Requests for Clearance of Shipments

All requests for the clearance of shipments, whether for the personal use of a privileged individual or for official use, must be submitted to OFM/ Customs on Form DS-1504 (Request for Customs Clearance of Merchandise). No other means (e.g., Customs Form 3299) may be used to gain entry.

Consulates other then those located in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles regions must submit a Form DS-1504 (Request for Customs Clearance) through their respective embassies. New York, Boston, and Philadelphia consulates may submit DS-1504 to the New York office. Consulates in San Francisco and Los Angeles regions may submit their forms directly to OFM/ Customs in San Francisco, and Los Angeles respectively. Personnel from international organizations (United Nations, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund, etc.) should submit their forms through their own administrative offices.

A separate form must be completed for each individual shipment or, in the case of items being withdrawn from a customs-bounded warehouse, for each supplier. Each DS-1504 consists of six multi-colored copies and information must be typed on the form. When the form is completed, each mission, consulate, or international organization should detach the pink customer (or in some cases the blue diplomatic) copy for its files and send the original and all other copies to OFM/ Customs, allowing at least 10 working days to process all requests. Inquires will not be accepted until 6 working days after the DS-1504 was received at OFM.

The submitting office is required to provide all pertinent information needed to clear each shipment. Otherwise processing will be delayed while the form with an informal note or ("chit") is returned to the mission requesting the missing information. If a shipment cannot be cleared, the form will be returned to the requesting mission or organization with a rejection "chit".

Once a shipment has been approved, OFM/Customs will return the blue copy for requests outside the Washington metropolitan area and the blue and white copies for requests inside the Washington metropolitan area to the requesting office, indicating the date of approval by the Department of State and/or the U.S. Customs Service (USCS) date of authorization to the customs port. The shipment is then considered ready for pick up or delivery to the requesting office or individual.