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Exporting & Importing Goods/Importing to the US from India



I am thinking of importing stainless steel housewares to the US from India, but having a hard time understanding the customs requirements and duties.

I want to understand:
- What is the import tax or customs duty that we should be prepared to pay? How is it calculated?
- What is the paperwork / clearances that we need to clear up before we can import anything?
- Is there only one body (federal) that we need to clear things with, or any other body (regional?) that we also need to clear our import with?

I have tried reading some of the publicly available information supplied by the US trade commission here:

Is that the right resource?

Thank you,

Good day, Siddhi.

Yes, you are on the right track.  The link you sent was for the 2012 US Harmonized Tariff Schedule, and they have already released the 2013 version.

Generally, this can be used to get an idea of what the customs duties will be, however, there are special classifications and addendums which must be researched, also.

The duty is classified on the value of the invoice which accompanies the products throughout the shipment.  Example - stainless steel goods are valued at $1,000 USD on the commercial invoice, Duty rate is (example - 3%), then you would pay the 3% of the value on the commercial invoice.

There are usually no additional duties or taxes, but it is important to make sure that these do not exist.  If there are any additional duties, they will all be federal, not regional.  In the US, there are no regional duties unless the goods are considered alcohol or tobacco, etc.

There are, however, other fees which are associated with the imports such as import bond, customs clearance, etc.

The document list will depend on what you are bringing in, who will be importing them, who will be recieving them, etc.

We can help you bring these goods into the US, as well as arranging the shipment, clearance, necessary paperwork and the bonding.  For further information, please send an email to with the following information:

Description of goods to be imported.
Quantity of goods to be imported.
Where the goods will be going.
Who the goods will be shipped to.

Commercial value of goods to be imported.

Once we recieve this information, we can help you further.

Best regards,

Steve Van Duzen

Exporting & Importing Goods

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Steve Van Duzen


Questions about general import and export sources, procedures, financing terms, shipping, classification, harmonized tariff, and negotiations are all within the area of my expertise.


For the last 12 years I have been the CEO of International Machine Imports, Inc. We have operations in Germany, China, Brazil and the United States. Over the last decade we have imported and exported such goods as machinery / capital equipment, parts / componentry, tooling, consumer goods, products and assemblies which are used en-masse by factories. Our company can be viewed at

Wire Journal, Wire Technology, SME.

Michigan State University and Florida Atlantic University.

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While my confidentiality agreements prohibit me from divulging my client names, I can tell you that several components you use on a daily basis stem from our efforts on importing and exporting materials, equipment, components and other goods to manufactures across a wide array of industries. Presently, we provide our services within the Global Alkaline Battery market, Automotive, Bearing, Dental, Medical, Aerospace, Wire and Cable, Ammunition and Fastener Industries.

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