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Guide to Importing and Shipping Electronics from China

China is the world’s largest exporter and manufacturer. It exports many electronic products to the world every year. Do you plan to import electronic products from China to your country? How to find suppliers? How to choose the shipping method? How much is shipping?

This guide will take USA as an example to tell you the details.

Electronic Products

Identify the electronic products you want to import from China.

What are the common types of electronic products exported from China?China exports a wide variety of electronic products to the world, covering various fields. Here are some common types of electronics:

  • Smartphones and accessories: China is the world’s major manufacturer and exporter of smartphones and exports a large number of smartphones and accessories, such as chargers and headphones, to the EU.
  • Computers and Laptops: China produces and exports a large number of computers and laptops to the EU, including desktops and portable devices.
  • Consumer electronics: including tablet computers, digital cameras, digital photo frames, audio equipment, etc.
  • Electronic components and parts: China supplies various electronic components to Europe, such as chips, electronic circuits, cables, etc.
  • Home Appliances: China manufactures and exports many home appliances, including televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, etc.
  • Communications Equipment: China produces and exports a variety of communications equipment, including base station equipment, network equipment, and communications satellites.
  • Medical electronic equipment: including medical imaging equipment, electrocardiographs, blood glucose meters, etc.
  • Optoelectronic devices: Involving lasers, optical fiber communication equipment and other fields.
  • Electronic game equipment: China supplies electronic game consoles, game controllers and related accessories to the EU.
  • Electric vehicles and accessories: As the electric vehicle market grows, China is also exporting electric vehicles and their components to the EU.
  • Electronic security equipment: including surveillance cameras, security systems, etc.
What are the common types of electronic products exported from China?

How to choose an electronic product supplier

Buy from suppliers: Find reputable suppliers in China through platforms like Alibaba or at trade shows.
Shenzhen is by far the most important electronics manufacturing center in China and the world. Shenzhen has a population of about 20 million, and if you’re looking to import electronics from China, you’ll probably find a factory here.

Electronic product product development

Manufacturing electronics is much more complex than other product areas, and you should never start anything unprepared. Below we explain how it works from idea to product.

a. OEM or ODM?

First, you must decide whether to manufacture your product OEM, which means the product must meet specific design or functional requirements. Another option is to start with an existing ODM product.

The advantage of importing ODM products is that you don’t need to invest in developing new prototypes, circuit board drawings and component lists. The disadvantage, however, is that you don’t get a product that meets your specific requirements in terms of design and functionality. However, if you are just looking for a product that is already on the market and you accept that no changes can be made in terms of design and functionality, then ODM can work very well.

b. How to find a suitable factory

In a city like Shenzhen, you can find everything from large contract manufacturers who assemble iPhones to street vendors selling second-hand electronics. As an importer, it is important to have clear criteria when selecting a manufacturer. We ask for the following when looking for electronics manufacturers:

  • Test reports (e.g. LVD, RoHS and EMC directives)
  • ISO 9001:2015 certification
  • BSCI and Sedex certified
  • Equity capital (at least RMB 1 million)

c. Prototyping

Once you’ve chosen a factory, it’s time for prototyping. Suppliers typically begin payment in stages prior to production and when certain milestones are reached:

  • Payment 1: Before production starts
  • Payment 2: Mold production completed
  • Payment 3: Working prototype manufacturing completed
  • Expect this process to take anywhere from two months to a full year. Complexities during development are difficult to predict.

d. Quality control

When you start mass production, it’s crucial to have a system that controls both product quality and functionality. Generally speaking, it is best to have a quality inspector on site in China to conduct quality control during and after production.

e. Laboratory testing

Finally, it’s time for lab testing. Laboratory testing can be carried out on-site in China to check that the product indeed complies with EU electrical safety regulations that all importers must comply with.

Learn about: 

What Documents Are Needed To Import From China

How To Ensure The Quality Of Goods Imported From China

Calculate the cost of electronic products

Product Cost: Obtain quotes from suppliers, including minimum order quantities (MOQ).

Shipping costs: Compare different shipping methods to USA (air, sea, express services).

Duties and Taxes: Import duties and taxes are calculated using the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

Shipping by sea and air from China

Legal requirements and documentation for importing into the USA

Importer Security Filing (ISF): Also known as “10+2”, it must be filed with USA Customs 24 hours before the goods are loaded on the ship bound for the USA.

  • Commercial Invoice: Must detail the purchase transaction and product information.
  • Packing List: Provides detailed information about the packaging of your goods.
  • Bill of Lading (B/L) or Air Waybill: Issued by the carrier, it is the contract for the transportation and receipt of goods.
  • Arrival Notification: Provided by a carrier or freight forwarder to remind you that your shipment has arrived at its destination.

Create payment method

Payment Terms: Discuss payment terms such as L/C, PayPal, T/T (Wire Transfer).
Currency exchange: Pay attention to the exchange rate between US dollars and Chinese yuan.

Choose your shipping method from China to the US

Choose a shipping method: Decide whether to ship by air or sea based on cost, quantity and urgency. If there is a time requirement, the electronic product is of high value, or is less than 200kg, you can choose to ship it to the USA by air.

Advantages of air freight:
Speed: Air freight is significantly faster, making it ideal for time-sensitive deliveries.
Safe and secure: Shorter transit times and fewer loading and unloading points in air freight mean lower risk of damage or theft.
Predictability: Flight schedules are generally consistent, allowing for better inventory planning, especially for brands with fast inventory turnover.

Disadvantages of air freight:
Cost: Air freight tends to be much more expensive than sea freight, and charges are usually based on actual weight and dimensional weight, whichever is higher.
Cargo restrictions: Air freight has stricter restrictions on cargo size and weight, which may limit the amount of furniture you can transport at one time.
Environmental impact: Aircraft have a higher carbon footprint than ships, potentially impacting the sustainability goals of eco-conscious businesses.

Advantages of sea freight:
Cost-Effectiveness: Especially for high-volume shipments, sea freight can offer significant cost savings compared to air freight.
Bulk shipping: Shipping containers can accommodate large furniture orders and have the advantage of scale.
Environmental considerations: On a per ton per kilometer basis, ships are more energy efficient than aircraft, thus reducing their carbon footprint.

Disadvantages of sea freight:
Speed: Ocean shipping is much slower. Shipping times can vary from a few weeks to over a month, depending on the origin and destination ports.
Potential Delays: Various factors such as weather, port congestion, and customs clearance can cause shipping delays.
Increased handling volumes: A longer supply chain can mean more handling points, which creates more opportunities for damage or loss.

Learn about: What Is The Cheapest Way To Ship From China To USA

Freight forwarder: China freight forwarder Basenton with freight experience is hired to handle logistics.

Learn about: Choose the Best China to USA Freight Forwarding Company

Shipping Insurance: Consider purchasing insurance to protect against loss or damage.

Guide to Importing and Shipping Electronics from China

customs clearance

Customs Bond: A customs bond may be obtained if the value of the shipment exceeds $2,500 or if it is subject to the requirements of other government agencies.
Entry Filing: Submit entry filing to USA Customs and Border Protection (CBP) through your customs broker.
Release and Entry Summary (CBP Form 7501): Submit this form to determine the acceptability of the shipment and the calculation of duties.

This guide will provide you with a general framework for importing electronics from China to the United States. However, due to the complexities of international trade, Basenton can be contacted directly and the Basenton team can assist with the process.

If you want to transport electronic products from China to a country other than the USA, but to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Spain , Germany, France , Italy or other countries, and want to know the shipping costs, you can click on the link below for the costs from China to the corresponding country.

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