How to Import from China to USA – Complete Guide To 2023

Import from China to USA is now common practice in the US as an alternative to local sourcing. The two countries are rivals, but also do most of the business between them. In 2018, the US imported goods worth US$639.7 billion from China, accounting for 16.4% of its total imports.

Importing goods from China is a complex process that requires some knowledge. The only way to deal with imports from China is to use professional services with experience and expertise. This guide looks at all aspects of the import process and highlights issues that you need to be aware of.

Table of Contents

Import from China to USA
Import from China to USA

Things you should know Before Import from China to USA ?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the licensing and licensing process for U.S. imports of goods from China will vary depending on the type and value of the import and the country of origin.

However, all imported goods must be declared to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Here we have added a link to the requirements to become an importer according to US CBP guidelines.For more information on the licensing and licensing process for U.S. imports of goods from China, visit the CBP website.

The licensing and licensing process for U.S. imports of goods from China may vary depending on the goods being imported. For example, if you are importing food, you must obtain permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

If you are importing firearms or ammunition, you must obtain a license from the Firearms and Explosives Administration. The process for importing other types of goods from China may vary by product and by the institution involved.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Section 301 Tariffs on China

Before importing from China to the USA, you should know about import taxes from China to the United States.

China’s Section 301 tariffs went into effect on August 23, 2018, imposing 10% duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. The tariffs are in response to China’s unfair trade practices, including the forced transfer of U.S. technology and intellectual property.

China’s tariffs are having a major impact on American businesses and consumers. Many companies have had to raise prices or lay off workers. Consumers are paying more for a wide range of products, from electronics to clothing.

Tariffs on China are just one part of the Trump administration’s trade policy. The administration has also imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and is currently locked in a trade war with China.

The Trump administration is right to take a tough stance on trade with China. China has taken advantage of the US for too long and something needs to be done to level the playing field.

But imposing tariffs on China is not the best way to achieve this goal. They are causing significant damage to U.S. businesses and consumers and are unlikely to change China’s behavior. This has major implications for corporate America in 2020.

Also, in an effort to resolve a trade dispute with China, the U.S. has released a list of several items that will not be affected by the new tariffs. You can view the updated tariff exclusion list here.
How to Navigate the Section 301 Tariff Process

How to Navigate the Section 301 Tariff Process
How to Navigate the Section 301 Tariff Process

The specific process of importing from China to the USA


1: Select products to sell

Finding cheap imports from China can be very effective when starting a brand new business or expanding a business that does not have a wide range of products. You may find better prices and higher quality items at wholesale prices.

Even if you have specific ideas in mind, consider whether you’d rather focus on high sales or low profits. For example, if you were going to import jeans, you might choose quantity over quality. On the other hand, if you want to sell shoes, you can choose a higher price to increase your profit margin.

We tell you to consider the following:

  • The product must have sufficient demand in the market.
  • This product should not have any special laws to import from China into the US.
  • If you’re just starting out, don’t import seasonal products.
  • The product should have a profit margin of 25% to 50%.
  • The product is reliable and you have a guarantee if you want.
  • Products should require low inventory, maintenance and storage.

2:Find your Chinese supplier

When looking for quality suppliers in China, there are some important things to be aware of:Make sure the supplier is in China. There are many scammers who claim to be in China but are actually in other countries.

Try to find a supplier that has been in business for at least a few years. This suggests they may be more stable and trustworthy.

Contact suppliers and ask them lots of questions. A good provider will be happy to answer all your questions and provide you with all the information you need.

Ask for references from suppliers. If the supplier has references, they will provide you with their references.

Once you’ve found a supplier you like, be sure to sign an agreement with them. This helps protect you in case of any problems with the products or services they provide.

Many customers are looking for their own suppliers through the website of Alibaba in China, you can refer to this article to find your own answers

Shipping From Alibaba In China(2022 Shipping Guide)

3:Find China Freight Forwarder

You have to find a good freight forwarder China if you want to increase your profit margin. Here are some pieces of advice from us:

You should find a freight forwarder China who will take care of shipping your goods from China to the final destination.Freight forwarders in China are vital to the smooth shipment of your goods and should be chosen after due research and consideration.

You should look for online reviews and ask your friends and other importers who have shipped via Chinese carriers.You should make sure the carrier has a strong presence in China, as many foreign companies have tried unsuccessfully to establish a strong presence in China.

4:US Customs Clearance

Customs clearance is the most important part of importing from China. If you do not provide the correct documentation and follow the correct procedures, customs will confiscate your shipment and you may have to pay additional fees.

You can seek help from customs brokers or freight forwarders who provide customs related services. For example, FBAFO can provide full customs clearance support for DDP shipments from China to the USA


customs clearance
customs clearance

5:Receive your Goods

Once your shipments are cleared from customs and all payments have been made, they must be returned to the warehouse or shipped to their destination.

If your shipment was shipped by air in a container, you should have received an invoice detailing the number of containers involved and where it was shipped. For less than container load (LCL) shipments, you will receive a bill of lading detailing your destination and shipping weight.

You may also receive a copy of the manifest describing each item included in your shipment.

What are the top imports from China to USA ?

  • Machinery & Electrical: 24% of U.S. imports from China
  • Miscellaneous: 19%
  • Metals: 10%
  • Textiles: 8%
  • Plastics/Rubbers: 7%

From January 2021 to June 2021, China’s top three categories together accounted for 53% of its shipments to the US. Electromechanical, Miscellaneous and Metals covers a wide range of products, not all of which are suitable for consumers.

But many well-known brands source imported household goods in these categories, such as blenders, candles and aluminum foil, from Chinese manufacturers.

What factors to consider before importing from China to USA ?

If you want to import from China, it is important to know the price beforehand, which can help you save a lot of money. For some products, the respective branding is important. It is recommended to compare the prices of different brands by looking at the specifications of each.

The cost of importing products is known as transportation costs. This is the price of shipping and delivery to the final destination. It’s also a good idea to compare delivery times from different companies before making a decision.

When a company has a short lead time, it means it takes fewer days to receive the product. Of course, this means lower shipping costs. There are also other aspects of the shipping method to consider, such as insurance and customs clearance.

Your overall goals for importing goods from China must be clear. It is often noticed that people are looking for low prices and this is the biggest mistake one can make. Product cost is not the actual cost, but the total cost of the business.

You need to consider the shipping of your product and other costs involved in making money. First, the cost of importing from China to the USA is not very low. This can be circumvented by choosing a nearby port as the shipping location.

In addition, you need to bear the import duties and taxes from China to the United States. The product is likely to be in high demand in the United States. You can use Alibaba to understand the potential of your products. Don’t make the mistake of being too cheap or too expensive. Find a balance between the needs and expectations of your customers.

Alibaba To Amazon FBA
Alibaba To Amazon FBA

What shipping methods can be used to import from China to the USA ?

The Fastest And Cheapest Way To Ship From China To The US

1:Air Freight

Air freight from China to the US is a process that requires a lot of coordination and planning. There are many different variables to consider.

For example, the type of goods to be shipped, the weight and volume of the goods, the transportation route and transportation plan of the goods. You also need to understand how the chargeable weight system applies to air freight.

Air freight is usually faster and more expensive than other shipping methods, but is often the best option for time-critical shipments.

When shipping from China to the USA, it’s important to work with a reputable and experienced carrier who can guide you through the process and ensure your shipment arrives on time and on budget. Air freight takes 6-10 days in most cases.

shipping from china to usa
shipping from china to usa

2:Sea Freight

Shipping from China to the USA has many advantages. On the one hand, it’s a very cheap option. It is also a very reliable mode of transportation as the boats can sail in all weather conditions.

Also, sea shipping from China to the USA is a very safe option as there are many security measures to protect the ship and its cargo.

LCL shipping is a great option for those looking to ship large volumes or items that are not time sensitive. LCL shipping is a great option for those looking to ship goods from China to the USA. This shipping method is cheaper than air freight and can ship more goods at once.

Costs for Importing from China to USA

Here is the breakdown of those costs when you import from China to USA.

 Shipping method The weight you should not cross Price per KG
 Air Freight 80 – 300 KG USD 7 – USD 10
 Sea Freight 300 KG+ Less than USD 3

Shipping: You can use any shipping method by air or sea. Fees depend on shipping method and Incoterms between you and your supplier.

Port Fees, Storage, and Inspection Fees: Products imported from China may be subject to customs inspection when entering the United States.

These checks may result in additional charges to your import duties. Additionally, you may be required to pay for costs incurred during the inspection. You may also face fines if you do not pay applicable fees.

Customs broker fees: Customs brokers make your customs clearance easier. But they are not free. If you use a licensed US customs broker, you will incur substantial fees.

Import duties: There are taxes and fees from China to the United States. This is an important part of the import process to consider, especially in light of the Section 301 tariffs listed earlier in this chapter.

Tariffs from China to the U.S. often result in high fees. Many products are declared based on the value of the imported product.

Do I Need a Permit to Import from China ?

You do not need a license to import goods into the United States if the value is below the duty-free limit. No license is required if the total declared value is less than $800.

If it is more than $800 and you wish to import it into the United States, you must complete a CBP Form HS-7 return. This should be included with your shipment.

However, for some individual categories, you must obtain approval from the relevant authority. they are:

  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – for Food, Housewares, cosmetics, medication, etc.
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) – For cars and motor vehicles.
  • S Department of Agriculture (USDA) – For any plants, animals, wood, etc.
  • Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau (TTB) – This department regulates Alchohol and Tobacco items.
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – For any chemicals imported to the USA from China or any other country in the world.
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – They deal with a variety of parts, including labeling and others.

How much is the Import duties from china to USA ?

When you order items from China to be shipped to the United States, you may be required to pay import duties, taxes, and other charges. These additional charges are calculated based on the value of the shipment and can be a percentage or a flat rate.

The United States imposes tariffs (tariffs) on imported goods. Duties are imposed upon import and are paid by the importer of record. Customs fees vary by country of origin and product.

Most goods imported into the United States from China fall under HTS subheadings 9903.88.01 (figurines and other porcelain ornaments), 7009.92.00 (painted or plated with precious metal), or 7018.10.60 (lamp beads).

In addition to duties, registered importers must pay taxes on imported goods, including federal excise taxes. Excise tax rates are published in the Internal Revenue Code.

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) imposes taxes on imported pesticides. The tax rate is 1.75% of the value of imported pesticides.

The Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) is a tax on the value of goods imported by water. The tax rate is 0.125% of the value of imported goods.

The Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) is a fee charged on all imported goods. The fee is 0.3464% of the value of the imported goods.

In addition to duties, taxes, and fees, the importer of record must pay applicable fees for the inspection, handling, and transportation of imported goods. These charges are usually paid to the carrier or customs agent.

The United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement (USCFTA) eliminated tariffs on goods that meet the agreement’s origin requirements.


We hope you enjoyed our article on Import from China to USA. We know this is a very popular topic, and we hope you find some useful information in this guide. We’re always happy when one of our posts can provide useful information on a topic like this! If you have any questions about importing from China, please feel free to contact us – thanks for reading.

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