Importing into the U.S.

For general information on importing in the U.S., see the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website - Basic Importing and Exporting where you will find the links "Tips for New Importers and Exporters" and the CBP publication, "Importing into the United States" (pdf - 467 KB).

If you have specific questions regarding importing into the U.S., you may contact the CBP office at the port of entry where your merchandise will enter the United States or a service port of entry near you. A complete directory of the various ports of entry can be found on the CBP website - Locate a Port Of Entry - Air, Land, or Sea. Ask to speak with a CBP import specialist assigned to the commodity you are importing. Import specialists are a valuable resource for commodity specific knowledge and can provide classification advice, commodity specific requirements, advisory duty rates, and respond to questions you may have about filing an entry. You may also contact the CBP Center of Excellence and Expertise Information for Textiles, Apparel and Footwear, see the Centers Directory for contact information.

For information on U.S. import tariffs, see the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States on the U.S. International Tariff Commission (USITC) website.

Importers can request a written ruling from CBP for the proper HTSUS classification and rate of duty for their merchandise. See What are Ruling Letters on the CBP website. See the results of previous ruling requests on the Customs Rulings Online Search System (CROSS). Issues such as value, country of origin marking, and applicability of trade preference programs can also be found on CROSS.

For import trade statistics, see OTEXA's Trade Data webpage.

For information on U.S. labeling requirements, see the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website - Clothing & Textiles-Facts for Businesses and Guides for select leather and imitation leather products - 16 C.F.R., Section 24. Also see the CBP Informed Compliance Guide on Marking Requirements for Wearing Apparel (5/2008). Also see the FTC's Registered Identification Number (RN) Database webpage. For U.S. apparel sizing standards, see the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) webpage. For questions regarding U.S. labeling requirements, contact:
    Textile Section
    Division of Enforcement
    Federal Trade Commission
    600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20580
    Tel: (202) 326-3553
For information on U.S. safety standards, see the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website.

Mandatory textile standards: For questions related to flammability standards, contact: CPSC, Allyson Tenney, Tel: 301-504-7567

For questions related to lead, contact: CPSC, John Boja, Tel: 301-504-7300.

See the CPSC Regulatory Robot to guide you in identifying important product safety requirements that apply to certain products.

The CPSC Small Business Ombudsman provides guidance to ensure that consumer products are in compliance with the applicable federal laws on consumer product safety.

See also the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Guides for Industry: Compliance Requirements
Guide to U.S. Furniture Requirements
Guide to U.S. Footwear Requirements
Guide to U.S. Apparel and Household Textiles Requirements

CBP Informed Compliance Publications has information on various industry-related topics, including the following:
  • Classification of Children's Apparel (1/2008)
  • Classification of Coated and Water Resistant Apparel (1/2008)
  • Classification of Hats and Other Headgear Under HTSUS Heading 6505 (6/2008)
  • Classification of Knit to Shape Apparel Garments Under HTSUS Heading 6110 (5/2008)
  • Classification: Apparel Terminology under the HTSUS (6/2008)
  • Classification of Ribbons & Trimmings under the HTSUS (6/2008)
  • Classification of Textile Costumes Under the HTSUS (6/2008)
  • Classification of Sets (3/2004)
  • Country of Origin of Knit to Shape Apparel Products (3/2006)
  • Fiber Trade Names & Generic Terms (6/2006)
  • Fibers & Yarns Construction and Classification Under the HTSUS (9/2011)
  • Footwear (4/2012)
  • Gloves, Mittens & Mitts, Not Knitted or Crocheted, Under the HTSUS (5/2008)
  • Importation of Commercial Samples (10/2003)
  • Marking Requirements for Wearing Apparel (5/2008 FTA for Textiles & Textile Articles
  • NAFTA for Textiles & Textile Articles
  • Textile & Apparel Rules of Origin (4/2004)

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has an on-line procedure by which concerned individuals can report illegal import and export activities, see e-Allegations - Online Trade Violation Reporting System.