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Importing goods to the USA from China. 2021 valuable guideline and tips


Importation from China to the US may seem challenging, involving various unfamiliar steps, uncertainties, and risks. In this article, we will summarize the key steps and make a simple guide of importation from China to the USA.


1. Preparation

What importing goods need an importing license?

The US Customs and Border Protection does not require a license or authorization from the importer, but other federal agencies may impose such requirements depending on the goods being imported into the United States.

When purchasing the items listed below, you need to obtain licenses or approvals to comply with the relevant requirements (e.g. FDA, EPA, DOT, CPSC, FTC, Agriculture, etc.)

  • Food
  •  plants, animals, dairy products
  • prescription medications; medications
  • trademarks such as famous brand shoes, bags, luggage, etc.


2. Identify products to import.

When you are a newbie, a bright and profitable beginning will increase your interest even more. It will motivate for further financial success. At first, it is crucial to find a niche that is suitable for you.

Follow your interests. If you are interested in outdoor sports, you can start with outdoor goods like camping bags, portable showers, etc.


Analyze the market and learn about popular products. If you have an online store, researching other stores, rankings of products will give you an advantage. At least, you will be aware of costs and the general situation in the market.

Developing own design and customizing the product and private labeling, can be a profitable business. Customers can pay more for items with unique designs and packaging. If your store can offer such a product, then it will give your brand an advantage over others.

Goods that are not recommended for importation.

  • Famous brands (iPhone, Nike, Adidas, etc.) They’re produced in China but they can be purchased only from official distributors. In China, their costs are higher than in the US.
  • Products with higher tariff rates. Besides the product prices, you also need to consider the US import duties. In the current situation, various product types such as electrical equipment and machinery, textiles, vehicles, etc. are taxed with an additional 25 percent.
  • Food and supplements. The niche of food might be a not good beginning; it is better to purchase locally. In addition, you will have to have licenses or permits to import these types of products and follow the requirements of the FDA. The customs clearance process for these foods is also complicated.
  • Goods that are in high demand but cheap. For example, diapers, A4 papers, etc. Many beginners mistakenly believe that these products are profitable, despite the small percentage of marginal profit. Because they believe these products are needed and popular in the market.


3. Find a reliable supplier

There are several ways of finding a supplier. You can:

-        Visit trade shows

In the trade shows, you will meet with suppliers from various industries and select the products that interest you. But you need to travel to China, which requires additional costs. However, it doesn’t guarantee that you will find a reliable supplier who can produce in the required volume. In addition, it is too difficult to be sure that you are not working with a manufacturer, not a middleman.

-       Through online platforms

There are several platforms where you can find suppliers. They are Alibaba, Aliexpress, DHgate, and others. It is possible to find a supplier with a lower quote than in your country. But it doesn’t mean that you are getting the lowest possible price and high-quality product. It is challenging to find a manufacturer, so, possibly you will be working with middlemen.

-       Agencies

Agencies are the organizations that can find a manufacturer with the lowest quotes. They choose only the most suitable suppliers with high-quality products and you decide who will be your supplier. They help to organize shipping, book warehouses, and in other steps.


4. Shipping

When your order is ready, you need to decide the method of shipping to the US. There are many ways, such as freight (air or sea), courier, and post. The method will depend on the value and urgency of your order.

Goods can be delivered to a US port by sea or air. Either way, you should decide whether you need a local US shipping agent or ask a supplier to help you. If your supplier can’t organize the shipment, our company can help with the delivery to any city of US.

In addition, you need to check with suppliers for FOB pricing, which does not cover freight, insurance, etc.


5. Customs clearance

Once your goods arrive, you need to submit the appropriate documents to US Customs and Border Protection within 15 calendar days.

Otherwise, the cargo will be delivered to the warehouse and you will have to pay for storage. If you have not submitted documents and took your goods within 6 months of their arrival, they may be auctioned off.

The import clearance process can be more complicated than you think, as additional checks will be applied as a new importer by CBP customs and we recommend hiring a customs broker or shipping partner to assist with all import clearance and document preparation procedures.


6. Find an experienced agent.

We strongly recommend working with experienced agents that know all details about importation and lived in China. Import Secrets is a company that has been working in the field of importation for more than 10 years. We work only with professionals and offer high-level service.


  • Source the product
  • Negotiate
  • Organize the shipment
  • Deliver samples of products
  • Develop customized products and packages
  • etc.

For further information, please contact us.

Contact us for a free research or if you want to know more about importing goods from Asia. We are online 24/7!


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