Key points:

  • This guide helps growing small and medium eCommerce businesses export physical goods from China to the USA
  • It explains key steps like regulations, documentation, choosing partners, and shipping methods
  • Understanding de minimis value (customs exemption for shipments under $800) can reduce costs and expedite clearance
  • Fulfilling from Hong Kong can offer faster delivery times, reduced costs, and improved customer service compared to direct China shipments

The massive trade volume between the U.S. and China, with U.S. imports reaching over $536 Billion in 2022, presents a significant opportunity for eCommerce businesses looking to capitalize on this established trade lane.

For eCommerce businesses, exporting from China to the USA can be a game-changer. This guide is designed specifically for small to medium-sized eCommerce businesses focused on physical goods.

Check out this quick overview of the necessary steps, legal documents, and strategic approaches required to streamline your export process, reduce costs, and boost overall efficiency.

Table of Contents

Exporting from China to USA

Understanding the process of exporting goods from a Chinese supplier to international buyers in the USA is the foundation of successful international trade.

This includes selecting reputable Chinese suppliers, navigating through the export and China import regulations, and ensuring timely shipments that meet customer expectations.

Export Regulations and Customs Clearance

The export market is heavily regulated by both the Chinese government and the U.S. customs authority. Familiarizing yourself with these regulations is crucial.

Key documents like the proforma invoice, packing list, and bill of lading are essential for smooth customs clearance, helping you avoid delays that could affect customer satisfaction and your business’s reputation.

Understanding the Role of the Chinese Government

The Chinese government plays a pivotal role through the General Administration of Customs and other regulatory bodies in setting the framework for exports. This includes issuing export licenses and HS codes that classify your goods for international trade.

Obtaining an Export License

To legally export goods from China, obtaining an export license is necessary. This legal document, required for specific goods subject to export controls, must be obtained from the competent authorities before you can ship your products overseas.

Choosing the Right Shipping Company and Freight Forwarder

Selecting a reliable shipping company and freight forwarder can significantly impact the efficiency of your export operations. These partners help in handling the logistics of international shipping, ensuring that your goods reach their destination safely and on time.

The Importance of a Commercial Invoice

A commercial invoice is not just a bill for your goods but a crucial document for international trade. It provides all the necessary details about the transaction, which customs authorities use to assess duties and taxes, ensuring compliance with international trade laws.

Working with International Suppliers and Export Agencies

Building strong relationships with international suppliers and export agencies can provide you with competitive advantages, such as access to high-quality raw materials and goods at competitive prices. These partnerships are essential for maintaining a steady supply chain of import products and meeting the demands of your market.

The Logistics of Exporting Goods: Air Freight and More

Choosing the right mode of transportation, such as air freight or sea freight, affects the total cost, delivery times, and handling of your exported goods. Understanding the nuances of each option will help you make decisions that align with your business objectives and customer expectations.

Legal and Regulatory Considerations in Different Countries

Exporting to different countries means complying with a range of legal and regulatory requirements. This can include everything from export licensing to ensuring that your imported goods meet the specific standards and regulations of the destination country.

Understanding De Minimis Value

The de minimis value refers to the threshold below which imported goods are generally exempt from customs duties and taxes. This can be a significant cost advantage for e-commerce businesses exporting smaller quantities of goods.

For exports from China to the USA, the current de minimis value is USD$800. This means that if the total declared value of your shipment is less than USD$800, it will likely clear customs duty-free.

Here are some key points to remember about de minimis value:

  • Not a guaranteed exemption: While customs authorities typically don't assess duties and taxes on shipments below the de minimis value, it's not a guaranteed exemption. They may still request additional documentation or inspect the goods.
  • Per shipment value: The de minimis value applies to the total declared value of each individual shipment, not the total value of your exports to a single customer within a specific timeframe.
  • Limited quantities: De minimis value is intended for personal or non-commercial imports. If customs suspect large quantities are being broken down into multiple shipments to avoid duties, they may deny the exemption.

Benefits of Utilizing De Minimis Value

  • Reduced costs: Saving on duties and taxes can improve your profit margins and make your products more competitive
  • Faster clearance: Shipments valued below the de minimis threshold often experience faster customs clearance, leading to quicker delivery times
  • Simplified process: Exporting low-value goods under the de minimis value can streamline the overall export process

Important Considerations

  • Be transparent: Always declare the accurate value of your goods on customs documentation. Misrepresenting the value can lead to penalties and delays.
  • Combined orders: Be cautious with combining multiple orders for the same customer into a single shipment to stay below the de minimis value. This could raise red flags for customs.
  • Future changes: The de minimis value can be subject to change, so stay informed about any updates from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

By understanding and strategically utilizing the de minimis value, you can optimize your export costs and streamline your operations for a smoother experience.

Shipping From China to the US? Fulfill from Hong Kong Today!

Tired of the challenges of directly importing from China? Easyship offers a powerful solution: fulfillment from Hong Kong.  This dynamic business hub provides a smoother and more cost-effective way to get your products to customers worldwide.

Why Choose Hong Kong?

  • Faster Delivery Times: Hong Kong boasts superior global connectivity, shaving up to 3 days off delivery times compared to direct China shipments.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Major carriers offer a wider range of high-quality services with superior tracking options in Hong Kong.
  • Reduced Costs: As a free port, Hong Kong offers significant cost advantages. There are no import or sales taxes, and depending on your product value, you might avoid US import tariffs altogether.
  • Improved Customer Service: Faster customs clearance and frequent tracking updates free up your team to focus on what matters most – your customers.
  • Business-Friendly Environment: Hong Kong's strong legal system and trade-focused regulations make it ideal for international businesses.

Your Biggest Challenges?

  • Rising Costs: You're constantly seeking ways to reduce expenses like shipping and fulfillment to maximize profits.
  • Time Management: Limited resources make efficient time management a struggle. Ideally, you'd free up time for strategic initiatives.
  • Shipping Complexity: As your business grows, navigating shipping complexities like labeling, carrier selection, international regulations, and customer expectations becomes overwhelming.
  • Growth Constraints: You see the potential of international markets but feel limited by the expertise and time needed to implement such a strategy.

How Easyship Can Help Your Store Grow:

Easyship's user-friendly platform empowers you to:

  • Reduce Shipping Costs: Compare rates from multiple carriers and access exclusive discounts to save money
  • Save Time: Automate tedious tasks like label creation and customs documentation
  • Simplify International Shipping: Easily navigate the complexities of global shipping with Easyship's streamlined processes
  • Grow Your Business: Expand your reach to new markets with confidence and support from Easyship's global network

By fulfilling from Hong Kong with Easyship, you can achieve your goals of growing your business, reducing costs, saving time, and reaching new customers internationally.


Mastering the export process from China to the USA is crucial for e-commerce businesses looking to expand their operations and tap into international markets.

By understanding and navigating the complexities of export regulations, working with the right partners, and utilizing effective logistics solutions, you can enhance your business’s growth and profitability while maintaining compliance with international trade laws.

Take the next step in expanding your e-commerce business by integrating efficient exporting strategies from China to the USA. Contact our team for expert advice and support in navigating the complexities of international trade and logistics.


Do I need a license to export from China?

Yes, a license may be required to export from China depending on the imported products. An export agency can be a useful tool if the Chinese manufacturers do not carry an export license.

Is China still exporting goods to US?

Yes, China is still exporting goods to the US.

What documents are required to export from China?

The documents required to export from China vary depending on the import goods, but typically include an export license, commercial invoice, and packing list.

How do I export products from China?

There are several steps to exporting from China, including finding a supplier, obtaining necessary licenses, and arranging shipping.

What is the best product to export from China?

There is no single "best" product to export from China, it depends on market demand and regulations.

How to export from China to USA?

The process for exporting from China to the USA is similar to exporting to other countries, but there may be additional requirements.

Does China have export restrictions?

Yes, China has export restrictions on certain goods for reasons like national security or cultural preservation.

Is China still exporting goods to us?

Yes, as mentioned earlier, China is still exporting goods to the US.