Import from the USA

Release time:2024-03-18 16:06

Import from the USA

Importing from the USA can be straightforward, provided you're mindful of certain essential details. In this guide, we'll explore common challenges faced by importers bringing in goods from the US. Additionally, we'll offer practical advice on optimizing your freight process to save both time and money.

1.Navigating VAT for US Imports

Embarking on imports from the USA can be quite manageable, particularly when you understand the nuances of American VAT. For goods destined for export from the US to the UK, it's crucial that your US supplier doesn't apply American VAT. Given that VAT rates vary across states, ranging from 5.5% to 12%, excluding this cost is important. As imports into the UK are subject to VAT within the UK, ensuring that your US shipments for business are not billed with VAT can save you from unnecessary expenses. Remember, reclaiming VAT paid in the US is typically not an option.

Import from the USA


  1. VAT and Customs Duty Tax when shipping from the USA

Since the USA doesn't belong to the EU, importing goods into the UK may incur customs duties in addition to a 20% VAT. The specific amounts for VAT and duties hinge on several factors, including the transport method for importing the goods, the type of goods, and their country of origin.


Understanding VAT and duty rates is vital since UK customs will not release your imported items until these costs have been settled.


VAT Details

The standard VAT rate in the UK is 20%, applicable to most goods and services. This rate is applied to the total value of the imported goods, which encompasses the cost of packaging, transportation, insurance, and any customs duties levied on these goods.


Understanding Duties for US Imports

When importing items from the USA, Customs Duty is applicable for goods valued over £135.00, except when the calculated duty is less than £7.00. The duty rate is variable, influenced by the goods' value, origin, and classification under the UK Trade Tariff, among other factors.


For instance, to import a carpet from the USA, calculate its total value, including all related import costs (transportation, insurance, etc.). Next, identify the Commodity Code to determine the applicable Duty rate, which, for a carpet, stands at 8%.


To calculate the VAT, add the duty value to the total value of the carpet, then apply the 20% VAT rate to this sum. This process ensures accurate determination of the total cost, including VAT, for importing goods from the USA to the UK.


  1. Air or Sea from the USA to the UK?

Choosing between sea and air freight for imports from the USA to the UK hinges on your timeline, as well as the size and weight of your shipment.


Sea Freight: Shipping times vary based on the origin within the USA. East Coast shipments generally reach the UK in 3-4 weeks, while West Coast origins can take 4-6 weeks. Additionally, transit from the supplier to the port could add up to a week for cross-country transportation. Once in the UK, sea freight deliveries usually complete within a few days.


Air Freight: For urgent shipments, air freight offers a faster option, ranging from 2-3 days with premium services to a more economical 10-12 days. Options include standard air freight by airlines and courier services by dedicated freight companies like FedEx, UPS, and DHL, catering to various urgency and budget needs.

Import from the USA


Selecting the right shipping mode for importing from the USA to the United Kingdom hinges significantly on the size and weight of your shipment. It's essential to pinpoint the most economical transportation method based on these factors.


For direct shipments from your supplier's address in the USA, air freight frequently emerges as the most economical choice for parcels not exceeding 2 cubic meters or weighing over 300 kg. In scenarios where you're only accountable for transport from the nearest port or airport, air freight becomes an optimal solution for consignments around 1 cubic meter or weighing approximately 150kg.


Conversely, sea freight shines when transporting bulkier consignments under 15 cubic meters, allowing you to consolidate your goods in a container with shipments from other importers. For larger shipments surpassing this threshold, leasing an entire container might be more cost-effective. Notably, weight concerns are somewhat mitigated with sea freight, as ships boast a significantly higher weight capacity compared to aircraft.


  1. Prices of freight from USA

The extensive size of the USA implies that inland transportation, via train or truck, can be quite costly. This aspect profoundly influences the freight charges for shipments originating from the United States, contingent upon whether the shipping responsibility from the supplier's address falls on you or if it's merely from the nearest port or airport. In scenarios where your agreement encompasses the latter, it's critical to acknowledge that the starting point could be a warehouse situated several hundred kilometers inland, significantly impacting overall logistics and costs.


For example, you can act under terms called FOB Denver, Colorado, with Denver being 1.600 km from Los Angeles, which is the nearest port. In this case you will have to bear the costs from Denver to Los Angeles, and then on to the United Kingdom.


 5. Packages from USA

When opting for courier services for shipments from the USA, it's noteworthy that a significant price disparity exists between listed rates and those under major customer agreements. For swift transit times without a major account contract, consider engaging a freight forwarder or leveraging platforms like Transporteca instead of direct dealings with courier companies. This approach affords you the discounts associated with substantial account agreements, alongside the same expedited shipping service.


Choosing Transporteca for USA Shipments

If you're navigating the complexities of selecting a reputable freight forwarder, FBABOX offers a seamless solution. Specializing in providing "one-stop logistics solution" services, we cater to international trading companies and cross-border e-commerce sellers aiming at European markets. With over 14 years of experience, FBABOX has become synonymous with reliability, safety, competitive rates, and superior customer care.


Our services extend beyond mere transportation to include customs brokerage, warehousing & fulfillment for key online marketplaces like Amazon. Whether you require FCL (full container load), LCL (less than container load), or special items shipping, our extensive network covering the USA, Europe, APAC, and Canada ensures your goods reach their destination efficiently.


For tailored freight forwarding solutions that simplify shipping to Amazon or other platforms, reach out to us at Trust FBABOX to streamline your logistics needs with our extensive expertise and robust infrastructure. Get a quote now!!!