It was my first time sending good via sea (previously my company has always sent via air freight) and I contacted, amongst several other customs agents, American Services LAX and Mr Gregory. Initially he seemed very helpful, but things took a turn for the worse. My company is registered outside the USA, and he informed me that he "did not recognise" the EIN number that the IRS has assigned me and asked if I had a "customs" one. I had not heard of this and he stated I would need a USA based company's EIN to import, and helpfully offered to find one for me. He did and wanted to charge $800 to "set-up" this and then $50 for each ISF filing. This seemed excessive so I asked a services supplier I work with if I could use theirs. They agreed and sent to me, I was quite surprised to see their EIN had the exact same format as mine. I raised this with MR Gregroy, he claimed that I had sent a different EIN the first time round. This is completely false and the email chains show this. He also stated that I would "always" need to use my supplier's EIN, despite having my own, again completely false. He then registered me as an importer of record and sent me an invoice for $420. This was not on the quote he sent me, and have never been mentioned to me before. I asked him to resend the quote that had stated this service charge, and he avoided the question. I asked four more times, each time he avoided the question. I asked a final time, more forcefully, and I received I reply to effect that the matter was dropped. I then went ahead with the shipping. 24 hour before the ISF filing cutoff time prior to shipping, he resent the invoice to me. I said to him I would not pay as it was not quoted for, and I was concerned about him charging me for other things in future that had not been quoted for. I also asked him to provide proof that he had done the work as I had not seen any. He said he "could not understand my attitude" and he could not work for free. I restated that I was not expecting him to, but that I need to be quoted, and agree to, any service charges before they are carried out. I also stated that if he would at least acknowledge that he did not quote me for the services we could work something for this invoice. This was now after the ISF filing deadline, and I received a message from my forwarder (who had been chasing Mr Gregory for the filing) that he had informed the that he would not be working with me. He didn't even bother to tell me. I started to panic as I was concerned that I would be hit with heavy fines. As soon as office hours started in California (I am based in China so a big time difference) I spoke to another customs agent who managed to get everything sorted in under an hour. It turns out that registration process for an importer of record is a quick form that is submitted to the US Customs Service, something I could have done in a few minutes myself. His claims about the EIN number were a straight up lie to try an trick me into paying this company he "found". Mr Gregory is a crook who looked for any opportunity to take advantage of my inexperience with sea freight importing to make a quick buck. His antics also wasted five weeks, which I could have been selling the products and not stressing about this ***. I'm just glad I didn't pay the invoice and the goods had left which him as the stated import agent as who knows what else I would have been held to ransom to pay, or if I would even have received them.