Many people get the idea of importing products from China. But they have a lot of questions and don’t know how to start. Here I list what they are most concerned about. So you can have a clearer understanding of the whole importing process and prepare better.

Do you need a license to import from China to the USA?

CBP does not require an importer to have a license or permit to import merchandise into the USA. But you need to prepare certificates for some special product categories, such as CPC for importing products for children under 12 years old, FCC certificate for electronic products, FDA certificate for food and cosmetics, etc.

For specific requirements, you can ask your supplier or freight forwarder.

Where to find suppliers for importing from China to the USA?

Find Chinese suppliers by yourself

In this e-commerce era, more and more importers find suppliers online. The most popular Chinese wholesale websites are listed below.


Alibaba is the best and largest wholesale platform in the world with the most comprehensive product categories. Many Chinese factories and trading companies open stores here.

To buy from Alibaba, you can directly send suppliers inquiries, or you can use Alibaba RFQ and wait for suitable suppliers to contact you.

Never 100% believe that all “Verified Suppliers” on Alibaba are reliable. This title can be obtained by paying a membership fee.

Made-in-China & Global sources

Made-in-China and Global Sources are two perfect alternatives of Alibaba. They focus on different product categories.

Made-in-China has got more professional suppliers focusing on apparel, craft, vehicle, and machinery industries while Globalsource is for the electronics and gifts industry.

The MOQ and product prices on these two sites are similar with those on Alibaba. Bacause many Chinese suppliers open stores on three platforms.

DHgate and AliExpress

The biggest advantage of DHgate and AliExpress is requiring a smaller MOQ. AliExpress is more suitable for those who offer dropshipping services because buying 1 or 2 products is acceptable on AliExpress. DHgate is more suitable for startups and B2C e-commerce sellers who can wholesale a small amount of the products to test their market.

find suppliers on wholesale website

Find Chinese suppliers through a sourcing company

More and more importers wholesale products from China to the USA by sourcing companies. Most of these companies are located in Chinese industry clusters and integrate a lot of supplier resources. They can find suppliers more efficient than you.

In addition, they provide various sourcing services. From supplier selection, sample making, mass production, quality inspection, to cargo transportation, they can control the whole process well and make it smoother.

Thus, sourcing agent is a good choice, especially when you have no related experience or you want a profession team to manage your supply chain. You don’t need to worry about anything related to importing from China.

Contact the best sourcing company in China.

Do you want to buy existing products or customize products?

If you want to buy existing products, then you only need to choose a supplier and ask the supplier to send you the sample for inspection. If you think it is ok, you can place an order. Then the supplier can delivery the goods to you.

If you want to customize products, that is, make adjustments on existing products, it can be a challenge for you. Because the process is complex and it takes a lot of time and effort. If you directly contact the factory for customization, you may encounter these problems:

  1. Factories always can’t understand your ideas, especially when you don’t give them design drawings or specification sheets but just simply tell them what product you want.
  2. You are refused because your order is too small to meet the MOQ of the factory.
  3. The factory doesn’t take it very serious for your small but troublesome order

At this time, sourcing agent is the wisest choice for you.

Customize your products with JingSourcing.

Does your product need a quality inspection?

QC is very important when importing. Because unlike shopping in your local store, you can return it to the store if you find that the product is defective when you go home. When importing from China to the USA, it is very troublesome to return the product back after it has been shipped to you. The supplier may not agree to your return request. And even if they do, you have to pay additional high fees (shipping fees, duties, etc.). And it’s a long process.

So the best way is to check the defect rate of the product before shipping out of China, and contact the supplier in time for re-production or compensation. In this way, the goods you receive will not have too many problems. You can find a third-party quality inspection company or a sourcing agent to inspect the goods.

Sourcing company VS third party inspection company, which one should you choose?

How can you ship your cargo to the USA?

Different shipping method has different shipping time, freight cost and applicable conditions.

If you want to ship a package less than 500kg, you can choose express delivery such as UPS, FedEx, and DHL. The delivery time is 4-7 days.

If your cargo is more than 500kg and you want to receive the cargo quickly, you can choose air freight. The shipping time is similar to express delivery, but the cost is cheaper.

When your cargo is more than 2 CBM with low value, and you are not hurry to receive the goods, you can choose sea freight. It is the cheapest way to import from China. The shipping time is 25-40 days.

Check the shipping solutions if you want to ship your cargo.

Do you need a freight forwarder to help you?

Many importers always ask how to import from China without agents. However, freight forwarders are important and indispensable. They can help you ship goods from China to the USA. But as they are middlemen, you may think if you can bypass them and book space directly with shipping companies or airlines?

That’s not practical. Now the shipping company is not responsible for collecting cargo, loading and unloading, transportation, customs clearance, etc. These things are all handed over to their agent – freight forwarders.

Therefore, no one will book directly with the shipping company. They are all looking for a freight forwarder, unless your cargo volume is particularly large, such as dozens or even hundreds of containers a month.

What shipping incoterms should you use?

The way your supplier quotes is related to shipping incoterms. When you inquire the quotation, you should ask which incoterm it is.

When importing from China to the USA, FOB and CIF are the most commonly used. The formula below can help you clearly figure out what is included in their quotes.

FOB quotation = product price + freight from the factory to the China Port + customs declaration fee in China

CIF quotation = product price + shipping cost from China Port to USA Port + customs declaration fee in China + Insurance

Under FOB terms, you need your own freight forwarder to send the goods from China to the United States, so it is more suitable for those with import experience.

If you are a novice and cannot find a reliable freight forwarder, you’d better choose CIF terms. Your seller often has a cooperative freight forwarder who can help you deliver the goods to the USA. You only need to collect the goods at the US port and clear through customs.

What should you do for customs clearance?

You need to apply for a customs clearance, hand in AMS filing and ISF, submit the documents required (Packing List, B/L, etc), pay customs duties and taxes, and then wait for customs to release your cargo.

Another thing is to buy a customs bond. It is an assurance to the customs that you will comply with all customs regulations and pay all customs fees and fines on time. When you import goods valued at $2,500 or more, it is mandatory.

Customs clearance is a complex process, if you hire a forwarder, he can deal with all these things for you. Or you can find a local customs broker who also can offer you these services.

How much import tax should you pay?

Import Duty

Any goods valued at $800 or more are subject to import duties when they enter the USA. Most of the time, the duty is charged in the percentage of customs value.

FOB quotation = product price + freight from the factory to the China Port + customs declaration fee in China

You can find the customs value on Commercial Invoice. The duty rate is decided by the HS code and product category. You need to correctly classify your product to get the right HS code and duty rate. If you can’t, please turn to your freight forwarder or your sourcing agent.

Merchandise Processing Fees (MPF)

MPF applies to all air and sea shipments and is calculated as 0.3464% of the value of goods. The minimum value is $27.75, and the maximum value is $538.40.

Harbor Maintenance Fees (HMF)

HMF only applies to sea freight shipments and is set at 0.125% of the value of the goods. It has no minimum or maximum value.

If you want to calculate the total import tax you should pay to the US customs, it should be Import Duty + MPF + HMF.

Why can Jingsourcing make your importing process smoother?

We integrate factory resources all over China, such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhejiang, etc. With abundant resources, we can quickly filter the best factory for any product at competitive prices, which is our greatest advantage. Even if yout order is small, we still can find factories to produce your goods. Thus, we are especially suitable for small and medium business importers.

What’s more, most of our clients are from the USA and EU. So we are quite experienced in the whole importing process. We can solve any related problems, from supplier selection, sample making, customization, mass production, quality inspection, cargo transportation to customs clearance. We have 1-by-1 sourcing agent to guide you import from China step by step.

Start your import business with JingSourcing right now.

0 0 votes