Home » News » Industry News » How to Import and Ship Fitness Equipment from China

How to Import and Ship Fitness Equipment from China

Whether you are a gym owner, wholesaler, or building a home gym? Knowing how to import fitness equipment can save you money. This guide tells you how to choose suppliers in China, reduce shipping costs, and other helpful tips.

Fitness Equipment

Determine product needs:

Determine the type of fitness equipment you want to import, including equipment type, specifications, quality standards, etc. Understanding and clarifying your needs will help smooth purchasing and shipping.

What are the types of fitness equipment?

Aerobic fitness equipment:
Treadmills, exercise bikes, elliptical machines, spinning bikes, mountain climbers, rowing machines, handstand machines, all-in-one fitness machines, steppers and other equipment.

Strength fitness equipment
It is divided into comprehensive strength, free strength and single function strength. Such as bar dumbbells, abdominal muscle boards, comprehensive trainers, chest presses, biceps trainers, leg kick machines, rowing machines, bench press racks, back exercisers, abdominal exercisers, big flies and other strength training equipment.

Fitness Equipment

How to find fitness equipment suppliers

Why you should focus on China in the first place. China is the world’s largest exporter of fitness equipment, accounting for nearly 40% of the global market share. Wholesalers and gym owners can visit sites like Alibaba and Global Sources to search for specific products to import, or you can order directly from the manufacturer.

China’s top fitness equipment manufacturer

Here are the top ten leading fitness equipment manufacturers in China:

Impulse : Exports fitness equipment and sports-related products to several countries, including the United States, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan.
Shua: Fitness products are exported to more than 60 countries and regions including the USA, Europe, and Southeast Asia.
GoodFamily: referred to as Shenzhen family business, mainly exports fitness products to the United States.
WNQ: Considered the largest exporter of fitness equipment to the United States, Italy, France, India and the United Kingdom
Johnson: A Taiwanese company with manufacturing plants and R&D centers in Shanghai and North America.
Orient:: One of the earliest manufacturers of fitness equipment in China. Provides products to China Aerospace Laboratory, China National Fitness Program and Sports Bureau.
Huixiang: Export sports-related products to Europe, the United States,Netherlands, and Southeast Asia.
Ironman: One of the largest gym and sports equipment manufacturers in China. Produces treadmills, rowing machines, weight benches, steppers, dumbbells, etc. Mainly sold to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Nigeria, etc.
Yanre: One of China’s leading manufacturers of fitness equipment and sports products has recently made new investments in research and development. ‍
Kangliyuan: produces more than 1 million sets of fitness equipment every year.

How to Import and Ship Fitness Equipment from China to the USA

‍The requirements for importing fitness equipment from China to different countries are different. Take the United States as an example:

Requirements for importing fitness equipment from China to the USA

Any time a product is imported into the United States, it must meet all U.S. safety standards. Sports equipment is no exception, and there are some rules and regulations you need to know before importing. Ask your suppliers to provide information demonstrating that their products meet these standards.

Any fitness equipment that plugs into an outlet, such as a treadmill, exercise bike, or elliptical trainer, must comply with federal safety regulations. This means that importers must ensure that their fitness products comply with FCC Part 15 regulations.

Part 15 covers electronic and electrical equipment capable of radiating radio frequency energy, particularly those that may cause interference to equipment operating in the radio frequency range of 9 kHz to 3000 GHz.

These devices are divided into three categories:
Unintentional radiators – Generate radio frequencies that are used by the wiring inside devices, such as USB drives, coffee makers, and wired mice.
Intentional radiators – have Bluetooth, LTE, 3G, 4G, and even 5G capabilities and generate energy through radiation or induction.
Incidental radiator – is an item that generates or emits radio frequencies but is not intentionally programmed in this way. You can find electric fitness equipment in this category.

FCC Part 15 provides general technical requirements such as conduction limits, radiated emission limits, and antenna conduction limits for unintentional and intentional radiators. This depends on whether the product is designed for business or personal use.

import documents

Fitness equipment and sports-related products entering the United States from abroad are subject to a series of import documents. Providing proper import and export documentation is critical to avoid shipping delays, increased costs, or potential shipment rejections.

Commercial invoice

A commercial invoice is an export document that acts as a sales document between the seller (exporter) and the customer (importer).
The invoice contains information about the contents of the shipment as well as the quantity and value of the goods. Commercial invoices for international shipments include:

  • product name
  • country of origin
  • Product description and its intended use
  • Product retail value
  • Product net weight and gross weight
  • Delivery and payment terms
  • Name and location of the company/individual importing the product
  • The name and location of the company/individual selling the product

A commercial invoice is necessary to prevent any shipping difficulties during import and export and to ensure that the correct taxes and duties are paid.
Any incorrect information listed on the invoice will result in a failed shipment or the fitness equipment may be seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Packing List

Packing lists are provided by the shipper or freight forwarder. The packing list should include documentation from the commercial invoice and can be inspected by CBP to verify the authenticity of the shipment.
The packing list and invoice together confirm the information required for the CBP clearance process.
The net and gross weight of the items must be calculated and listed on the packing list. Invoices should be filled out in English in accordance with U.S. Customs requirements.

Bill of lading

Simply put, a bill of lading is a big receipt. This commercial document is issued by the carrier and sent to the shipper of the fitness items, essentially transferring ownership of the items.
It is signed by the owner, master or agent and then provides written documentation or proof that the product has been received. Declarations are made for delivery of goods to a designated port of entry, along with the conditions required for transportation.
The document is then sent to the authorized holder of the bill of lading. The BOL is an important document that ensures the exporter receives payment and the importer receives the product.

Importer Security Filing (ISF)

ISF is a CPB regulation that affects ocean freight entering the United States. ISF filing requires the importer or his agent and vessel to electronically file with CBP incoming ocean-going vessel imports.
This allows U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security to identify high-risk shipments to prevent smuggling and enhance cargo security.
ISF filing only affects ocean-going vessel imports. It does not affect the import of goods entering the United States via other modes of transportation and does not apply to bulk cargo.
This is especially important when shipping fitness equipment (and sports-related goods) as most of these items will be imported via sea freight.

Customs bonded

A customs bond involves a written agreement between three parties: the importer of record, CBP, and the bonding company issuer.
Before purchasing with a bond, imported goods will be held at customs until proof of the bond is presented. The shipment will remain pending approval until the deposit is verified. There are several situations where a customs bond is required, including:
When goods are imported for commercial use.
When federal regulation of a product is required.
If the value of the imported goods exceeds $2,500, the cost of the customs bond is calculated based on the amount of taxes and fees applicable to the imported product. Typically, the bond amount is at least 10 percent of the total duties and fees paid to CBP.

Shipping methods and costs from China:

Choose the appropriate transportation method based on cargo volume, weight and time limit. Sea, air, and rail transportation are common options, and each method has its pros and cons.

Shipping from China

sea freight fee

There are two types of ocean freight: Full Container Load (FCL) and Less than Container Load (LCL), for larger shipments you can use the entire container and for smaller shipments you can share parts of the container with others.
FCL shipping is charged a flat rate for the entire container. Part of the container fee is charged based on the volumetric weight or gross weight of the product.
If your shipment exceeds 15 cubic centimeters, FCL shipping may be cheaper than LCL shipping. Working with a Chinese freight forwarder like Basenton can help negotiate these fees.
Due to weight restrictions, the larger the shipment, the cheaper the ocean freight. However, sea freight is the slowest shipping method for imported fitness equipment overseas. It can take weeks or even months for cargo ships to reach U.S. points of entry.
If time is not a factor, ocean shipping is better suited for transporting these large and bulky items.

air freight fee

Air freight can reach its intended destination within hours; however, it is the most expensive option of the two.
If you have customers waiting for your fitness products to be restocked, it may be worth importing the products via air freight to increase customer satisfaction and prevent potential future revenue losses.
For products with low production costs or small shipping volumes, air freight is the preferred transportation method. Small, lightweight items such as sportswear, shaker bottles, sweat towels and sneakers can be easily shipped via air freight.

Below are several articles on shipping costs from China to different countries. If you are interested, you can click on the post or contact Basenton Logistics to get a quote.

Cost of Shipping From China to USA

Shipping Cost from China to Saudi Arabia

Shipping Cost from China to Netherlands

How Much does it Cost to Ship from China to France


  1. What are the best fitness equipment manufacturers in China?
    Impulse Group and Shua Sports Co. are China’s leading manufacturers of sporting goods and fitness equipment and import large quantities of U.S. products. WQN, the world’s largest home fitness equipment manufacturer, is also located in China.
  2. Which is the largest gym/fitness equipment trade show in China?
    IWF Shanghai Fitness Expo is one of the largest trade shows in China as of 2021. The three-day expo brings together more than 800 suppliers from more than 55 countries, showcasing top-notch fitness equipment, the latest sports apparel, health and beauty products and much more.
  3. What is the Harmonized Tariff Code (HTC) for fitness equipment?
    The HTC subheading 9506.91.0030 for miscellaneous fitness equipment provides articles and equipment, parts and accessories for general physical exercise, gymnastics, or athletics. Each code will vary based on the materials used throughout the fitness equipment.
  4. How to transport fitness equipment from China
    Contact Basenton Logistics, a leading private logistics service provider from China. Founded in 2008, it consists of a dedicated, sincere and professional team that responds quickly to customer needs. Continue to diversify and expand its core business, making Basenton a comprehensive logistics solution provider, covering global LCL, sea freight, air freight, express express service warehousing, logistics, distribution, dangerous goods, customs clearance, transportation, and trade services.

Scroll to Top