From weight machines to treadmills, you want a complete set-up of fitness equipment for your commercial gym or other business. One way to get the exercise center you need is to import fitness equipment. When you import fitness equipment, you can get the gym equipment you need at a fraction of the price as buying domestically.
Regardless of whether you’re a wholesaler or gym owner, knowing how to import fitness equipment can help you get your business in shape. Learn about how to find a supplier, how to pay for imports and more.
China is the world’s largest exporter of goods, and this includes gym equipment. In fact, China’s fitness industry is booming and exports are growing at an exponential pace. China exported more than $9.7 billion in sports and fitness equipment to the global market in 2017, representing nearly 40 percent of the world’s market share.
On the same token, the sale of fitness equipment in the United States is big business. Sporting goods wholesaling, including fitness equipment, is expected to reach a revenue of $34 billion in 2019. This means that imported fitness exercise equipment is part of a booming industry.
With growth in China’s industry and high revenue in the U.S., it is easy to see why importing fitness equipment from China is a wise business move for wholesalers. Gym owners can get in on the import action by bringing in their own equipment, too. Regardless of why you’re importing from China, there are several things you need to know.
The first step in importing goods from China is finding a supplier. Many wholesalers and gym owners turn to websites like Alibaba.com and Globalsources.com to find products to import.
It is also possible to import fitness equipment from China directly from the manufacturer. Many of China’s top fitness equipment manufacturers are located in the country’s southeast coastal region. The provinces of Shanghai, Guangdong, Shandong, and Jiangsu are all known for making fitness equipment. Chinese manufacturers design and make some of the world’s most popular quality fitness equipment for the domestic and international market. Chinese manufacturers make and design fitness equipment including:
Ten of the top Chinese exercise equipment manufacturers are:
Another way you can source quality fitness equipment is at trade shows. Attending a trade show for the health and fitness industry can help you get the inside scoop on the latest in quality fitness equipment. Trade shows for importers of fitness equipment include:
There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for fitness equipment to import, especially if you’re a wholesaler or will be selling directly to consumers. There are a few questions you might ask yourself about the products you might be importing. You can remember these questions by following a simply acronym: MAPS. MAPS is an acronym for the following four words: marketable, affordable, profitable and sellable. When you find a supplier or manufacturer you’d like to work with, keep MAPS in mind. Things to think about with MAPS include:
When you ask yourself these questions, you can be sure the exercise equipment you are importing will perform well on the market.
After you’ve settled on a fitness equipment product to import, it’s time to place an order. One thing to be aware of when placing an order is minimum order quantity, also known as MOQ. Some Chinese and international wholesalers and manufacturers impose a MOQ. The MOQ might be low (just a few products) or high (hundreds or thousands of products) depending on the equipment you are importing. For example, large equipment like treadmills likely have a lower MOQ than smaller equipment like yoga mats.
It’s importing to figure out the quantities you need and make MOQ work for you.
When you import fitness equipment, you’ll need to know how to make payment. You’ll find working with foreign suppliers is a little different than working with domestic suppliers. This means you can’t swipe a credit card or write a check from your business account. You might find that in most cases, Chinese suppliers prefer methods of payment that involve a bank.
Common ways to pay for imported goods include:
You will likely choose a method of payment with many factors in mind. The seller’s preference, the risks and the benefits of a certain method might influence your decision. The next step after paying for your imported fitness equipment if figuring out how to get it here. Learn more about how to get your imports moving.
There’s a lot to think about when you import fitness equipment. Things like container fees, broker fees, product packaging, ports of entry, handling and customs bonds might come to mind. Working with a Licensed Customs Broker can help you arrange shipping and help you navigate customs, making the entire process easier.
Here are a few terms you need to know when importing fitness equipment:
One way you can save money on shipping imports from China is bulk shipping. Items that are shipped in bulk from China are moved 20 or 40 foot containers. Standard containers are 8 feet wide and 8.5 feet high. A full cargo container can hold up to 61,000 lbs of goods.
There are two main options for cargo containers when shipping imported fitness equipment from China. You can choose between full cargo load (FCL) or loose cargo load (LCL). If you are shipping more than 5 pallets of fitness equipment from China, you might choose FCL shipping. If your gym equipment cargo is less than 5 pallets, you might choose LCL. When you ship imports via LCL, your freight shares space with other cargo in a container. Usually similar goods are grouped together.
Ocean freight can take some time to arrive. You might wait between two weeks and 2 months for your freight to arrive. You might have to wait some additional time for customs clearance.
If you’re shipping small amounts of fitness equipment from China and you’re in a hurry, air freight might be an option. Air freight is often more expensive than sea freight. You Licensed Customs Broker can help you figure out the best shipping option for you.
When you import fitness equipment, or any other product, you need to make sure it complies with all U.S. safety standards. Labeling and document requirements are important, too. There are a few exercise equipment and related products subject to government regulations in the U.S.:
Many gym and fitness products are also regulated by the FDA. You might be surprised to know that electronics, like treadmills and other electric gym equipment, are subject to the FDA’s jurisdiction. The FDA has a set of guidelines that must be met, otherwise your exercise equipment and products will be denied at the port of entry.
When you import fitness equipment, all products must be labeled clearly with the correct product codes. In addition to product codes, your imported equipment must also meet labeling requirements. It is important that all products are labeled in English with a brief description of the product. The country of origin must also be labeled. Certification, safety and warning labels are important, too.
When you’re working with your supplier, it’s important to ask for product certificates and existing test reports. It might be wise to ask for test reports for the specific item you are importing. If your products are denied entry, they could be destroyed, so it is important to make sure all regulations are met and all paperwork is correct.
In addition to meeting government regulations, you’ll have a few more obligations when you import fitness equipment. The Harmonized Tariff Schedule lists out the duty percentages you’ll have to pay on your imports. You’ll also need a few documents to import fitness equipment. These documents include:
There are a few things to keep in mind when you import fitness equipment. Questions you might want to ask yourself before importing goods include:
If you are importing fitness equipment for commercial purposes, you will need a customs bond. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) mandates that a customs bond is required when your imports are worth more than $2,500 or when they are subject to another federal agency’s regulations.
You might compare a customs bond to an insurance policy. A customs bond makes sure that duties and taxes will be paid on the imported goods. A customs bond is likely needed regardless of whether your imports are entering the country by air or by sea. If you don’t have a customs bond and one is required for your imports, your shipment will likely face serious delays.
Are you working with a Licensed Customs Broker to import fitness equipment? Your Licensed Customs Broker can help guide you through the process of purchasing a customs bond. In some cases, you might be able to use the broker’s bond to secure your imports.
There are two types of customs bonds you can choose from when you import fitness equipment. The bond you select will depend on how often you plan to import goods. The differences between bond types is easy to understand.
You might be able to use your Licensed Customs Broker’s bond to cover your transaction. If you’re handling the import yourself, you need to get a bond. You can obtain a customs bond through USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC International.
Working with a Licensed Customs Broker to ensure your shipment of imports goes smoothly can be a good idea. Your Customs Broker can make sure that your imported fitness equipment crosses borders and customs in a timely matter. Your Licensed Customs Broker can also help you make sure your imports meet all federal requirements and guidelines.
Additionally, working with a Licensed Customs Broker comes with many value-added services. Services a Customs Broker can offer when importing fitness equipment include:
Your Licensed Customs Broker is on your side throughout the import process. Let a Licensed Customs Broker make it easy to import fitness equipment.
It should be smooth sailing after you have met with a Licensed Customs Broker, done all the paperwork and paid all the fees. Unfortunately, in a few rare cases, products can arrive damaged.
If your imports arrived damage, you have some options for recourse. The first thing to do when your fitness equipment arrives damaged is to file a claim with your carrier. It’s best when this is done immediately. With many carriers, the window to submit a claim is just 60 days. This means time is of the essence when it comes to filing a claim. It is wise to collect all the evidence of the damage before you reach out to the proper parties to file the claim. Steps you can take when filing a claim for fitness equipment that arrives damaged includes:
When you file the claim for the damaged imports, it is wise to include all paperwork and photographs. A detailed description of the products and the damages should also be included. If you know how the damaged occured, this information can be helpful, too. You’ll also want to send over any inspection reports. You should keep a record of all the submitted information until the claim has been completed and paid. If the claim is not acknowledged within 30 days of your submission, think about reaching out to the carrier to let them know about these violations. You’ll need proof of your claim when reaching out.
Your fitness equipment and goods will be delivered to you after they are released from customs clearance. When released, an appointment to pick up the goods will be scheduled. Goods will then be delivered to your place of business or warehouse. Your goods might be shipped from the port of entry on a train or on a truck. They will most likely be delivered to your place of business or warehouse on a truck.
You’ll likely find that USA Customs Clearance can make it easy to import fitness equipment. We can handle all sort of imports, including importing art procedures. USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC International, offers value-added customs brokerage services. These services can help you navigate rules and regulations and get your imported products moving without headache or hassle.
To get started, reach out to a support agent by taking advantage of the chat feature below. An agent is available to answer your questions and help you get started with the import process.