Importing granite and marble to the U.S. can be an excellent business decision. A steady growth of infrastructure and construction development keeps these and other natural stones in high demand. Even better, marble and granite aren’t as heavily regulated as some other construction materials. However, standard import regulations still apply and need to be adhered to.
When it comes to importing marble or granite to the U.S., several requirements need to be met. Standard import documents must be included and accurately completed. Most shipments will arrive via ocean and require an ISF Filing as well.
To ensure your marble or granite shipment arrives safely and is imported without any issues, many importers choose to work with a customs broker. USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC International, is a licensed customs broker that can handle all of your importing needs. We provide a full suite of customs brokerage services that are designed to make the customs clearance process simple and easy.
To learn more about how to import marble and granite, read through our comprehensive guide below.
It’s always important to have an experienced hand to guide you through the clearance process as far as importing marble and granite requirements are concerned. A reliable customs broker will be able to handle all the requirements and ensure a smooth clearance process process.
While granite and marble are not subject to regulation from other government agencies, they still need to comply with standard CBP requirements. This includes making sure standard import documents are included. Having the right document preparation will save you a great deal of frustration. There are four main documents that are required to clear customs easily and quickly. Each document is explored in detail below.
This is used for foreign trade and contains vital information about the products you want to ship internationally. These include the destination of the product and the manufacturer’s origin. This invoice comes with other requirements such as packaging type, description of goods, date, terms of sale, and more. One of the primary purposes of a commercial invoice lies in calculating the import duties. Plus, it must be able to identify both the seller and the buyer of the products. It’s important to ensure that the commercial invoice is clear and properly completed.
This is provided by the freight forwarder or shipper, and can also be used by customs to inspect the cargo being shipped.
The packing list includes import information about the cargo including:
Both the packing list and the invoice work hand-in-hand to make available the important information needed for the customs clearance process. However, it is important to note that the packing list cannot be used as a substitute for the commercial invoice, as the former is only used to confirm the cargo.
The bill of lading is the document that the carrier of the cargo issues to the shipper of the goods. This important document is essential for the exporters to be able to get their payment. It is also necessary for the importers to be able to receive their merchandise. The Bill of Lading is also needed in the case of any loss, delay, or damage to the product, for compensation. Additionally, it also used to provide a tracking number to track your product or cargo. Plus, it also includes all the important international shipping details.
The arrival notice is given by the carrier of the cargo as soon as it enters U.S. territory. It is important to keep in mind that the arrival notice does not necessarily mean a release document. Instead, the arrival notice provides the consignee with the details needed to make the necessary customs clearance and make arrangements to pick up the products.
The easiest and fastest way to make this process run smoothly is by hiring the services of a reliable customs broker. As soon as the arrival notice is received by the importer or their representative customs broker, the information is processed electronically to all necessary parties. This expedites the transportation process and gets products moving quicker
If the shipment is coming via the ocean, an ISF filing will also be required. The ISF filing deadline is 24 hours before the cargo is loaded onto the ship that is headed for the U.S. It is a mandated deadline that is enforced by the CBP. Failure to meet this deadline can result in a $5,000 fine. There are certain elements that should be included in the ISF filing. These are:
According to the CPB, the importer is solely responsible for the ISF filing. That is the individual or person bringing in the products via the ocean within the limits of a port in the U.S.
CBP requires a customs bond for commercial shipments valued at over $2,500. A customs bond acts as an insurance policy and ensures that import duties are paid to CBP. USA Customs Clearance offers annual customs bond for just $245.
Typically, the import duty for granite is between 0-4%, while marble is between 0 and 5%. The exact duty that is applied to import shipments will depend on the HTS code applied to the product. There are various HTS codes used for both marble and granite and the duties for each are different. For the most part, the specific classification depends on the amount of modifications that have been done to the marble or granite.
Marble and granite from China may have additional tariffs applied due to Section 301. These additional tariffs can range anywhere from 10 to 25%. If you’re importing marble and granite from a country that the U.S. has a Free Trade Agreement with, you’ll reap the benefits. You’ll pay no import duty in this situation as long as you provide the necessary documents required by the free trade agreement. To learn more, check out our article that covers U.S. Free Trade Agreements.
India possesses a vast variety of natural stones that include sandstone, granite, marble, slate, limestone, and quartzite - all spread across the country. In addition to this, India is also one of the largest raw materials producing countries that apply the most advanced technology when it comes to the quarrying and processing of stones. Plus, the country’s raw materials combine superior quality with affordable prices. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of sourcing granite and marble from India.
Because of the country’s vast supply of natural stones, availability is hardly an issue. Natural stones from India are also competitively priced, making them one of the most affordable on the market. Also, because the country employs one of the most advanced technologies into their stone quarrying and processing methods, their products are usually of very high quality. India also has a generally positive trading relationship with the U.S.,making trade less complicated than some other countries.
Despite the many positives associated with sourcing granite from India, the country does not have a free trade agreement with the U.S. The distance between both countries also means that the cost of shipping and shipping time is on the higher side. Plus, because both countries belong to different time zones, there is always the possibility of communication challenges between both countries.
Just like India, Brazil has also solidified its place as a top global producer of granite. With the necessary skills, expertise, techniques, and equipment at their disposal, the country has discovered vast deposits of granite as well as other natural stones. Today Brazil mines hundreds of different colors of granite from its several quarries across the country.
Aside from its granite production, Brazil also produces an array of other natural stones that include marble and quartzite. However, the granite production accounts for about 70% of all the granite countertops globally. Despite the different types of conditions required to mine granite in Brazil, the country is still one of the most dominant forces when it comes to the export of these natural stones. This is partly due to the fact that the people of Brazil value granite as part of their economy.
Here are some of the pros and cons of souring granite from Brazil.
Just like India, Brazil also has a vast supply of natural stones, which makes availability a valuable benefit. Plus, the country has also taken various steps to ensure sustainability. Furthermore, unlike India or other granite exporting countries, Brazil has closer proximity, which will make the cost of importing much less. But aside from that, the country makes use of high standard quarrying and processing techniques that ensure that the granite produced is of very high quality.
Unlike India, the pricing of granite from Brazil is sometimes on the higher side. If maximizing profit is the driving force for your granite import, other options may be considered first.
Properly classifying marble or granite with the correct HTS code is one of the biggest challenges. As noted earlier, the level of processing that has taken place on the granite or marble will determine what the product should be classified under. This has important implications for importers because the HTS code that’s applied to imported goods ultimately determines the import duty to be paid. Additionally, using the wrong HTS code can lead to CBP holding goods at the border and levying fines in some cases.
Typically, when a product is suspected to be improperly classified, samples of the merchandise are sent to the laboratory to be analyzed. A rate advance notice is issued when it is determined that a particular product has been entered incorrectly as granite. The purpose of this notice is to advise the importer of the right classification.
Aside from classifying the product, other challenges to importing granite and marble into the U.S. has to do with the individual countries the products are being imported from. Importing from some countries may come with higher costs as compared to others. This could be due to factors such as proximity and quality.
In most cases, no. However, shipments of marble and granite are inspected by CBP agriculture specialists. If foreign insects or pests are found in the shipment, one option is to have the shipment fumigated. This will eliminate any other pests or insects to ensure the product is safe.
Although marble and granite are considered natural stones, they fall under agricultural commodities as they are related to the earth and soil. Thus, you may be asked to fumigate your shipment, although this is not usually the case. Both natural stone materials (that is, granite and marble) are porous. As a result, granite slabs can sometimes be home to slugs as well as other parasites that may have an impact on the ecosystem. Keeping insects and every kind of pest away from the United States is of grave importance to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Typically, transportation occurs via ocean due to the immense size and weight of marble and granite. As noted earlier, ocean shipments require an ISF Filing to be submitted to the CBP. The filing must be submitted no later than 24 hours before the marble or granite is loaded onto the departing ship. Once the marble or granite arrives in the U.S., it can be transported via rail or flatbed truck in most cases.
Along with handling the customs clearance for your shipment, we can also handle transportation of your products. This is a significant task that shouldn’t be overlooked. There are multiple steps in the transportation journey that need to be arranged and must be carefully planned. Our team has the knowledge and experience to get this done for you, so you have one less detail to deal with.
Throughout this guide, we have indicated how important it is to partner with a reliable licensed customs broker during the customs clearance process. A Licensed Broker will ensure all shipment details are correct, including classifying the marble or granite with the correct HTS code. A customs broker can also directly handle the clearance of the shipment through various customs brokerage services.
Instead of spending a lot of time trying to get through all the complex customs procedures, leave everything in the hands of a licensed professional. We leverage our expertise and experience to get the job done with speed and accuracy. The clearance process can be quite a journey, especially if you’re new to importing. In the hands of a reliable licensed customs broker, you will have enough time on your hands to attend to other duties in preparation for your merchandise to arrive at your doorstep.
Our Licensed Customs Brokers are ready and prepared to handle all aspects of your import shipment.
USA Customs Clearance is your go-to partner for all of your importing needs. We have a team of professional Licensed Customs Brokers ready to make the importing and clearing journey as stress-free as possible. Our range of services are tailored to your specific needs and can be adjusted accordingly to create a truly custom approach.
In addition to handling all of your customs brokerage needs, we also provide a full range of supply chain and transportation services.
Thanks to our partnership with our sister company, R+L Global Logistics, we can also assist with the following:
This comprehensive approach allows us to serve as a truly one-stop shop for all of your supply chain needs.
Schedule your customs consulting or purchase your customs bond today.
Still have questions? Contact our experts at (855)912-0406. We’ll answer all of your questions.