Governments, such as the US government, put in place measures that protect domestic industries. Tariffs (customs duties) are one of the measures. A tariff is a tax levied on the value of imported products, resulting in higher consumer prices, making it less appealing than domestic goods. The question is: Where to check tariffs when importing to the US?
Importing to the US
A tariff or duty is a tax imposed on most goods imported into the US. Every product category in the schedule is identified by its Harmonized Tariff Schedule Code (HTS Code). Identifying the HTS code and the duty rate is necessary to place a product on the market.
Knowing the duty rate is crucial since it tells if the import is profitable. For example, if you import from China, there is an additional tariff for some products, ranging from 7.5% to 25%, so it has to be calculated.
The tariff may be removed depending on the country of origin and the nature of the product. It is a case of products from partner countries that qualify for duty-free entry into the US based on a free trade agreement (FTA).
Moreover, the tariffs change over time. Many importers wonder what the duty on their product is, and there are no easy answers to this problem.
The most useful tool to check tariffs when importing to the US
If you want to check tariffs on goods imported into the US, go to the DataWeb website. It is a site run by the United States International Trade Commission, an agency that fulfills a range of trade-related mandates. The DataWeb provides US merchandise trade and tariff data in an easy-to-use interface.
There is no need to register on the website, as it is often required on similar sites. The use is free of charge.
How to check tariffs on DataWeb?
- Go to the dataweb.usitc.gov
- Click on the Tariff Database in the Tariff section.
- Enter the product you want to import to the US (here, shoes) and choose “List items.” Alternatively, you can enter the Harmonized Code for your product (if you know it).
- Choose your preferred type of product.
- Now you can check the standard (NTR) trade duty, non-NTR duty and preferential duties.
- Always check the duty rate for the country of origin. In this example, the shoes are manufactured in South Korea, and the product qualifies for a duty-free entry into the US.
What else do you have to remember?
DataWeb is a tool that provides valuable tariff information. Tariff is just a part of the overall import cost. In addition to the tariff, there are local sales taxes (state tax in the US) and customs fees. The duty and other fees are collected during customs clearance in the US port of entry.
Make sure to check the duty before every import, as it is subject to changes.
Check out our series on sourcing to the US.