Informal Entries: If the value of your purchase(s) is less than $2500 and your goods are being shipped by mail or freight, they may, in most cases, be imported as an informal entry. However, there are exceptions to this. For instance, if the importation is determined to be for commercial purposes, the value limit for filing an informal entry for many textile items is either $250 or $0 – depending on whether or not the item is subject to Quota (see below). Clearing goods through CBP as an informal entry is less arduous a process than clearing them by filing a formal entry. Essentially, when goods are cleared as an informal entry, CBP will prepare the paperwork, including determining the classification number and duty rate for your merchandise.
Formal Entries: If your goods are valued at more than $2500, or for commercial textile shipments (clothes/materials) regardless of value, you will be required to file a formal entry, which can require extensive paperwork and the filing of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection bond. As mentioned above and for various reasons, CBP may require a formal entry for any importation. CBP, however, rarely exercises this right unless there is a particular concern about the circumstances surrounding an importation.
Custom tax & duties for importing from China to US
The minimum threshold for import tax is $800. Goods valued below that are not subject to duty.
Are your products included in the 25% tariff list?
As of now, the product lists of imposing an additional 25% tariff on imported Chinese goods under the US-China trade war have gone through 3 different stages.
Products such as technological parts, electronics, and machinery used to make or process textiles, food, etc will be hit with a 25 percent of duties as a result.
The 3rd list cover categories such as consumer products, chemical and construction materials, textiles, tools, food and agricultural products, commercial electronic equipment and vehicle/automotive parts, etc.
The 4th list of China imports that are proposed to be subject to additional duties will cover essentially all the remaining U.S. imports from China, including the following categories:
- Agricultural and food products, including meat, dairy, produce, and alcohol;
- Industrial chemicals, minerals, and other raw materials;
- Live animals including livestock, insects, and birds;
- Steel and aluminum products currently excluded from List 1 duties during the comment period but subject to additional duties under Section 232;
- Other base metals;
- Textiles and apparel, including footwear;
- Household goods;
- Jewelry, gemstones, and precious metals;
- Machinery, computers, televisions, and other electronics;
- Vehicles including motorcycles, watercraft, and aircraft;
- Numerous categories of scrap and waste materials;
- Firearms, ammunition, and other weapons;
- Recreational equipment;
- Personal hygiene and grooming items; and
- Books and artwork.
Before checking the rate, there is some basic knowledge you should know about the H.S. code and HTS (Harmonized Tariff Schedule) which essentially determines the applicable tariff rate of all merchandise imported into the states. HTS specifies duty rate for virtually every item that exists, based on the item’s H.S code and country of origin.
Additional general import information
- Prohibited Merchandise: Purchasers should also be aware that some products might be considered contraband and cannot be brought into the United States under any circumstances. This includes the obvious, such as narcotics and child pornography, as well as less obvious items such as tainted food products, and other items, a list of which can be found in “Importing Into the United States.” Such merchandise can be seized by CBP, and attempts to import it may subject the importer to civil or even criminal sanctions. If you have any question at all about your purchase, you should contact your closest CBP port and get an opinion before you complete the transaction.
- Restricted Merchandise: Many items cannot be imported into the United States unless the importer has the proper permit or license from the appropriate regulatory authority. Some of the most common restricted items include food, plant and dairy products; alcohol and tobacco products; birds, fish or animals and products thereof, goods from embargoed countries, firearms and ammunition, cultural artifacts from certain countries, and copyrighted materials.