What is CBP Form 4457?
CBP Form 4457, officially known as the Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad, is used to register personal items such as cameras, jewelry, electronics, firearms, etc. before you travel abroad. This form shows that you acquired the items before leaving the U.S. and therefore, you do not have to pay duty on its re-entry back to the U.S.
Items that you have to list are those that have serial numbers or other unique permanent markings and descriptions. This form does not register items that will be used for professional or commercial purposes overseas.
You may use this form except if you are a nonresident seaman, airman, or person engaged in similar employment.
The CBP Form 4457 is only used in the United States and is not an acceptable temporary import document to avoid import duty and tax into foreign countries.
How to Fill Out CBP Form 4457?
General CBP Form 4457 instructions are written on the second page of the form to guide you. The step-by-step filling out guide is provided below.
Form 4457 can be easily filled out and taken to any U.S. Customs and Border Protection office. Before departure, you must have filled this form already. Then, bring your items to the port office, make sure the item/s have an identifying number or a serial number, and the agent will inspect them.
Name of Owner
Enter the name of the owner of the item or article.
Address of Owner
Provide the address of the owner.
Description of Articles
Describe the item/s at hand. Be specific, if possible.
Signature of Owner
Provide your signature.
Enter the port that you are entering.
Provide the date was signed and completed.
Signature of CBP Official
Leave blank and let the CBP official sign.
If you need to register one or more items, you may download the CBP 4457 form, complete it, and bring it to any CBP office for verification or come to the nearest CBP office and a CBP official will fill out the form for you. In both cases, bring the items listed in the form with you. The CBP official will check the description, sign, and stamp the form.
- If you choose to complete this form in the course of your travel, please give yourself around 2 to 3 hours.
- For temporarily exporting professional or commercial goods and equipment see CBP Form 4455.
- You can get a CBP Form 4457 at the nearest CBP office prior to your departure or complete the form at the U.S. International Airport from which you are departing.
- For foreign-made merchandise being sent abroad for repairs, alterations, exchange or upgrade or for use abroad, it is recommended to fill out a Certificate of Registration CBP Form 4455 before sending items to avoid paying duty when it returns.
- As long as the Certificate of Registration is for the same equipment, it can be used more than once. The description of the item and serial number must match. Take the completed form with you every time you leave the U.S. with the listed items. You can use the form for more than one item, but you cannot add other items at a later stage. If you buy any new items, you have to fill out a new CBP Form 4457.
- If traveling with a firearm, take it to your nearest Homeland Security office. They are usually located near the airport. They will verify your serial numbers and then stamp your form.
- This certificate is non-transferable. The new owner is not allowed to use your form and will need to register items separately.
- The CBP does not keep your CBP 4457. It is your duty to keep it in a secure place until you return back to the U.S.
- You may check the CBP website to locate the port office nearest you.
- To avoid inconvenience, prepare receipts or registration paperwork for any new electronics. This is for personal items, not University/Government-owned items. Not all CPB agents require it, but it’s best to bring supporting documentation if possible, regardless of ownership.
- If traveling with a firearm, you might want to fill Out police forms ahead of time. Try to research ahead of time to find out what forms need to be filled out or submitted prior to your arrival in the country. Many times you need to stop at the local police station in the airport so having your paperwork already filled out will lessen the inconvenience.
- If the item is non-inventorial, it is recommended to put a non-inventorial tag on it before travel to clarify government ownership.
- Take note of the time the port of entry office closes or opens to avoid delays. The Seattle CPB port of entry office is only open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm. You may check the opening and closing times of each Ports of Entry office and the complete listing of U.S. Ports of Entry on the CBP website.
- It is best to fill out this form than relying on a Customs Letter which the CBP does not specifically call this out as an acceptable form of support. There is a possibility for you to be questioned more when using this form of support depending on the CBP agent.
- If you are carrying a firearm, familiarize yourself with the import requirements of the foreign country(s) that they may be traveling through or visiting. Those countries may have more restrictive laws and regulations regarding the use of firearms within their countries.