Importing jewelry to the US

China is one of the global leaders in exporting jewelry. Chinese suppliers offer a wide variety of jewelry articles, providing a great choice for different consumers. What’s more, the demand for accessories that complement everyday look remains high. That’s why the import of these items is popular among international importers. We present all you need to know about importing jewelry to the US.

Importing jewelry to the US

Production centers for jewelry in China

Most jewelry manufacturers are located in the southern part of the country, in Guangdong Province. It’s especially worth checking out cities like Dongguan, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. Smaller but also important production centers of jewelry are Jinhua in Zhejiang Province and Qingdao in Shandong Province. When looking for a Chinese jewelry supplier, make sure to check what manufacturers in these regions have to offer.

Production centers for jewelry in China

Importers of jewelry should as well take notice of Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China. It’s one of the world’s commercial and financial centers, home to many international organizations, companies, and more. Many trade fairs of jewelry are organized in this area, making it worth checking out if you’re interested in this group of products. It’s worth remembering that although Hong Kong is located in China, it has its own legal, economic and monetary system.

Hong Kong

Importing jewelry to the US – duty rates

Before importing jewelry to the US, it’s crucial to check the duty rates imposed on each product. Harmonized Tariff Schedule website allows you to find customs duty rates on goods imported into the United States. It contains import tariff rates and HTS codes for any article. Searching for tariffs is simple. First, you need to enter the product’s name or the first 4 or 6 digits of its code in the search bar. The import rates on goods from China are in the “General” column. Below we’ve gathered for you some examples of duty rates for chosen jewelry:

  • Articles of natural or cultured pearls, natural (7116.10.10) – 3.3%
  • Articles of natural or cultured pearls, cultured (7116.10.25) – 5.5%
  • Articles of precious or semiprecious stones, valued not over $40 per piece (7116.20.05) – 3.3%
  • Articles of jewelry of silver, whether or not plated or clad with other precious metal (7113.11.10) – 6.3%
  • Articles of jewelry of other precious metal, whether or not plated or clad with precious metal (7113.19.10) – 7%
  • Necklaces and neck chains of gold, rope (7113.19.21) – 5%
  • Necklaces and neck chains of gold, mixed link (7113.19.25) – 5.8%
  • Cuff links and studs (7117.11.00) – 8%
  • Imitation jewelry of base metal, whether or not plated with precious metal – 8%

As presented above, duty rates on different jewelry items may vary depending on, e.g., their material. Therefore, it’s important to classify your goods correctly. What’s more, paying tax in the United States is required only on orders valued at $800 or more. If the total amount doesn’t exceed $800, they’re tax-free. This exemption doesn’t include alcoholic beverages, alcohol-containing perfumes, and cigars or cigarettes.

Requirements for importing to the United States

The United States doesn’t have a standardized law that states requirements for imported goods. However, some of the products still have to comply with applicable obligations. CBP (Customs Border Protection) can examine any shipment into the US to check if the goods are safe to enter the country. Thus, it’s crucial to know its policies and ensure the products meet relevant requirements.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

When it comes to jewelry, it must be additionally compliant with the requirements of the Department of Treasury, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and Transportation Security Administration. Every jewelry item must be labeled and advertised following the FTC conditions. They provide definitions and thermology to avoid misinterpretations of the materials or the manufacturing process. For example, it defines terms such as “precious”, “semi-precious”, “imitation”, “cultured pearls”, “imitation pearls”, and many more. Compliance with the FTC guides concerning jewelry is essential to their proper classification and avoiding delays, monetary penalties, and other inconveniences.

The PATRIOT Act

Most jewelry businesses in the US must comply with Anti-Money Laundering laws and regulations, known as the “PATRIOT Act” or “AML.” If you import jewelry for which 50% of the value derives from precious stones or metals or buy and sell $50,000 or more in precious metals/stones yearly, these rules apply to you. In such a case you are obliged to institute an anti-money laundering program and get acquainted with its requirements.

Jewelry for children

In the United States, jewelry designed or intended primarily for use by children aged 12 and younger must meet additional safety requirements. These are stated by CPSIA (The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) concerning chemical substances. The act was introduced by the CPSC organization. Jewelry for children has to comply with mandatory ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) substance standards.

Before importing and selling jewelry for kids, a CPSC-approved testing company must test such items to verify their compliance with the requirements. The results from the testing allow an importer to issue a Children’s Product Certificate (CPC). It’s an obligatory certificate to import and sell children’s jewelry in the United States. These articles must also be marked with a CPSIA Tracking Label, displaying information such as company name, production place and date, and batch number.

One must remember that the law concerning jewelry for kids may vary depending on the state. Therefore, it’s crucial to get acquainted with specific regulations in different states in the US that have their own requirements.

Basic regulations

There are some basic regulations that apply to all the products entering the United States. One of the most important obligations is ensuring the mandatory documentation, which includes:

  • A commercial invoice from the exporter;
  • Packing List;
  • Bill of Lading (B/L, BOL) – for sea freight;
  • Air Waybill (AWB) – for air freight;
  • Entry Manifest (CBP Form 7533).

Make sure that you have a complete set of documents allowing products to pass through customs clearance. Keep in mind that all the imported goods to the US must have a COO label (Country of Origin). Accordingly, before shipment, check if your products or packaging has an affixed country of origin label.

Jewelry trade fairs in China and Hong Kong

If you plan on importing goods from China, we recommend attending a specialized trade fair. It’s one of the best and most effective ways of finding a Chinese supplier. Such events are organized throughout the country, allowing importers to negotiate with sellers and test the goods on the spot. It’s an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with various offers and personally talk to the suppliers.

Jewellery & Gem WORLD Hong Kong

Localization: Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

Official website: https://exhibitions.jewellerynet.com/9jg/

Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair

Localization: Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

Official website: https://exhibitions.seasonsfja.com/9fj/

Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show

Localization: Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

Official website: https://event.hktdc.com/fair/hkdgp-en/HKTDC-Hong-Kong-International-Diamond–Gem—Pearl-Show/

HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show

Localization: Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

Official website: https://event.hktdc.com/fair/hkjewellery-en/HKTDC-Hong-Kong-International-Jewellery-Show/

Nanjing Baimu International Jewelry Fair

Localization: Nanjing International Exhibition Center

Official website: https://www.njzbexpo.com/

Importing jewelry to the US – summary

Importing jewelry to the US may be a good idea for a profitable business. However, one should remember that jewelry must meet some mandatory requirements and have a complete set of required documentation. In the case of jewelry, one of the most crucial issues is proper classification. It allows to find correct HTS Codes and tariff rates for various items and avoid consequences stemming from any misinterpretations.

Before starting the import, we also recommend and highly encourage verifying your business partner. Make sure your supplier is trustworthy and, therefore, avoid frauds.

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