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How To Ship Skin Care From China To The United States?

Whether you are an entrepreneur who wants to import skin care products from China to the United States, or a business owner who wants to expand the product range by sourcing skin care products from China, have you ever thought about how to import skin care products from China? What do you need to pay attention to? Many buyers dread the thought of the cumbersome regulations, paperwork, and potential pitfalls! Let’s find out answers to your worries and uncertainties together, making your skin care products sourced from China smoother!01Product Classification and Compliance

Product Classification and Compliance

Regarding the classification of skin care products, most of them are cleansing, skin care water, essence, lotion, facial mask, spray, essential oil, scrub exfoliating products, special care cosmeceuticals, etc., as long as it is in direct contact with the human body‘s surface, they are skin care products. Therefore, they are sensitive items in international cargo transportation, and some items are also dangerous.

Skin care products are also sensitive products in the United States, so the inspection rate will be higher than most of the general products, which is inevitable. Therefore, you need to understand the import regulations of US skin care products before shipping. Products must comply with legal import regulations and be legal and safe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are the two main regulatory agencies you deal with when importing skin care products. FDA oversees the safety and labeling of cosmetic products, while CBP oversees the import process. Make sure you are familiar with the regulations of both agencies to avoid any issues during the import process.For products shipped to California, additional requirements in California Proposition 65 must also be met, including restrictions on substances such as lead and Cocamide DEA. As well as products like moisturizers, there may be additional regulations in different states. Before shipping, it is necessary to ensure that the product complies with all relevant legal requirements.

02Choose a Shipping Method

Choose a Shipping Method

Which method to deliver skin care products is affordable? First, we need to confirm which channels are available. Skin care products are dangerous goods in international logistics and transportation. Currently, the available shipping methods are.

1. International Express. It includes DHL、Fedex、UPS and TNT. The fastest time limit can be reached in 4-6 days, and the price is also the most expensive, express is more suitable for small parcels. Generally, tax is not included, and you need to assist in customs clearance. There are also double-clearance and tax-inclusive channels, such as Hong Kong UPS red slip tax-inclusive channels. Combine timeliness, and price, to choose one that is suitable for you!

2. US Air Freight. If your order is large and urgent to receive them, you can consider Air Freight. The overall time limit is 10-15 days, and the double clearance includes tax, you just wait at home or warehouse to receive the goods. The timeliness and price are quite satisfactory.

3. US Skin care products Small Package Channel. It means sending small packages directly from China to your address. Currently, there are postal small package channels and US special line small package options. The timeliness of the postal parcel is relatively slow, usually, it takes about 15-20 days. The timeliness of the US special line is relatively fast, and it can arrive in 8-12 days. The price of the package within 0.45kg is more advantageous.

4. Sea Freight. Generally, it is suitable for factories or sellers who stock up in large quantities. Price is much cheaper than Air or express, sometimes it is as low as a single digit. While the timeliness is also the slowest. Matson Clipper also takes about 20 working days, and Yantian general ship takes about working 35 days.
However, you can mix 2 different methods according to your demand to seize time and control the cost!

03Packaging and Labeling

Packaging and Labeling

Products’ sales packaging that meets the demand of shipping requests, must clearly and easily identify information such as the product name, net content, company name and address, ingredient identification, warning words, purpose description, usage method, and safety instructions. Proper labeling is crucial, it must meet the requirements of FPLA. The text on the label must be written in English and the font size must be easy to read. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 prohibits deceptive information on labels to ensure public safety. If statements on the label are misleading, false, unclear, or confusing, your shipment likely won’t be allowed through customs.

Customs Documentation

1. Like most of the other ordinary goods, you’ll need to provide several documents to import skin care products into the U.S., including:
A commercial invoice
A packing list
A Bill of Lading (BOL)
An arrival notice
A custom bond
The above documents must be submitted within five business days of the goods arriving at the CBP. If the paperwork is not submitted within 15 business days, the goods will be returned to a shipper, and you’ll be responsible for storage fees.

2. Since skin care products are sensitive products, and some items are dangerous goods, you will also need to obtain various certification documents, such as MSDS, FDA, certificates of origin, transportation safety certificates, etc. Because the U.S. Customs has clear requirements for the import of skin care products, these certificates are required to ensure the safety of the goods and the safety of the transportation of the goods. If you can’t get the certification documents, the logistics company you cooperate with can also help you to solve the certifications.

04Product Registration

Product Registration

Before importing skin care products from China, you need to register your business license. The Small Business Administration (SBA) can provide guidance on this process. You will also need to obtain any necessary licenses or permits from state or local authorities. Besides that, comply with FDA regulations. You and the manufacturer need to register with the FDA and submit a Cosmetic Composition Report (VCRP) to the US FDA so that the FDA can monitor the safety of the products. The VCRP report needs to contain information such as the composition and use of the product.

Shipping Costs and Insurance

Shipping cost is usually determined based on the volume and weight of the shipment. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that you calculate accurate cargo weights and accurate packing volumes. Some other factors that can affect the shipping cost include the shipping company(different companies have different services and quotations); Shipping method (you can roughly judge which is more expensive and which is cheaper from the previous shipping methods); Freight insurance; Quality inspection, compliance testing and so on.

Regarding insurance, different channels have different insurance prices, and the declared value and quantity of the goods will also affect the insurance price. We highly suggest you purchase insurance if products are shipped by air or sea. You can buy the insurance through a logistics company, or from the insurance company directly.

Track and Trace

Once your skin care products are shipped out, you will get a tracking number from the logistics company, and sometimes a website for you to track the shipping status yourself. Mostly a professional logistics company will help you to track the status and remind you to assist with customs clearance once the products arrive at U.S. Customs.

05Consider Import Restrictions

Consider Import Restrictions

When filling out your import paperwork, fill in the declaration information in compliance, including the declared name and declared value, and increase the appropriate investment rate of the product if necessary. And you will need to know the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) code for your products. This code allows CBP to calculate the import of your shipment duty. Using the wrong code can cause problems with CBP, and your shipment won’t be allowed through customs until the mistake is corrected. After submitting the entry declaration, most products will be released automatically, and some products will be randomly checked or detained automatically. Products that have been spot-checked or detained must be inspected by the FDA or a third-party laboratory before they can be released. Products that fail the inspection will be required to be rectified or returned for destruction. This process ensures that only skin care products that comply with U.S. regulations enter the market

Delays and Contingency Plans

The US customs clearance process is not always quick. Sometimes the efficiency is very low, and even it is returned to China for no reason, which may cause delays in your later sales plan or product shooting. Of course, sometimes the reason for the delay does not rule out that the importer did not submit the materials in time, or paid taxes and fees, etc. The US FDA conducts spot checks on imported skin care products, this may cause the delay too.
If there are any delays, you need to communicate with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) about tariffs, quotas, licenses, and more. Therefore, importers need to prepare relevant documents when importing, such as invoices, bills of lading, lists of goods, etc. You can also contact your state and local authorities for specific information on starting a skin care products business. The small business administration can also help you with customs clearance.

Continuous Communication

Enterprises exporting skin care products from China to the United States need to continue to pay attention to new regulations, guidelines, and warnings issued by the FDA and related agencies. Skin care product regulations are constantly updated as scientific research and market demands change. Businesses should remain vigilant to ensure that products remain compliant with the legal requirements of the US market.

Skin care products are liquids, whether you are importing or exporting, the operation process is more complicated than ordinary goods. As long as you prepare the above documents and materials, basically, you can pass the customs smoothly. Success comes from those small things, be careful and patient, you can make it! Please feel free to comment if you have more questions!

Create Value To Customers

We are always thinking about the question what is the key value of our daily work, creating value to customers seems our top priority. Our business is to provide you with quality products that will assist you in customizing your vision of your product line and image. In doing so this supports a bottom line that will create higher profit margins while maintaining a minimized product inventory.