Importing from China to the United States

International shipping between China and the United States has been growing rapidly in recent years. Due to this growth, import regulations have become less strict to allow for easier importation. Still, while importing from China to the United States is not difficult, importers must understand the regulations by which they will need to comply to achieve successful importing from China to the United States.

General Regulations

All imports must clear United States Customs and will be subject to customs duties. The United States does not require that importers have a license, however all importers must have an IRS business registration number or a social security number. When shipping, importers must include a standard commercial invoice and declare the total value of the products in a packing list.

If applicable, the importer will pay duties and processing fees that are set by customs. It is the importer’s responsibility to ensure that the products meet all customs requirements and that all necessary paperwork has been filed. The goods being imported must also be marked in a permanent, legible and conspicuous manner that states the original country in English.

To find out whether or not certain items are subject to quota restrictions, if they are eligible for reduced duty rates, or if they are restricted from entry, importers should find their items’ Harmonized Tariff Schedule classification number using the Harmonized Tariff Schedule on the U.S. International Trade Commission HTS Web site.

Trademarked and Copyrighted Items

The distribution of many trademarked and copyrighted items in the United States is restricted by contracts that give exclusive rights to specific companies or individuals to distribute the product in the United States. Please be aware that if an importer attempts to import a product that violates this type of contract it could be seized at the border. Checking these regulations beforehand is strongly encouraged.

Commercial Invoice

When shipping, importers must include two copies of a standard commercial invoice that includes a complete packing list of the goods being shipped. This packing list should detail the value of each of the items included in the shipment.

Other Special Requirements

There may be special requirements such as Prohibitions, Restrictions, and other Agency Requirements that importers will need to be aware of depending on the contents of their shipments. See Importing to the US for more information, or contact the U.S. Customs and Borders Protection for more specific inquiries.

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