Import From China Business

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Import Products

Overview of Import Products

Here are some easy to import products from China because there are no restrictions, prohibitions or special requirements.  They are perfect for the import entrepreneur just starting out.  The products require just the standard forms and import processes.  You will need to get acquainted with the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to establish your tariff rates.  The ideas below are based on the 2010 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

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12 Easy to Import Products

  1. Imitation Jewelry

    Costume or Imitation Jewelry is a hot item especially for the aging baby boomer population in the United States.  They include bracelets, rings, pins, necklaces and earrings.  Most are imported into the U.S. from China, South Korea or Taiwan.

    Under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, Imitation Jewelry is within the heading of 7117.  If the product is imported from a most favored nation, the tariff rate is free.  For the majority of other countries, the rates vary depending on the subheading of the goods.  They range from free for necklaces (7117.90.10 00) to 11% for ropes & chains with a value over 33 cents per meter (7117.19.20 00).  For restricted countries, the rates are substantially higher; up to 110%.
  2. Umbrellas

    Umbrellas have been widely accepted as fashion accessories in both Eastern and Western cultures.  They provide a golden opportunity for the importer.  Heading 6601 (umbrellas and sun umbrellas) is part of Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States' Chapter 66.   For umbrellas originated from most favored nations, the tariff is free but the tariff rate for is 40% for items coming from restricted countries.  For most other countries, tariff rates vary from free for heading/subheading 6601.91.00 00 (umbrellas having a telescopic shaft) to 6.5% for heading/subheading 6601.10.00 00 (garden or similar umbrellas).
  3. Household Appliances

    The United States imports a large portion of its household appliances from the Far East and from Mexico.  This category can range from small appliances to major appliances.  Major kitchen appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators must meet government energy requirements.

    For example, refrigerators are under the heading of 8418 within the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.  The duty is free for almost all countries except for restricted countries where it is 35%.

    For air conditioning units, the classification heading is 8415.  The tariff rate is free for most favored nations.  For the majority of other countries, the rates vary from 1% to 2.2% depending on the subheading of the goods.  For restricted countries,  the tariff is 35%.
  4. Leather Goods

    The bulk of the leather goods for the U.S. market are imported from developing countries including China.   Due to the labor intensiveness, the production of leather goods favors those countries with a cheap labor supply.

    The heading of 4202 under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States covers travel goods, handbags and similar containers.  The tariffs range from free to 20% for most countries depending on the product's subheading.  For restricted countries, the rate can be as high as 110%.

5.  Art

Importing art from China for resale in the United States can become a lucrative import business.

Chapter 97 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States covers works of art, collectors' pieces and antiques. There are six headings within Chapter 97 varying from 9701 (Paintings, drawings and pastels, executed entirely by hand) to 9706 (Antiques of an age exceeding one hundred years).  Regardless which country the goods are imported from, the great thing about products in this chapter is that all tariffs are free.

6.  Brushes

The making of brushes is a 1,000 year old handicraft.  Much of the natural bristle brushes come from China, India, France, Poland or Russia.  This category is broad and the cost per unit is low.  It is a perfect opportunity for someone getting started in importing.

Heading 9603 within the chapter 96 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States describes the tariffs for brooms, brushes, hand-operated mechanical floor sweepers, not motorized, mops and feather dusters; prepared knots and tufts for broom or brush making; paint pads and rollers; squeegees.

This heading of goods provides a great opportunity for the importer into the USA.  For most favored nations, the tariff rate is free. For the majority of countries, the tariff rates range from free for feather dusters (9603.90.40 00) to 7.5% for paint rollers (9603.40.20 00).  For brushes coming from restricted countries, the tariff rate can be as high as 50%.

7.  Lighting Fixtures

Lighting fixtures imported into the United States must conform to the government's electrical and safety standards.  As part of the import process, the importer must obtain certification to prove that the imported goods do conform to the U.S. government standards.

Lamps and lighting fittings fall under the heading of 9405 within the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.  Depending on the product's subheading, the tariff rates range from 2% to 12% for most countries.  For most favored nations, the rate is free but it is up to 80% for restricted countries.

8.  Musical Instruments

Importing musical instruments from China is another great opportunity for the import entrepreneur.  Chapter 92 within the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States covers "musical instruments; parts and accessories of such articles"

Chapter 92 is divided into nine headings ranging from heading 9201 (Pianos, including player pianos; harpsichords and other keyboard stringed instruments) to heading 9209 (Parts and accessories of musical instruments; metronomes, tuning forks and pitch pipes of all kinds).  The tariffs range from free to 8.7% for most countries depending on the product's subheading.  For restricted countries, the rate can be as high as 45%.

9.  Artificial Flowers

Artificial flowers were popular in China long before the invention of plastics.  Importing artificial flowers to meet the consumer demand in the U.S. market is another import business opportunity for the entrepreneur.

Heading 6702 within Chapter 67 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States details the import of artificial flowers, foliage and fruit and parts thereof; articles made of artificial flowers, foliage or fruit.  For the majority of countries of origin, the tariff rates vary from free to 17% depending on the subheading.  For restricted countries, it is as high as 71.5%.

10. Artificial Furs

Top designers are making huge hits with their artificial fur designs. Things like coats and hats are “in” due to the global awareness of cruelty to animals.  This generates a tremendous opportunity for the importer.

The heading/subheading for artificial furs is 4304.00.00 00 within Chapter 43 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.  For artificial furs coming from most favored nations, the tariff rate is free.  For origin from the rest of the countries, the tariff rate is 6.5% with the exception of items from restricted countries where the tariff rate is 74%.

11. Sporting Goods

China supplies a growing share of the world’s demand for sporting goods.  Chapter 95 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States outlines the import duties for “toys, games and sports equipment; parts and accessories thereof”.   

There are a number of different headings of goods varying from 9506 (articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics, athletics, other sports including table-tennis or outdoor games, swimming pools and wading pools; parts and accessories) to 9507 (fishing rods, fish hooks and other line fishing tackle; fish landing nets, butterfly nets and similar nets; decoy "birds" and similar hunting or shooting equipment; parts and accessories).  

The tariff rate for most favored nations is free for all chapter 95 goods.  For a majority of other countries, the tariff rates vary from free (9506.99.05, archery articles and equipment and parts and accessories) to 9.2% (9507.30.20 00 fishing reels, valued not over $2.70 each).  For restricted countries of origin, the tariff rate can be as high as 80% for swimming pools.

12. Ceramic Products

Ceramics have been associated with the Chinese for generations. Objects made from ceramics have been found in burials.  They also have been traded and collected for centuries.  There is a demand for such ceramic products for the American market. Chapter 69 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States discusses the import of ceramic products.

This broad chapter covers products such as bricks, blocks, tiles and other ceramic goods of siliceous fossil meals (heading 6901) and statuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles (heading 6913).  Import tariffs range from free for 6901 heading (blocks, tiles, bricks) to 25% for heading 6911 (tableware, kitchenware, other household articles).  Chapter 69 products originating from restricted countries can pay up to 75% in tariffs.

The above is a list of 12 simple items that you can start your import business.  They are goods that you could import into the USA with standard customs procedures.  Whether you import from China or from another country, the products are ideal opportunities.


Real Experiences!

Michelle C. - Import from China to USA

“As someone new in the import business, your advice on import from China is excellent. Your list of Easy to Import products quickly helped me to narrow down my own list.  We now import leather goods to Florida. Thanks.”