Importing

Our programs and services focus exclusively on export assistance.  No state agency provides import assistance.  However, if you have import-related questions, there are several organizations that may be able to assist.

Import Tariffs, Quotas & Regs

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (Department of Homeland Security)

Contact the U.S. Customs & Border Protection for general import questions, to obtain tariff rates for specific imported goods, or to check on regulations such as import quotas. The U.S. Customs Service’s guide for importers, Importing into the United States, provides valuable procedural information

View a list of all Minnesota Ports of Entry and link to contact information, and hours of operation for each port.

Minneapolis/St. Paul Port of Entry

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Port of Entry is located at 330 Second Avenue South, Suite 560, Minneapolis, MN 55401. Reach authorities by telephone at:

612-348-1690   Minneapolis/St. Paul Port of Entry
612-725-3689   Inspection Main Airport Terminal
612- 726-6465   Inspection Humphrey Terminal
Harmonized Tariff Schedule
Tariff rates for all merchandise imported in the United States also are available through International Trade Commission’s Harmonized Tariff Schedule.

Customs Brokers

You may wish to use the services of a licensed customs broker to assist you with managing the process of importing goods into the United States. 

You can find a local customs broker through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (select the port of entry in Minnesota and then select the list of brokers for that port). 

Another source for finding a customs broker is National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America.

Global Sourcing

There are several resources that you can turn to for assistance in sourcing products from abroad.

Foreign Trade Offices
Many countries maintain trade offices or trade attachés in the United States to help companies from their countries sell products and services to the American companies. 

These foreign trade offices typically can be contacted by calling the country's Embassy or Consulates in the United States. Some of the more prominent trade offices that can assist you with sourcing from their countries are:

Chicago International Trade Commissioners Association
CITCA is an organization comprising the senior trade representatives from foreign governments based in Chicago with jurisdiction for the Midwest.

The commissioners play an essential role in informing and consulting the commercial constituents from their respective countries and in facilitating trade and business opportunities.  These trade commissioners can assist you in sourcing products from their county.

MN Foreign Trade Zones

A Foreign Trade Zone is the U.S. version of an International Free Trade Zone. Always located near a Port of Entry, an FTZ can be used to store foreign or domestic goods, re-package materials, assemble products, manufacture or re-export goods without paying Customs duties.

Merchandise can be held indefinitely within an FTZ without any payment of customs duty. A U.S. Department of Commerce program born in 1934, FTZs are operated as public utilities by states, port authorities, other political groups, or corporations charted by the state.

Types of FTZ

With a General Purpose Zone, leased storage or distribution space is provided to users in general warehouse buildings. This FTZ is for both long-term or occasional use. Airports and international convention centers are often set up as public FTZ sites as well.

With a subzone, individual companies can apply to the U.S. Department of Commerce to designate an area of their facility as a Subzone. This situation is ideal for companies located some distance from a General Purpose Zone.

There are eight General Purpose Zone sites in Minnesota, including:

  • Minneapolis Convention Center
  • Saint Paul
  • Eagan Industrial Park
  • The Greater Airport Bloomington Site
  • Mid-City Industrial Park
  • Seaway Port Authority of Duluth
  • International Falls
  • Bloomington Central Industrial Area

Learn more about Foreign Trade Zones