If you’re interested in importing sewing machines into the U.S., then you’re probably pretty frustrated by now at the lack of information available. Importing anything is a complicated endeavor, especially if you’re relatively new to it, but the lack of good instruction can make it feel impossible. If you’re feeling this way, don’t give up! This guide will inform you of the regulations you need to be aware of in order to import sewing machines. And, when you’re ready to start importing, USA Customs Clearance will be on your side to help you get your shipment through U.S. Customs.
For you to start importing sewing machines, you will need to ensure your product meets the regulations and quality standards outlined by the CPSC, FCC, FTC, and DOE. In addition to that, you will also need to find the correct HS Code for your goods, and cover your shipment with a Customs Bond.
It shouldn’t surprise you that China has been the top producer of industrial and home sewing machines for decades, but it may surprise you that as of 2019, that is no longer the case. Current events have been driving manufacturing out of China, and as a result, Vietnam has now become the U.S.’s number one source for manufactured sewing machines.
After Vietnam, China is still the second-largest exporter of sewing machines to the U.S., but the previously China-dominated industry has diversified to many different parts of the world. Now, it’s not uncommon to import sewing machines from Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, and even Germany, with each country supporting a decent percentage of the U.S. import market for sewing machines.
Clearing customs with your shipment of sewing machines can feel like everyone is keeping secrets from you. Regulations are hard to understand, and it’s difficult to determine what even applies to your product.
Now, it’s no secret that you’re going to need to follow the rules outlined by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), but what those regulations are exactly might seem like more of a mystery. First things first, there are a number of documents that you’re going to need to provide, including:
All of the above documents can be drafted by the shipper, except for the customs bond. A customs bond is a legal agreement that requires a third-party surety company to establish a sort of insurance policy between the shipper and the CBP: the shipper will agree to follow all the rules and regulations outlined by the CBP, including paying all necessary duties and taxes for the shipment. USA Customs Clearance can issue you a hassle-free customs bond so you can move on with the process of importing without delay.
In addition to the CBP’s regulations, home sewing machines are also regulated by several different Partner Government Agencies (PGAs). You will need to comply with the regulations for each one, otherwise, your shipment could get held up at the port of entry even if it conforms to the CBPs regulations. The PGAs that you will need to know about for importing sewing machines are:
As part of the import paperwork, you will be required to provide a Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) Code. If you don’t know that that is, that’s okay—it’s not as difficult to find as you might imagine.
HTS Codes are 10 digit number codes assigned to different goods that are traded internationally. This import classification system is used to expedite the process of identifying different products and clearing them through customs. The first 6 digits of the code is the international Harmonized Schedule (HS) code, while the remaining 4 digits are specific to the United States. Here are some examples to save you some steps.
Those are just a few options. Even if you find one listed above that sounds like a good fit for your shipment, you should still look at the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) website to make sure there isn’t a more specific code that applies.
All those regulations can be difficult to wrap your head around if you’re a casual importer, so you might be relieved to know that there’s a simpler way. By working with a licensed Customs Broker, you can hand off all the difficult work of classifying, measuring, and documenting your shipment to someone else.
Customs brokers work by obtaining the power of attorney over their client’s shipment, so that they can file all the paperwork on their behalf. They are licensed experts at managing imports, so you can rest easy knowing that your shipment is in good hands. With USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC International, you can leave the hard work to one of our professional customs brokers, so you can enjoy a stress-free importing experience.
Importing sewing machines into the U.S. is a complicated process, but with the right information and a customs broker on your side, you can get your shipment through the border in no time. With USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC International, you can manage any volume of imports, without having to pause all the other aspects of your business. Let us handle the hard parts of importing, so you can get back to what matters—serving your customers.
If you have more questions about the import process, you can schedule a 30- or 60-minute import consulting session with one of our customs brokers, and get personalized advice for maneuvering your shipment through the customs process. We handles everything from sewing machines to importing cleaning products.
Not ready to commit just yet? Give us a call at (855) 912-0406 to get in touch with us!