the service delivery team.
Contact: The email address of your Service Delivery Team depends on your main port of entry. Please reference your Livingston Contact sheet for contact details.

Port of Entry Service Delivery Team Email
El Paso
Laredo and Eagle Pass
Nogales and San Diego
Where to send: U.S. Rail Center (Northern Border only)

Fax: 1-810-984-4494
Contact: Instructions: Faxes should be followed up with a phone call to the Rail Center Team, to ensure the transmission was received and that nothing further is required.
Tel: 1-810-984-4114 Option 1
Air, Ocean and Courier
Where to send: Your welcome package includes a Livingston Contacts file. For live shipments, please prepare an email to your Service Delivery Team and include the following:

Subject line: Client no. 123456, Legal Name, Commercial documents for review/processing.
Body of email: Any instructions for Livingston, or questions for the service delivery team.

For Courier: Commercial paperwork accompanies the physical shipment.
Contact: Please reference your Livingston Contact sheet for contact details.
The email address of your Service Delivery Team begins with

For Courier: You may also provide completed commercial documents to your carrier / courier.

Steps to import into the United States

Step 1

US company must be established as an importer by having a tax ID number and a one-time or continuous bond in place.

Step 2

US company places a purchase order to the Canada shipper (could be the manufacture or supplier/shipper of the goods).

Step 3

Canadian shipper accepts the terms of the purchase order and prepares goods for shipping.

Step 4

Once goods are prepared to ship, the shipper prepares the necessary documents required by US Customs Border Protection (CBP) and fulfills the requirements for any of the Partnering Government Agencies (PGA).

  • U.S. Customs Invoice - includes description, part number, quantity, price, Country of Origin (COO) and HTS number
  • Bill of Landing
  • Certificates of Origins, Free Trade Agreements
  • If necessary, any required information needed for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Canadian Automated Export Declarations (CAED), if required. (Normal shipments to the US from Canada do not require CAED unless they are destined to Mexico or the goods are controlled material such as controlled aircraft parts)

Step 5

The shipper should send all required documents to the US customs broker and freight carrier.

Step 6

The freight carrier is required to send carrier information to the US customs broker, including Pre-arrival Processing System (PAPS) control numbers, port of entry, and estimated time of arrival.

Step 7

The US customs broker will enter the shipment information into the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) for clearance.

Step 8

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will review the shipment information, and conditionally release the shipment, if all required information is provided.

Step 9

US broker will send the release to the carrier to cross the border.

Step 10

Freight carrier delivers the goods to the consignee location and US customer accepts delivery.

Step 11

US company preforms verification that the quantities and products are accurately reflected on the supplier invoice and the customs declaration entry.

Meet your team

Service Structure

Livingston’s service structure is designed to meet the needs of our clients. Our Client Service Model enables us to provide world class service by understanding our clients’ needs first and then implementing solutions to meet and exceed expectations.

Client Service Team

Your Client Service team is responsible for ensuring that you receive exceptional service at every level within our organization. You have access to dedicated Livingston resources who can respond immediately to questions you may have about your customs documentation, invoicing, duty information and more.

Your Service Coordinator
Your Service Coordinator has day-to-day knowledge of your business and instant visibility to your account history. It’s his or her job to resolve any issue or inquiry as rapidly as possible, keeping you informed through to resolution. If your Service Coordinator is not available, your call will be routed to a team member who will also be familiar with your account.

Regional Manager, Client Service
Manages critical, complex issues. Your Regional Manager, Client Service is available as an escalation resource for your Client Service Coordinator, and is able to offer additional expertise when needed.

Service Delivery Team

Your Service Delivery Team will manage your day-to-day imports relating to PAPS or live freight. With this efficient team model, all classification, audit, billing and management functions are handled centrally to ensure consistent communication. The team will capture any instructions you provide in our system and process both electronic and manual entries.

Manager, Service Delivery
Responsible for the overall operational performance of the team, your Manager, Service Delivery manages resources to ensure that requirements are met. He or she will mentor and coach all team members, as well as train them on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Service Level Agreements (SLAs), and help create a superior and consistent service delivery experience.

Your Customs Specialist/Import Analyst
Your Customs Specialist/Import Analyst is responsible for working with you to manage your product database including maintenance of your suppliers, product keywords, trade agreements and tariff classification. The Customs Specialist/Import Analyst will also liaise with customs, other government departments and your carriers.

Customs Release Analyst
Processes all truck, rail, ocean, and air entries and captures event-related notes to ensure proper tracking and visibility of your shipments.

Tracking your shipment

Stay informed.Track your goods on the go.

Whether you’ve got a dedicated dispatcher tied to a phone and computer all day, or you’re an on-the-go owner/operator of a small business, Livingston’s Shipment Tracker allows you to know the status of your shipment in real time any time of day or night from anywhere you may find yourself and get up-to-date estimated delivery times

Go to Shipment Tracker

Download Android app Download iPhone app
Stay informed

Helpful Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Did you need help with your shipment? We’re here to help! Here are common questions with some useful tips.


All the forms you need. All in one place.

Here are some important forms that are commonly required for shipping.


More Forms >

On-demand webinars for you and your team.

From entry level to advanced, we have recorded webinars available for anyone interested in customs and trade to download.


More Webinars >

The Basics: Importing into the U.S.

The Basics: Valuation in the U.S.