How to Import eBikes from China?
To import electric bikes or eBikes from China or any other country you need to follow certain government processes. Especially if this is your first time purchasing an e-bike from China or Japan, two of the popular countries manufacturing electric bikes, the importing process can be daunting, confusing and error prone. If you do not follow the customs clearance you are subject to U.S. customs penalties.
This article answers some of the key questions you might have if you want to buy electric bicycles from overseas. This article does not tell you the commerce or technical side, we assume you know what you are buying, how to negotiate with your seller, have them paid and make sure they ship your power assist electric bicycles out, that is, you know the basics of international trade.
What mode of transportation should I use to ship E bikes?
There are two major modes of transportation to ship your E bikes: by air freight, or by sea freight.
A packaged juiced bike is about 50 inches long, 13 inches wide and 40 inches high depending on the manufacturer. It is possible to ship by air freight.
If you buy your juiced bikes from China or Japan, chances are you are going to use ocean freight, either CL (Container Load) or LCL (Less than Container Load).
Do I need a Customs Broker to import electric bicycles?
No, you have to hire a Customs Broker to import electric bicycles. However, it is highly recommended to work with a Customs Broker from the very beginning and tell your seller you have a customs broker to help you with your import process.
Importing adult electric bicycles, or anything, is a complicated process. You need to file proper paperwork at the right time to avoid customs penalties, pay the right amount of duties to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), ensure timely release and avoid delays at ports, and avoid hefty storage charges because of delays, in some cases up to a dollar per day per pound.
You could file customs entry paperwork yourself. You have all the rights to do so. However, filing customs clearance paperwork yourself, like CBP Form 7501, CBP Form 3461, is strongly discouraged unless you know what you are doing.
What does a Customs Broker do for me?
So, what is a Customs Broker? And how does a Customs Broker make my importing job easier?
Customs brokers, like Sine Trading International, are companies licensed, and empowered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assist importers and exporters in meeting Federal requirements governing imports and exports. They can guide you through the whole importing process till the time you receive your electric bicycles. More specifically, they
Act as liaison between you and the relevant government agencies like CBP (Customs and Border Protection), FDA (Food and Drug Administration), EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission...)
Prepare and submit necessary information and payments to the Customs authorities on your behalf (Importer of Record, Exporter, Consignee, Container Stuffing Location, Consolidator, country of origin and destination, suppliers, classifications, intended use of goods, etc.)
Assess commercial documents to see if they are compliant with regulatory requirements, prior to their submission
Assign the correct HS code (Harmonized System Code) so duties and taxes can be properly determined and paid in time to avoid penalties
- Provide personalized advice – all enterprises have specific business needs, especially small-size businesses with lower export/import volumes. Customs Brokers, like Sine Trading International, will pay due attention to your and contribute to your business success.
What are the costs to hire a customs broker to import eBikes?
A customs broker, like Sine Trading International, is a private company or individual licensed by U.S. CBP. Each company sets their own prices for their services.
Usually for customs entry it is between $125 to $250.
For sea shipments there is another time sensitive document to file, ISF (Import Security Filing). Customs Brokers usually charge anywhere from $35 to $100 for this service.
What other costs are involved in importing e-bikes?
There are other costs involved in importing electric bikes.
These include a single bond if you import often, or annual bond if you import frequently, and an ISF bond if you ship by sea, or ISC (Import Service Charge) if you ship by air.
There are usually two other fees, one is oftentimes called agent fee and the other is called warehouse fee. Different companies may use different terms.
Then the cost of picking up your electric bicycles from the port and delivering it to your destination.
And of course, do not forget the government, you need to pay duty.
What is the duty rate for importing eBikes into the United States?
At this time of writing the duty rate for importing electric bicycles from China or Japan is duty free. Please note you still need to pay Customs an MPF (Merchandise Processing Fee) even if your duty is 0%.
Importing is a complicated process. Hiring a professional customs broker like Sine Trading International will help take the pain and uncertainty out of your import process, ensure your shipment is released and delivered to you before it is too late, and make sure the government is paid in time. For a small fee you can focus on what you do the best and leave the paperwork to professionals.
If you are planning to import an E bike, please feel free to contact Sine Trading International at (412)2816699 or email us at email@example.com. It is important to have us involved from the beginning of your planning process.
Sine Trading International is a licensed Customs Broker in the United States, we provide customs clearance, freight forwarding, and trucking services to importers and exporters.
Sine Trading International has ground operations in Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, Oakland, CA, Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Houston, TX, Dallas, TX, Chicago, IL, Cincinnati, OH, Miami, FL, Savannah, GA, Charleston, SC, New York and New Jersey, Boston, MA.
Sine Trading International helps importers and exporters in all 50 States with their imports and exports.