Importing from China to the US: Calculating Import Duty and Tax


I admit that importing products to distribute and resell in your home country can be an exciting and profitable way to grow your own online business.

Although importing has its own inherent minefield to navigate.

Its important to understand the charges that are sometimes imposed on imported shipments as tax or duty. Please don’t overlook these potential charges that can increase your acquisition costs of imported products.

In the USA almost all types of products have no duty to pay on smaller shipments valued upto $800 including shipping costs although once you are ordering larger quantities tax and duty may then apply.

To see how much duty would be charged on your planned shipments the best place to begin to research this information is the US harmonization tariff database.

Here’s the link to a page on the US government department that controls this database:


Oh and one more thing..

The USA has free trade agreements in place with over 20 countries currently which means that any trade between a country on the free trade agreement list is..

That’s right..

Free from duty or tax.

Here’s a link to a list of countries that the USA currently has free trade agreements in place with..


So if you’re importing from a country with a free trade agreement in place OR if you’re importing smaller valued shipments below the $800 threshold from anywhere else, then there shouldn’t usually be anything to add in duty and taxes.


Now THAT’S what I call an opportunity!

Go get’em tiger.

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