import to usa from india, A Guide for Business Owners

import to usa from india

How to Import from India to the US: A Guide for Business Owners

If you are a business owner looking to import goods from India to the US, you may have some questions about the process, the costs, and the regulations involved. India is one of the largest trading partners of the US, with bilateral trade reaching $90.99 billion in 2022. India offers a variety of products that are in high demand in the US market, such as textiles, pharmaceuticals, jewelry, machinery, and organic chemicals.

However, importing from India is not as simple as placing an order and waiting for the delivery. You need to be aware of the customs duties, taxes, documentation, and compliance requirements that apply to your imports. In this article, we will provide you with a guide on how to import from India to the US successfully and efficiently.

Step 1: Identify the products you want to import

The first step in importing from India is to identify the products you want to import and their corresponding Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes. The HTS codes are used by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to classify and assess duties and taxes on imported goods. You can find the HTS codes for your products on the CBP website or by using online tools like Wise.

You also need to check if your products are subject to any special regulations or restrictions by the US government. For example, some products may require a license, permit, or certification from agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or the Department of Agriculture (USDA). You can find more information on these requirements on the CBP website or by contacting the relevant agency.

Step 2: Find a reliable supplier in India

The next step is to find a reliable supplier in India who can provide you with the products you want at a competitive price and quality. You can use online platforms like Jungle Scout to research and compare different suppliers based on their ratings, reviews, product catalog, and prices. You can also contact trade associations, chambers of commerce, or export promotion councils in India for referrals and recommendations.

Once you have identified a potential supplier, you should verify their credentials and reputation by asking for references, samples, certificates, and testimonials. You should also negotiate the terms and conditions of the contract, such as the price, quantity, delivery time, payment method, warranty, and dispute resolution mechanism. You should also specify the Incoterms that will govern the shipment of your goods, such as FOB (Free on Board), CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight), or DDP (Delivered Duty Paid).

Step 3: Arrange the shipping and logistics

The third step is to arrange the shipping and logistics of your goods from India to the US. You can choose between air freight or sea freight depending on your budget, time frame, and product characteristics. Air freight is faster but more expensive than sea freight. Sea freight is cheaper but slower than air freight. You can use online tools like Wise to compare different shipping options and costs.

You also need to prepare the necessary documents for your shipment, such as the commercial invoice, packing list, bill of lading or air waybill, certificate of origin, and any other documents required by the US or Indian authorities. You should also purchase adequate insurance coverage for your goods in case of loss or damage during transit.

Step 4: Clear customs and pay duties and taxes

The final step is to clear customs and pay duties and taxes on your goods when they arrive at the US port of entry. You can hire a customs broker or a freight forwarder to handle this process for you or do it yourself if you have experience and knowledge in customs clearance. You will need to submit an electronic entry declaration through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) system and provide all the relevant documents and information to CBP.

CBP will inspect your goods and determine their value and classification based on the HTS codes. They will then calculate and collect the applicable duties and taxes on your goods. The average duty rate for imports from India is 6.5%, but it may vary depending on the product category and trade agreements. You may also have to pay additional fees such as merchandise processing fees, harbor maintenance fees, or antidumping or countervailing duties.

You can use online tools like Wise to estimate and pay your import duties and taxes in advance and avoid delays or penalties at customs. Wise also offers a business account that allows you to hold up to 50 different currencies at once and convert them at the real exchange rate with low fees. You can also use the Wise Business debit card to pay for your imports anywhere in the world at the best possible exchange rate.

Step 5: Receive your goods and sell them in the US market

The last step is to receive your goods from customs and sell them in the US market. You should inspect your goods for any defects or damages and report them to your supplier or insurer if necessary. You should also store your goods in a safe and secure location and comply with any labeling, packaging, or marketing regulations that apply to your products. You can use online platforms like Amazon, eBay, or Shopify to sell your products online or find distributors, wholesalers, or retailers to sell them offline.

By following these steps, you can import from India to the US successfully and efficiently. Importing from India can be a profitable and rewarding venture if you do your research, plan ahead, and use the right tools and services. Happy importing!

Import to USA from India: Trends and Prospects

The trade relationship between the United States and India has grown significantly in the past few decades. According to the United Nations COMTRADE database, the United States imported goods worth $90.99 billion from India in 2022, making India the ninth-largest source of US imports . The main products that the US imported from India were diamonds, packaged medicaments, machinery, electrical equipment, organic chemicals, and mineral fuels .

Factors Affecting the Demand for Indian Imports in the US

Several factors have influenced the demand for Indian imports in the US market, such as:
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on global supply chains, trade policies, consumer preferences, and health care needs. The pandemic disrupted the production and distribution of many goods, creating shortages and price fluctuations in some sectors. However, it also increased the demand for certain products, such as pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, personal protective equipment, and digital services, which India has a comparative advantage in supplying .
  • The economic recovery and stimulus measures in both countries, which have boosted consumer spending, business investment, and public expenditure. The US economy grew by 6.4% in the first quarter of 2021, while India’s economy contracted by 7.3% in the fiscal year 2020-21. However, both countries have implemented fiscal and monetary policies to support their economies and mitigate the effects of the pandemic. The US passed a $1.9 trillion relief package in March 2021, while India announced a $266 billion stimulus package in May 2020 .
  • The strategic partnership and cooperation between the two countries on various issues, such as defense, security, energy, climate change, education, science and technology, and innovation. The two countries have also engaged in dialogues and negotiations to resolve trade disputes and enhance market access for their products and services. For example, in October 2020, the US granted India a six-month extension of the generalized system of preferences (GSP) program, which provides duty-free access for certain Indian exports to the US .

Future Outlook and Opportunities for Indian Exporters

The outlook for Indian exports to the US is positive, as both countries are expected to recover from the pandemic and resume their economic growth. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the US economy is projected to grow by 7% in 2021 and 4.9% in 2022, while India’s economy is projected to grow by 9.5% in 2021 and 8.5% in 2022 . The trade volume between the two countries is also expected to increase, as they aim to achieve a bilateral trade target of $500 billion by 2025 .

There are several opportunities for Indian exporters to expand their market share and diversify their product portfolio in the US market, such as:
  • Leveraging the digital transformation and e-commerce platforms to reach new customers and segments, especially in sectors such as information technology, software services, online education, entertainment, gaming, and social media .
  • Capitalizing on the growing demand for green products and services that contribute to environmental sustainability and climate action, such as renewable energy, electric vehicles, biodegradable materials, organic food, and natural cosmetics .
  • Exploring new niches and value-added products that cater to the changing preferences and needs of US consumers, such as health and wellness products, ethnic food and beverages, handicrafts and textiles, jewelry and accessories, and tourism services .


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