How to Import Camping Gear

Tents, hiking boots and more are all on the list of camping gear imports into the U.S. But before you pack up and hit the trail, importing camping gear can be challenging if you don’t follow some good advice from experts.


Julia Hecht
June 8, 2020
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If you want to import camping gear into the U.S., then there are a few things you’re going to need to be aware of before you get started. There’s nothing quite like going camping for a weekend to enjoy some fresh air, go fishing, and kick back and relax in the sun. However, you probably know by now that trying to figure out how to import camping gear is far from a stress-free experience. The CBP exercises tight regulations for any product coming into the U.S., so if you want to import anything—even sleeping bags—then you’re going to need to follow the rules.

To import camping gear, you’re going to need to acquire a customs bond and submit multiple documents to CBP, including a BOL, commercial invoice, and packing list. You will also need to classify your shipment correctly, so you’ll need to find the right HTSUS code that applies to your product.

With a high margin for error when importing camping gear, many importers choose to work with a customs broker. USA Customs Clearance has a team of customs brokers that work directly with you. They ensure that your camping gear is imported safely and in accordance with CBP guidelines.

Work with a specialist to make importing and exporting to the USA a hassle-free process.
Get the details you need with our import consulting services.

Clearing Customs with Camping Gear Imports

Clearing Customs with Camping Gear Imports

There are many different kinds of camping, hiking, and outdoor gear that get imported into the U.S. on a regular basis, such as:

  • Tents
  • Sleeping bags
  • Fishing gear
  • Mosquito nets
  • Water filters
  • Canoes
  • kayaks
  • hiking boots
  • outdoor clothing
  • and more

Regardless of what you’re importing, if you want to clear customs with your shipment, you’re going to need to submit some documentation to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Clearing customs is a complicated process, but you need to make sure you fill in these documents correctly or you’ll end up waiting on a delayed shipment while CBP tries to deal with your mistakes. And that’s if you’re lucky—customs may destroy your shipment if it isn’t compliant with the laws. 

To import camping gear, you’re going to need to fill in and submit these documents to CBP:

  • A commercial invoice
  • A packing list
  • A Bill of Lading (BOL) 
  • An arrival notice

No matter what you’re importing, those documents need to be submitted. However, if you are importing something that is regulated by another government agency, there may be significantly more paperwork for you to fill out. For example, if you’re importing camping snacks like jerky or trail mix, then you’re going to need to comply with the regulations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If you’re importing walkie-talkies or radios, then you’ll need to comply with the regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

Go ahead and buy a customs bond today
and get your freight on the way around the globe.

HTSUS Codes for Camping Gear Imports

One of the most important things you will need to know about your shipment in order to properly complete all that paperwork is how your items are classified. Products being imported into the U.S. are classified by a 10-digit number known as a Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) code. That code describes what the product is, and they are often quite specific. These codes make it easier for customs to document each import, and quickly identify shipments that are considered higher risk than others.  

The HTSUS code is going to be different depending on what you need to import. You can look up specific products on the HTSUS Website, but some codes for common camping gear imports are listed below. 

  • Tents
    • Backpacking tents - 6306.22.10.00
    • Other - 6306.22.90.30
  • Sleeping Bags
    • Sleeping bags made of 20% or more by weight of feathers and/or down - 94040.30.40.00
    • Other - 9404.30.80.00
  • Fishing Gear
    • Fishing rods - 9507.10.00.40
    • Fishing rod parts - 9507.10.00.80
    • Snelled Fish hooks - 9507.20.40.00
    • Other fish hooks - 9507.20.80.00
    • Fishing line - 9507.90.20.00
    • Fishing reels valued less than $2.70 each - 9507.30.20.00
    • Fishing reels valued between $2.70 and $8.45 each - 9507.30.40.00
    • Fishing reels valued more than $8.45 each - 9507.30.60.00
    • Artificial bait - 9507.90.70.00
    • Fishing nets - 5608.90.10.00
  • Mosquito Nets
    • Cotton bed nets - 6304.20.00.20
    • Man-made fiber bed nets - 6304.20.00.40
    • Bed nets made of 85% or more by weight of silk - 6304.20.00.60
    • Other - 6304.20.00.70

Many importers make mistakes when classifying their goods. Errors in properly labeling goods can have significant consequences including seizure of goods by CBP or overpaying for import duties. 

A unique outdoor product that can definitely benefit from the help of a Licensed Customs Broker is an evaporative cooler. These air-cooling devices are beginning to see more outdoor use over time. Because of the confusing distinction with an air conditioner, it's worthwhile to have a broker properly classify this product. This will ensure your shipment is compliant and you're paying the correct import duty.

The experts at USA Customs Clearance have significant experience in tariff classification analysis. If you need help classifying your goods, our Licensed Customs Brokers are available to assist you.

Work with a specialist to make importing and exporting to the USA a hassle-free process.
Get the details you need with our import consulting services.

Import Camping Gear with the Help of a Customs Broker

Import Camping Gear with the Help of a Customs Broker

When it comes to importing camping gear, a helping hand can go a long way. The import process is complex and unforgiving, and if you make even a simple mistake, it can result in lengthy delays. That’s why many importers choose to work with a customs broker instead of by themselves. 

Customs brokers with USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC International, can help you understand the process and get your shipments cleared through customs as fast as possible. A customs broker can even submit documentation for your shipment on your behalf, so all you need to worry about is giving them the power of attorney—once that’s done, you simply sit back and let them handle everything for you.  

Import Camping Gear with USA Customs Clearance

Finally, you’re going to need a customs bond if you want to import camping gear into the U.S. A Customs bond is a type of insurance for CBP that is required for all commercial shipments, and any personal shipments valued at more than $2,500. It covers your customs duties, taxes, and fees if you find yourself unexpectedly unable to pay. With USA Customs Clearance, you can get a bond approval in no time at all, so you can get your import moving through the U.S. border sooner. 

In addition to that, we also offer import consulting services with experts in the field and licensed customs brokers, depending on your needs. If you need help understanding how to import camping gear, you can rely on us to keep you informed and prepared. We can also walk you through your import paperwork, answer all your questions, and help you book freight for your import.

Give us a call at (855) 912-0406 or schedule your consulting session online today.

Work with a specialist to make importing and exporting to the USA a hassle-free process.
Get the details you need with our import consulting services.
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