A Quick Guide to Importing Goods into the United States

Whether you’re looking to leverage cheaper-made merchandise or diversify your product line, selling imported goods in the U.S. is a very lucrative business. Importing doesn’t necessarily mean you’re cannibalizing the economy. In fact, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, every $1 spent on an item that’s made in China puts 55 cents to U.S. businesses for marketing, sales, and related services.

Importing to the USA

If you are thinking of importing goods and selling it to the U.S. market, you’ll need to know more about the country of export as well as U.S. laws regarding importing. You also need to pick from among the reputable USA customs brokers.

Review Trade Barriers and Import Rejection Laws

To start with, you need to check U.S. trade barriers and laws to determine whether you can actually export particular goods from the country of origin (example, China) into the United States.

The U.S. is very import-friendly but it does have quality controls and safety guidelines in place that may seem to be stricter than those in other countries. Additionally, other nations may ban or restrict the export of rare goods, protected goods, animal by-products, religious ornaments and pirated designer goods.

You’ll also need to check the Food Safety and Inspection Service checklist if you’re planning to import and sell agricultural products to ensure you’re complying with laws pertaining to poultry, meat and egg products.

Hire a Customs Broker

As mentioned earlier, you’ll need help from a professional and licensed customs broker who can help you navigate the laws that apply to your business or the transactions you’re planning to make. They can help you with licenses, calculation of duties and taxes, and others.

Your customs broker will also prepare all the necessary documentation that will be required for those who will import goods. They also facilitate communication between you and the government and may give you advice in regards to entry procedures, taxes and fees for your imported merchandise, admissibility requirements, and a lot more.

Permit Requirements for Importing Certain Goods

Many exported and imported products are regulated. If you import any of these regulated products then you may need to first get a permit or complete some paperwork. Your customs broker may be able to assist you on how to go about getting the needed licenses and permits. A licensed customs broker can certainly make the whole process of importing goods to the U.S. a lot easier.

What Happens If You’re Not Compliant?

Neglecting compliance can cost you a lot of problems and may force you to pay huge customs duties and fees. You could even risk delaying your customs clearance, which may mean having to pay for expensive storage fees.

Work with your customs broker to find out which permits and licenses you will need, if any. Apply for them and wait until your application is accepted before making an import order.


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