“I went online and found what I thought was the duty rate for my imported product. I didn’t see why I should use professionals for something that I could find on the Internet. When my shipment arrived at U.S. Customs I got hit with fees and charges that were more than what I paid for the product!”
Don’t play the guessing game with your import. Use the resources available to help you determine a realistic landed cost.
How can you know what the duty rate is?
Determining duties can be complicated. Even the duty rates cited by reputable international trade management companies are an estimate.
Only U.S. Customs and Border Protection can make a final determination as to what is owed on cargo imported into the country.
Offshore China companies cannot quote prices that include either the duty rate or the taxes due on commodities imported unless they have an arrangement with an American Customs management company that can estimate these costs. And the duty rates are just that: estimates.
How can an importer know what his true landed cost is?
Experienced and reputable trade management companies will have lists of commodities imported by means of their services. Oftentimes, very accurate duty rates can be determined by referencing the import history accumulated by the trade management company. In addition, experienced trade management companies are aware of the nuances of tariff classifications and can also make inquiry with customs officials that will help with the classifications.
If there is a need for clarification beyond the routine, then a sample of the product can be submitted to U.S. for binding ruling. Time and expensive, of course, are required for such a ruling.
Make sure you know your costs up front before you send money overseas, and before you quote prices to your customers, or calculate your bill of materials costs.
Contact Walker World Trade for help. WWT’s 78 years of experience will help you establish your true costs so that your international venture will be profitable for you.