Detailed Instructions for Completion of the DS-1504
The following pages explain how to fill out form DS-1504, Request for Customs Clearance of Merchandise. The lines highlighted in bold lettering correspond to the titles of each information block on that form.
Please type all requested items on the DS-1504. No handwritten forms accepted.
Any shipment sent from abroad to any foreign diplomatic or consular mission, or its personnel, must be cleared by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) solely through the Form DS-1504. It is unlawful for any person or entity (i.e., brokers or freight forwarders) to assist foreign missions or personnel in clearing shipments through customs by any other means. See 71 Fed. Reg. 23979 (April 25, 2006).
Therefore, consignees or their agents are not permitted to file an electronic entry, or use CBP Form 3299 (Declaration for Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles) or CBP Form 7501 (Entry Summary). See 19 CFR §§ 148.82, 148.85, 148.86, 148.87, 148.88.
- NAME OF EMBASSY, LEGATION, OR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION
Provide the full name of the Embassy, Consulate, or International Organization (hereinafter referred to as the “foreign mission”).
- PORT OF CLEARANCE
Provide the full name of the U.S. Customs Port where the shipment will be cleared by Customs.
Official shipments: Provide the full name of the foreign mission.
Personal shipments: Provide the name and title of the individual to whom the goods belong and for whose exclusive use they are being imported. The individual must have been notified to the Department of State and must be eligible for diplomatic importation privileges. For example, permanent residents of the United States are not eligible.
In either case, the consignee should be identified on the Air Waybill, Bill of Lading or truck manifest. If the foreign mission is listed on the shipping document but the goods are actually for the personal use of an entitled individual, list the name of the individual in parentheses after the name of the foreign mission — example: Embassy of Utopia (for John Doe).
Please select the appropriate box:
- Official: If articles are the property of a foreign government and will be used only in connection with noncommercial functions.
- Personal: If articles are the property of and for the personal or family use of eligible foreign mission personnel.
- Official and Personal: If the request contains both official and personal goods in a combined shipment.
- ENTER PID OR IF NEWLY ASSIGNED, CHECK HERE
For personal import requests, provide the Personal Identification Number (PID) of the individual requester. If the individual is newly assigned and does not yet have a PID, check the box provided.
For official requests, leave this block empty.
Shipments arriving in U.S. by air: Provide the name of the airline and flight number on which the goods will arrive in the U.S. and the expected arrival date (ETA).
Shipments arriving in U.S. by vessel: Provide the name of the vessel and voyage number on which the goods will arrive in the U.S. and the ETA.
Shipments arriving at Port of Clearance by truck, including those crossing by land from Canada or Mexico: In addition to the required air/vessel information, if any, provide the name of the trucking company, license plate number (if available) and the ETA.
Shipments arriving at Port of Clearance by train: In addition to the required air/vessel information, provide the name of the train company (e.g., CRX, Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, etc.), any identifying number and the ETA.
- CUSTOMS ENTRY OR MANIFEST NUMBER
If there is no Air Waybill or Bill of Lading Number for the shipment, provide the Entry or Manifest Number assigned by U.S. Customs.
If an Immediate Transportation (IT) number has been assigned by the carrier shipping the goods to the final Port of Clearance (e.g., a trucking or train company), please provide that number here.
- AIR WAYBILL OR BILL OF LADING NUMBER
Provide the Air Waybill (AWB) or Bill of Lading (B/L) number.
If there are multiple AWB or B/L numbers, provide the Master number here, and provide the other numbers under “Description of Merchandise” below. This may happen, for instance, if a consolidated shipment arrives in the United States under a Master number and is split up for delivery to different consignees for whom separate numbers are assigned.
Attach a copy of all Air Waybills or Bills of Lading, as well as the Carrier Certificate or Arrival Notice, if available.
- TOTAL WEIGHT LBS. OR KG.
List the gross weight of the goods being imported, and indicate whether the weight measure is in pounds (lbs.) or kilograms (kgs.) (available from the Air Waybill, the Bill of Lading, or the mail notification card/receipt).
- MAIL ENTRY NUMBER
If a shipment arrives by mail, provide the number from the receipt here and attach a copy of the receipt.
- DESCRIPTION OF MERCHANDISE
Provide the following information for all requests:
- A general description of all the items in the shipment, including:
- For “Official” purpose requests: the official nature of the request and a statement that the articles are the property of the foreign government and will not be used for commercial or advertising purposes.
- For “Official and Personal” purpose requests: a statement explaining which items are official and which items are personal, as well as the proper consignee for the personal items.
- The number of cartons, cases, packages, boxes, crates, or items, as indicated on the AWB, B/L, Carrier Certificate or Arrival Notice.
- Example: “One 20′ container of personal effects containing 220 boxes” is acceptable. If the goods are containerized, indicate the container number in this entry box.
- The address where the shipment will be delivered.
- If the delivery address cannot be confirmed by OFM as the official address of the foreign mission or the home address of the individual on file, the foreign mission must provide an explanation.
- All other AWB or B/L numbers for the shipment not listed above (e.g., AMS, Ocean, House, etc.).
- The name and telephone number of a person at the foreign mission who can be contacted for further information.
Additional information is required for the following item types:
- Motor vehicles:
- Make, model, year of manufacture, and vehicle identification number (VIN).
- Whether or not the vehicle conforms to Department of Transportation (DOT) safety standards and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) environmental standards. If the vehicle does not conform to DOT and EPA standards, also state whether the consignee requests exemption from compliance with these requirements.
- Note: Vehicle imports require the consignee to register the car with OFM prior to its release. Foreign missions should initiate the registration process and importation request simultaneously to ensure that the clearance is not delayed, and provide the date on which the registration application was submitted to OFM.
- Make and model, year(s) of manufacture, serial number(s), and quantity.
- Caliber and quantity of ammunition.
- Note: Foreign missions are reminded that granting permission to possess firearms in the United States is a matter within the jurisdiction of local authorities. Any request to possess or carry a firearm must be made to the appropriate authority in the local jurisdiction in which the affected person proposes to keep the weapon. Customs officials will release imported firearms only upon presentation of the authorization form issued by the appropriate local authorities. Attach any other required forms to the DS-1504. See Diplomatic Note 04-03 for additional information.
- Food and beverage products:
- In some cases, Prior Notice confirmation number from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Note: Food and beverage products imported (or offered for import) for commercial use, including hand-carried quantities, require the filing of Prior Notice with FDA and, if the products contain meat, egg, milk, poultry, or other animal origin products, may require permits, health certificates, and/or other specified certifications from the country of origin. In general, food imported (or offered for import) for non-commercial purposes with a non-commercial shipper (i.e., for personal use, when the food is purchased or otherwise acquired by an individual for non-business purposes and the shipper is an individual) does not require the filing of a Prior Notice.
- Exhibition materials:
- A statement regarding the ownership of the materials, whether or not any printed matter will be distributed to attendees, the purpose of the exhibition, intended participants, whether or not any items will be offered for sale, and planned disposition of the items after the exhibition’s conclusion (continue response on multiple DS-1504s, if necessary).
- Name of the sponsor or co-sponsors of the exhibition.
- Location and date(s) of the exhibition.
- SIGNATURE OF AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE OF AN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION
This block must be completed by all international organizations. Embassies and Consulates should leave it blank.
Provide the date that the DS-1504 is signed.
- EMBASSY OR CONSULATE SEAL AND AUTHORIZATION
Foreign missions should stamp, initial, and date each copy of the DS-1504 form. If a mission chooses to, it may use an embossing seal that will penetrate all six copies, rather than stamping each copy.
- U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE APPROVAL
- U.S. CUSTOMS AUTHORIZATION
SUBMITTING FORM DS-1504 AFTER COMPLETION
Click here for details on how to submit completed Form DS-1504.