Importing Clothing to the USA: A Comprehensive Guide for Individuals and Businesses
By: Jack & Jeans
January 28, 2023
Are you considering importing clothing to the USA? Whether you are an individual or a company, there are a few things you need to know before you start importing. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about importing clothing to the USA, from the HS Code to the duty percentage.
HS Code for Clothing
The Harmonized System (HS) Code is a standardized system of names and numbers used to classify products for international trade. Each product has a unique HS Code, and clothing is no exception. The HS Code for clothing is either 61 or 62, depending on the type of clothing.
For instance, if you are importing a t-shirt, the HS Code would be 6109. If you are importing a pair of jeans, the HS Code would be 6204. You can find the HS Codes for different types of clothing by referring to the HS Tariff Schedule.
Here are some popular clothing items and their respective HS codes:
T-shirts: HS Code 6109.10.00
Jeans: HS Code 6204.62.31
Dresses: HS Code 6104.63.20
Hats: HS Code 6505.00.20
Shoes: HS Code 6403.99.60
It's important to ensure that you have the correct HS code for your product to avoid delays and additional charges at the customs clearance process.
Determining Duty Percentage
Duty is a tax that is charged on imported goods. Once you know the HS Code of the clothing, you can determine the duty percentage that you will have to pay when importing the clothing. The duty percentage varies depending on the type of clothing.
For example, the duty percentage for a cotton t-shirt is around 16%, while the duty percentage for a wool coat is around 28%. The duty percentage for clothing made in countries that have a free trade agreement with the USA may be lower or even zero.
Let's take a closer look at the tariff rates for some popular clothing items:
In addition to the duty percentage, you may also have to pay additional fees, such as merchandise processing fees, harbor maintenance fees, and anti-dumping/countervailing duties.
It's important to note that the tariff rates for clothing items can change frequently. You can check the current tariff rates on the United States International Trade Commission's website.
Other Charges Associated with Importing Clothing to the USA
Apart from customs duties, there are other charges associated with importing clothing to the USA. These charges include:
Freight charges: The cost of transporting the goods from the manufacturer to the USA.
Insurance charges: The cost of insuring the goods during transport.
Customs brokerage fees: The fee paid to a customs broker to help clear the goods through customs.
Merchandise processing fee (MPF): A fee based on the value of the imported goods. The MPF is currently 0.3464% of the entered value, with a minimum of $26.79 and a maximum of $519.76.
By understanding all of the charges associated with importing clothing to the USA, you can accurately calculate the total cost of importing your goods and plan accordingly.
When importing clothing to the USA, you will need to provide several documents, including:
Commercial Invoice: This document provides information about the products being imported, including the description, quantity, price, and country of origin.
Bill of Lading: This document is issued by the carrier and serves as a receipt for the goods being shipped.
Packing List: This document provides details about the contents of each package being shipped.
Importer Security Filing (ISF): This document is required for all ocean shipments entering the USA and must be filed at least 24 hours before the cargo is loaded onto the vessel.
Certificate of Origin: This document provides information about the origin of the products being imported and is used to determine the duty percentage.
Other Documents: Depending on the type of clothing and the country of origin, you may also need to provide additional documents, such as a phytosanitary certificate or a textile visa.
Outrank Your Competitors
Importing clothing to the USA can be a daunting task, but with the right information, you can streamline the process and save money. By knowing the correct HS codes for your products, you can avoid delays and additional charges at customs clearance. Understanding the tariff rates for different clothing items will help you accurately calculate the cost of importing your goods. Additionally, being aware of all of the other charges associated with importing clothing to the USA will allow you to plan accordingly and avoid any surprises.
If you're looking to outrank your competitors and expand your business, importing clothing to the USA is a smart move. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you'll be well on your way to successfully importing your clothing items to the USA.
Importing clothing to the USA can be a complex process, but by understanding the HS Code, duty percentage, restricted items, and documentation requirements, you can ensure a smooth and successful import. It is important to work with a trusted customs broker or freight forwarder who can help you navigate the regulations and requirements of importing clothing to the USA.
Here are some frequently asked questions related to importing clothing to the USA:
Do I need to obtain any licenses or permits to import clothing into the USA?
It depends on the type of clothing you are importing. Some clothing items, such as those made from animal hides, may require special licenses or permits. It's important to research the specific requirements for your products to ensure compliance with US regulations.
What is the maximum value of clothing that can be imported duty-free into the USA?
The maximum value of clothing that can be imported duty-free into the USA is $800 per day per person. However, this value may be lower for goods shipped from certain countries, and the rules may vary depending on the type of clothing being imported.
How do I calculate the total cost of importing clothing to the USA?
To calculate the total cost of importing clothing to the USA, you will need to consider several factors, including the cost of the clothing, shipping fees, duty fees, and any additional fees, such as merchandise processing fees and anti-dumping/countervailing duties.
What is the process for clearing clothing through US Customs?
When importing clothing to the USA, you will need to provide several documents to US Customs, including a commercial invoice, packing list, and bill of lading. The clothing will then go through a customs inspection, where it will be examined for compliance with US regulations.
What should I do if my clothing is seized by US Customs?
If your clothing is seized by US Customs, you will receive a notice of detention and seizure. It's important to act quickly and consult with a customs attorney to determine the best course of action for resolving the issue.