The main advantages and disadvantages to importing products from China

China is the biggest supplier of import goods to the United States. In 2020, US imports reached $434.7 billion. US imports from China account for 18% of total US imports.
It is becoming more common for businesses to import products from China. As such, it is important to consider the associated costs, including shipping fees, international invoices, possible restrictions and choosing the right suppliers.

This article will discuss how to import goods from China into the USA. Financial tools can be used to reduce import costs from China.

Importing from China to America

Businesses choose importing goods from China for many reasons.

Let’s look at the main advantages and disadvantages to importing products from China.

Importing requirements

CBP has a guide that can be used to help you start an import-export business. However, certain documents must be submitted before your shipment can enter the US.

CBP Form 7533 Entry manifest or Application and Special Permit to Immediate Delivery (CBP Formula 3461).

Documentation proving right to enter

A proforma or commercial invoice

Packing lists

If your goods require it, proof of an import permit or license

These documents must be available at least 15 days in advance of any imports arriving at the US port of entry.

Import restrictions

If you’re importing products to the USA from China, there is no restriction on imports.

There are guidelines that can be followed regarding import restrictions. However, specific products may require additional permissions such as an import license, import permit, or other permits.

Some products may be subject to import restrictions.

Agricultural commodities

Dairy products, such as cheese, milk and other dairy products
Nuts, fruits, and vegetables
Livestock and animals
Meat, poultry and egg products
Products and plants

Arms, ammunition, and radioactive materials

Weapons, ammunition, explosives, and implements of war
Radioactive Materials and Nuclear Reactors

Products for Consumers

Appliances for the home must meet US safety and energy conservation standards.
All commercial and industrial equipment must meet the US energy performance standards.

The US Customers and Borders Protection (CBP), has published a list of commodities that require an import permit or license.

You can contact the federal agency that regulates the products you are considering importing for additional information.
Import tax in the USA

Although import tax or customs tax is levied on products that enter the US, there are some things to consider.

Depending on trade agreements, shipment arriving from certain countries might be exempt.

Second, import taxes can vary depending on where the shipment originated and the product type.

Import costs from China

Other than the import tax, there are cost considerations that you should consider.

Import businesses must consider shipping and logistics as one of their main costs.

This includes the cost of shipping the product to the United States, warehouse storage, if required, and the transportation costs to get it there.

Consider the cost of storage options if you are deciding to store your warehouse.

Other secondary costs of importing include marketing and operational costs such as website hosting to list and sell products and other related business costs.

How do you find Chinese Wholesale Suppliers?

Many Chinese wholesale suppliers offer a variety of products. Before you make any payments, it is important to verify the legitimacy of any supplier.

Look online for wholesale suppliers before you make any payments or contact them.

Before placing a large order, ask for samples and minimum quantities.

Although it is not always possible for wholesalers to visit China on-site, you can ask them for documentation and proof regarding their manufacturing and references.

To find the right wholesale supplier for your business, you can network with other business owners or local experts and ask them for their recommendations.

Shipping from China to the USA

You have many options for shipping your goods from China to the United States.

ePacket shipping is one of the best options for low-value, small products.

It is a cost-effective and fast shipping option that uses third-party logistics like 3PL to transport goods from China and Hong Kong to America.

You may also consider working with larger shipping and logistics companies like DHL to expedite delivery of items at a greater cost.

To pay import duties or taxes, all items entering the US must be issued a customs bond.

This list includes brokers for each port entry and is maintained by the Customs and Border Protection agency.

Currency differences are another important thing to remember, particularly Renminbi (RMB), which is the official currency of People’s Republic of China. The Yuan and two other currencies are also available.

Yuan is the unit of currency, and CNY or CNH are two types of Renminbi.

There may be insurance requirements for imports from China to the United States.

Private insurance brokers can help import businesses protect imported goods in transit.

Incoterms, or “international commercial terms”, are required to insure.

Incoterms can be used to help buyers and sellers understand and assign responsibility during shipping, both financially as well as for any risk.

Incoterms include Cost and Freight Incoterms and Cost Insurance and Freight Incoterms.

CIF Incoterms is the merchandise’s value when it arrives in the United States. It is calculated by adding import duties to the total item value.
Importing profitable products from China to the USA is profitable

Many goods are suitable for import. Let’s take a look at 5 of the most important products to consider4:

Face masks
Accessories and home decor products
Peripheral accessories for mobile phones, such as wireless chargers or USB chargers
Appliances for cooking such as air fryers, microwave ovens and steel cooking plates
Security cameras

These are just some ideas to help you get started in your business of importing products from China into the United States.

Talking to wholesalers and suppliers will give you more ideas for great products that you can sell to the US.
Consider these factors when deciding which products to import from China into the USA:

Base price of the item

Analyzing the demand for items based upon current sellers and available inventory

Market research includes purchasing syndicated reports directly from the source or doing your own. This includes determining which customers will purchase the product and whether it is being sold on the marketplace, and, if so, at what price.

Shipping and storage costs include warehouse storage and transit costs.

All overhead expenses that your business incurs such as website hosting or brick-and-mortar stores

Marketing costs to build awareness and expose your products in target markets.

The above factors will help you determine the price you should charge in order to make a profit.