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Non-US importing into US

In order to ship merchandise into the US, customs requires the owner of record to have a US Federal Tax ID number (also known as an Employer ID #) with a U.S. based mailing address. If you are a merchant using Shipwire to ship merchandise for you, you are the owner of record for anything we receive on your behalf. Merchandise we receive must be free and clear of customs duties in order for us to sign for it.

If you do not yet have a Federal Tax ID, then you have two options:
1. Incorporate your business in the US in 2-3 business days by visiting incorporate.com.

  • Ask for an EIN (Employer Identification Number)
  • If you don’t have a US mailing address get a mail forwarding address from them.
  • If you want to call them dial 1-888-340-7239 and tell them you came from Partner #9105 (We track aggregate sign-ups to ensure that you get the highest quality service).
  • Get your EIN now (If the link doesn’t work visit http://www.incorporate.com/international_business.html). If you do not have a U.S. Social Security Number, call 800-818-6082 (toll-free) or 302-636-5440 instead. Please tell them that Partner #9105 sent you.

2. Obtain a personal tax ID from the IRS online or via forms

  • Get a US EIN number online from IRS.gov
  • If the link above doesn’t work, you can fill out Form SS-4. (Application for Employer Identification Number). IRS Form SS-4. Instructions for Form SS-4. NOTE: We try and keep these links up to date, but you can also go to www.irs.gov and search for ‘form SS-4′.)
    • Over the phone only takes a few minutes. Call 267-941-1099 for the international bureau of IRS registrations. The number can be issued the same day if you talk to an agent and then fax in your signature.
    • Via Fax can take 4-5 days. Fax a completely filled out Form SS-4 to 800-829-1040 (domestic fax machines only) or 215-516-1040 (for international faxes).
    • You can also submit the form by mail which can 30 days or more (not advised).
    • In some cases you may be asked to get the final confirmation from the IRS forms office. Call them at 215-516-2000 and ask them to issue a registration confirmation via fax. You can then forward this to your carrier for processing of the import.

NOTE: Shipwire does not provide our tax ID number for import purposes. You must have a non-Shipwire mail or mail forwarding address in the U.S.; this address should be used for the Importer of Record on all customs paperwork.


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