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Tax paid on imports from China

Discussion in 'Business & Tax Advice' started by justaboy101, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. justaboy101

    justaboy101 Junior Member

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    I have been on BHW for about a month and I finally decided that I would like to start selling items on eBay/Amazon and open up an online store. I'm in the process of finding a reliable wholesale company that will send me a steady supply of items. I found a few companies in China that I would like to work with, but wanted to get some information here before I confront them about setting up a deal. First of all, if a company ships items from China to New York, what taxes do I have to pay? I will be buying beauty supplies without any banned chemicals or dangerous substances, if that makes a difference. Is there a chance that customs will not allow me to receive my package, even if the shipment is legitimate and all the paper work is in order? If you guys can share your experiences with importing goods from China to USA (preferably NY), I would appreciate it.
     
  2. GiorgioB

    GiorgioB Supreme Member

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    Hi there

    I have quite a bit of experience in exporting from China to the rest of the world and would give you this advice:

    - ship by EMS or China/HK post, not DHL or Fedex
    - always have a tracking number on your parcel
    - ship in small quantities.. even if you are shipping 100 pcs.. split into 5 parcels of 20 or even 10 parcels of 10 (ask your wholesaler)
    - ask them to declare a lower value, but not too low. If you take the customs for fools, they will return your products to the sender and charge you/him with the return fees (very high!)
    - label as commercial sample on invoice

    This way, you should avoid paying (too high) taxes. most of it is the sender who will be responsible for that.

    Hope this helps, PM me if you have any further questions!

    PS. Do you speak Chinese?
     
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    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  3. justaboy101

    justaboy101 Junior Member

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    I can't send PMs yet since I don't have 15 posts. I don't speak Chinese, but every I have contacted so far to obtain a price list has replied in almost perfect English, so I don't think communication would be an issue. And since you have a lot of experience about this, can you tell me how I would go about getting the package once it has arrived at a port in New York? Suppose I know the time of arrival and the address. Can I get it delivered to me by a commercial shipping company or should I contact someone who works in that port? And is there a general guideline to determine the cost of taxes? For example, if I spend $1000, how much would I pay in taxes to customs? Thanks for all your help thus far!
     
  4. GiorgioB

    GiorgioB Supreme Member

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    Once it is at the port of new york, you need a transit agent to clear the customs for you, and then need to pick up your merch and drive it yourself to your warehouse. In my experience, its really better to get a good company to do that for you, maybe check with DHL or maybe some local logistics companies in your area. Messing this up can result in catastrophic scenarios including legal and commercial enemas headed right up your *ss (pardon the metaphor but it can really be a pain).

    To determine your taxes, you need to refer to your harmonised commodity code, which you should be able to find easily on internet on from your supplier. That will determine the percentage you will have to pay as tax. Good luck in your business and be tough with those Chinese suppliers! :D
     
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  5. justaboy101

    justaboy101 Junior Member

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    Alright, so let me see if I understand this. After the package is shipped from China (let's assume they ship it with their terms using whatever service they think would be cheaper/best), I could hire DHL to clear customs, pick up the package, and deliver it to me? Would I pay the taxes before they pick up the item or pay them during the delivery?
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  6. GiorgioB

    GiorgioB Supreme Member

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    Hmm.. I'm not too sure about that. Better give them a call to check. Basically I work with agencies at the port of arrival that tell me "have the products delivered to our agent in Shenzhen (port of origin) and then once their agent has the products, they take care of everything right up till the delivery to my customer's warehouse. Unfortunately they don't speak english, so I can' forward you their contact (non-US) but you can check with a local logistics company in your area, I'm sure tons of them will offer this kind of service!
     
  7. justaboy101

    justaboy101 Junior Member

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    Okay, makes sense. By the way, do you know any buying agents in China that can help me find a product or check out a factory for me? A lot of companies on Alibaba seem fishy to me
     
  8. unclemike

    unclemike BANNED BANNED

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    Remember that customs checks weight more than the size of the package. Secondly you should be in
    good shape on import taxes. But if you really want to know you can ask your supplier if their paying the
    import duties or not.
     
  9. paullajohnson

    paullajohnson Newbie

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    Is it possible to do the same in California? Is DHL shipping safe or custom would make it mission impossible?
     
  10. MadStacks

    MadStacks BANNED BANNED

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    Customs is not an issue if you spread out your shipments. I mean yeah if it is a container load then customs will be an issue
    but if it just a 5 lb box or so every so often then you do not have anything to worry about. I would recommend EMS or DHL.
     
  11. viet77

    viet77 Newbie

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    I've been importing from China to CA for years and DHL is the best carrier so far; no custom issue. You will get their custom duty invoices in the mail about a week after you received your parcels. Just make sure to make payments on time and you should be fine.
     
  12. ocdude

    ocdude Newbie

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    Why do you recommend to ship with EMS instead of DHL? I have always used DHL and it has been really good.
     
  13. Blanes80

    Blanes80 Newbie

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    DHL is the best.. They always quick on their delivery too.:banana: