China is America’s largest supplier of imported goods, with $434.7 billion worth of imports in 2020. US imports of Chinese goods account for approximately 18% overall US imports.
Businesses are increasingly looking to import products from China. It’s important to evaluate the costs associated with shipping, international invoices, restrictions and other potential issues, as well as selecting the right suppliers.

This article will explain how to import goods to the USA from China. This article will also discuss financial tools that can help reduce the international import cost from China.

Importing from China into the USA

Many reasons businesses choose to import products made in China to the USA are numerous.

Let’s examine the principal advantages and drawbacks of purchasing products from China.

Import requirements

CBP provides a guideline for anyone looking to start an export or import business. However certain documents are required before a shipment may enter the US.

CBP Form 753 Entry manifest, or CBP Form 3461 Application and Special Permit For Immediate Delivery

You must show evidence of your right to be admitted

A proforma invoice or a commercial invoice

Packing lists

If you need it, proof that your import license or permit is required

All documents should be in order at least 15 days prior to imports arriving at US ports of entry.

Import restrictions

If you choose importing goods from China, most products are exempted from import restrictions.

There are however some guidelines regarding import restrictions. Certain products, however, may require additional permissions like an import license or permit.

Some products might be subject to restrictions on imports, such as:

Agricultural commodities

Dairy products include cheese, milk, and other dairy products
Fruits, vegetables and nuts
Livestock and Animals
Meat, poultry, eggs, and other products
Plants and their products

Radioactive Materials, Arms and Ammunition

Armes, Ammunition and Explosives.
Radioactive Materials and Nuclear Reactors

Consumer Products

All household appliances must conform to the US safety standards and energy conservation guidelines.
Both commercial and industrial equipment should comply with US energy standards.

US Customers and Borders Protection has published a list containing commodities that need to be imported licenses or permits.

Contact the federal agency responsible for regulating products you’re considering importing to get additional advice.
US import tax

While import tax (or customs tax) is levied upon products entering the US there are some considerations.

Firstly, depending on trade agreements, certain countries may exempt shipments from this rule.

Import taxes are also affected by the country from which the shipment originated, and the product type.

Cost of import from China

There are many cost factors to consider, besides the import tax.

Shipping and logistics are two of the most important costs an import company must take into account.

These include transportation costs, as well as warehouse storage and shipping costs.

You should consider the costs of various storage locations if you decide that warehouse storage is necessary.

Other secondary import costs include business expenses, such as marketing costs and websites for listing and selling products.

How can I find Chinese Wholesale suppliers?

Many wholesale suppliers located in China offer a large variety of products. Before exchanging money with any supplier, it’s important to fully vet them.

If you are looking for wholesale suppliers, make sure to check their online presence and schedule some introductory calls before you start working with anyone or exchanging payment.

Before you commit to larger orders, request samples and minimum quantities.

It’s not always possible or practical to visit wholesalers in China. However, it is important to ask for documentation and proof about their manufacturing processes and references.

For wholesale suppliers that meet your needs, you can also network with local business owners to get recommendations.

Shipping from China to USA

You have many shipping options available to ship your items from China directly to the United States.

ePacket shipping offers low-value small items the best value.

It is a quick and inexpensive shipping method that makes it possible to ship goods from China or Hong Kong to the United States.

Another option is to work with large logistics and shipping companies like DHL, which can speed up delivery of higher-value items.

Every item entering the US must have an import bond in order to pay any duties, taxes or import charges.

Here is a complete list of ports of entry that the Customs and Border Protection agency has available. It also includes brokers for each port.

It is important to note that currency differences can also be important, specifically Renminbi, which is the official currency of People’s Republic of China, as well as the Yuan and the other currencies.

Yuan refers the currency unit. CNY and CNH can be used to distinguish between two kinds of Renminbi.

Insurance requirements may apply to imports from China into the United States.

Private insurance brokers are available to help import companies protect their imported goods while in transit.

Insurance is required because of Incoterms (or ‘international commercial terms’).

Incoterms allow buyers and sellers to clearly understand and share responsibility for the shipping process.

Incoterms can be described as Cost and Freight Incoterms and Cost Insurance and Freight Incoterms.

CIF Incoterms refers to the merchandise’s total value at the time it arrives in America. It is calculated by adding import fees to the total merchandise value.
Exporting from China to America: Profitable Products

There are many goods that can be imported. Let’s examine some products that are worth looking at4 5

Face masks
Accessory and decor for the home
Peripheral mobile accessories, including USB chargers and wireless chargers
Microwave ovens, air fryers and steel cooking plates are all examples of cooking appliances
Security cameras

These are just a few of the ideas that can help you kickstart your business in importing products directly from China to the United States.

You’ll find more inspiration and ideas as you speak with different suppliers and visit wholesalers.
If you are unsure of what products to import to the US from China, here are some suggestions:

Base cost for item

Analyzing the current sales and availability of items to determine the demand

Market research can include purchasing syndicated report from official sources or conducting your own. It includes which customers will buy the product, whether the item is being sold currently on the market and for what amount.

Shipping and storage costs including warehouse storage, transportation costs and getting products to customers

Anything overhead your business has to pay, such as web hosting and brick-and mortar store costs

Marketing costs are used to increase awareness and exposure of your products in targeted markets.

You can use the above factors to determine the price that you need to charge to make profit.