How to Import Camping Gear

A digital image depicting a family camping at a lake, completely several visible camping accessories such as a tent, hammock, kayaks, canoes, a charcoal grille, and bedroll backpack.
Tents, hiking boots and more are all on the list of camping gear imports into the U.S. Get expert tips for importing the most popular outdoor gear in this guide.
June 8, 2020
Last Modified: June 6, 2024
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There’s nothing quite like going camping for a weekend to enjoy some fresh air, go fishing, and kick back and relax outdoors. However, importing camping gear isn’t necessarily a walk in the park. 

Key Takeaways

  • The United States imported over $1 billion worth of outdoor and camping equipment in 2022.
  • Importing requires strict adherence to regulations set by the CBP, including the submission of documents and correct product code use of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). 
  • Many importers choose to work with customs brokers. These professionals can help ensure that all documentation is correctly submitted and that shipments comply with all necessary regulations.

In this guide, we’ll go over the fundamentals of importing camping gear into the USA. You’ll also learn how brokers from USA Customs Clearance can help you stay in accordance with CBP guidelines.

Basic Information About Importing Camping Gear

According to data from IndexBox.com, the U.S. was the largest importer of camping equipment in the world in 2022. During that year, importers brought approximately $1.2 billion worth of outdoor gear into the country. This serves as a clear indicator of the popularity these commodities enjoy among American consumers.

In that same year, a study conducted by Statista.com revealed some interesting facts about outdoor gear customers, which I’ve presented in the table below.

An infographic titled “Leading Shopping Habits of U.S. Outdoor Gear Customers (2022)”. The graphic presents information about buying habits among U.S. shoppers who purchased outdoor gear in 2022. The information is presented in percentages of respondents who agreed with a given statement and reads as follows:

Respondents who would prefer to buy camping gear from a small business: 63%
Respondents willing to pay a premium for sustainably sourced goods: 56%
Respondents who look for the least expensive brand: 27%

Source: https: www.statista.com

Given the percentage of buyers who prefer to avoid big box retailers for their camping equipment needs, these commodities present a great sales opportunity for small import businesses.

There are many 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

Regardless of what you’re importing, if you want to clear customs with your shipment, you’re going to need to submit the proper documents to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Clearing customs is a complicated process, and you must fill in these documents correctly. Otherwise, you risk delaying your shipment, or losing it entirely if CBP determines it should be destroyed.  

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

  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list
  • Bill of Lading (BOL) 
  • Arrival notice

These documents apply to any import transaction. However, importing goods that are regulated by another Partner Government Agency (PGA) may require you to fill out additional paperwork. 

For example, camping snacks like jerky or trail mix require you to comply with regulations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), such as filling out a Prior Notice of Imported Foods. If you’re importing walkie-talkies or radios, they’ll need to comply with the regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

You will also need a customs bond if your order exceeds $2,500 or if your imported goods are regulated by certain PGAs. 

USA CUSTOMS CLEARANCE
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HTSUS Codes for Camping Gear Imports

Products imported into the U.S. are classified by a 10-digit number known as an HTSUS code. These codes are used to identify commodities, and each includes a specific description. They 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 with our HTS lookup tool, but I’ve included some codes for common camping gear imports for you here:. 

  • 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 – 9404.30.40.00
    • 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 netting and 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. These errors can have significant consequences, including fines or seizure of goods by CBP. 

The experts at USA Customs Clearance have years of experience in tariff classification. If you need help finding the right HTS codes for your goods, our Licensed Customs Brokers are available to assist you.

Import Camping Gear with USA Customs Clearance

Americans love spending time in the great outdoors, and that means camping accessories enjoy steady, sustained popularity in the U.S. If you want to import these accessories to meet consumer demands, we can help.

At USA Customs Clearance, you’ll find expert assistance with every aspect of the import process. We can get your import moving through the U.S. border quickly and efficiently, saving you time and letting you focus on building your business without concerns about clearing U.S. customs. 

Our services for U.S. importers include:

Give us a call at (855) 912-0406 or contact us online for expert assistance with importing tents, sleeping bags, and other outdoor gear. 

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