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Importing Electric Scooters Into the U.S.

Importing Electric Scooters Into the U.S.
Since electric scooters are considered motor vehicles, there are a list of documents that must be in place 24 hours before loading the shipment. The process is outlined for importers to follow and easily implement.
June 22, 2020
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Last Modified: January 16, 2024

Whether it’s for personal use or business reasons, importing electric scooters into the U.S. can be a tricky task to deal with. The rules and regulations surrounding the import of electric scooters can be challenging to navigate. From locating the proper documentation to calculating customs duties, there are many tasks to manage during the import process.

If you’re importing electric scooters into the U.S. as a wholesaler or retailer, there are a number of steps you need to take in order to safely import them. This includes properly completing a DOT/NHTSA HS-7 Declaration which covers the importation of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment. An Importer Security Filing (ISF) is also required and must be submitted 24 hours before the electric scooters are loaded at the departure port.

Our team at USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC International is able to provide you with everything you need during our customs consulting sessions. You can also purchase a continuous customs bond from us to ensure your shipment is covered and all necessary duties, and fees are paid. 

Rules and Regulations For Importing Electric Scooters

Rules and Regulations For Importing Electric Scooters

To import electric scooters into the U.S, it’s important that the scooters in question meet specific requirements to be considered non-motor vehicles. This means they must meet the following guidelines:

  • The electric scooters must not exceed a top speed of 20 mph
  • They must also be equipped with an electric motor that is under 750 watts
  • The pedals must be operable
  • The electric scooter must not contain brake lights, turning signals or mirrors

In some cases, electric bicycles may contain brake lights, turning signals and mirrors but still have a top speed of under 20 mph. In this case, your bike will be considered in a gray area and it may not be eligible for import into the U.S as a non-motor vehicle. Regardless, you’ll need to complete DOT/NHTSA HS-7 Declaration Form. This document covers motor vehicles intended for on-road use, as well non-road vehicles. Properly completing this form when importing electric scooters is vital to the success of the shipment.

By following these regulations and speaking with manufacturers before importing, you can safely ensure that your electric scooters will be classified as non-motor vehicles and will be allowed for import.

Another popular and profitable item to import is bicycles. To find out what’s required to import bicycles, check out our article The Complete Guide to Importing Bicycles.

Are All Scooters Subject to the Same Regulations?

There are exceptions to the 20 mph rule. While most electric scooters will fit this description, there are some electric scooters that can exceed 20 mph but still be eligible for import into the U.S. These electric scooters must be declared for off-road use. For this, the electric scooter must meet the following requirements:

  • Scooters lacking seats or operated in stand-up mode
  • Scooters lacking brake lights, turning signals, mirrors and horn
  • Scooters must be declared for off-road use only if they meet the above conditions
  • These scooters cannot be used on public roads

Make sure you communicate with your manufacturer and examine the electric scooter before you decide to import it into the U.S. We highly suggest that you request visual confirmation of the electric scooter to ensure that there are no delays during the import process. Once you are ready and have paid the overseas manufacturer or vendor, you can then arrange an ISF filing and customs clearance service.

Importing Electric Scooters From China

Importing Electric Scooters From China

Importing electric scooters into the U.S. from China will require a lot of back and forth communication between you and your supplier. It’s vital that you seek the technical specification of the scooter to ensure that it meets the rules and regulations to define it as a non-motor vehicle. Importing from China will typically require that you have a customs bond, especially for larger shipments that are over $2,500 in value.

You often have two options when importing electric scooters into the U.S. from China:

  • Branded distributors are established brands that are selling their products from within China. This means that the brand is already well-known, meaning you’ll have an easier time marketing the product. You also don’t need to wait as long to receive your product since it will be ready-made and in stock at the time of order.
  • OEM means that products are sold under your brand. This offers you more flexible marketing choices but requires that you communicate with manufacturers to ensure that the product is branded correctly. It also takes longer and it’s often difficult to find a high-quality supplier to work with.

Do I Need a Customs Bond When Importing Electric Scooters?

In most cases, a customs bond is a prerequisite for importing from China, especially in large item quantities. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection mandate that any goods valued at $2,500 or more must have a formal entry filed and will require a customs bond. The customs bond ensures that all necessary import duties and fees are paid to CBP.

You have two options to get a customs bond.

  1. Purchasing from a licensed surety company that simply provides a bond
  2. Work with a licensed customs broker and use their bond to cover your transactions and also receive shipping and logistics support.

There are also two different types of customs bond; single-entry bond and continuous bond.

  • A single-entry customs bond covers a single shipment of imported goods from China to the U.S. This can often be more difficult to get than a customs bond, but is often recommended if you don’t plan to import more than ten times in a single year.
  • A continuous customs bond is also known as an annual bond. This covers all of your shipments for a one-year period and is recommended if you plan to import goods in multiple shipments. 

USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC International, offers annual customs bonds for just $235*. What sets us apart from other customs bond providers is our service goes beyond the bond. We’ll work with you to arrange for other supply chain and logistics services including transportation, warehousing, order fulfillment, and more. 

Importing Services Through USA Customs Clearance

If you’re looking to import electric scooters into the U.S. or are interested in bringing other products into the country, look no further than USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC International. We understand the frustration and confusion that comes with importing goods into the U.S. Working with our team of Licensed Customs Brokers and Import Customs Experts will alleviate this confusion and get your goods imported quickly and without issue.

Reach out to our team at (855) 912-0406 to purchase your customs bond or schedule your customs consulting sessions today.

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3 comments on “Importing Electric Scooters Into the U.S.”

  1. I have made initial down payment for 13 electric motorcycles from China. Have ISO & VINs, but no DOT. Supplier has negotiated a door to door delivery with me. What chance DOT cause problem at port?

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