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The mission of the United States Customs Service is to ensure that all goods entering and exiting the United States do so in accordance with all United States laws and regulations. They provide information and regulations regarding Importing & Exporting of clothing to and from the United States.
If your company imports apparel, clothing, or footwear into the United States of America you will want to learn about the apparel duty rates for certain.
When dealing with customs issues for clothing or textiles, you will find that many of the agreements have long names, so most people use the abbreviations. Here are a few examples:
Read up on Trade Agreements for the Apparel Industry.
Important resources of interest:
The Apparel Search directory provides you with useful links regarding customs, duty rates, quota categories, HTS #'s, fill rates, importing, exporting etc. This guide is intended to assist members of the clothing and textile industry import and export clothes, fabrics, trimming etc.
Importing (to USA)
What is a Customs Broker?
Dec. 2, 2002 Importing to USA Under New Customs Regulation
Commodity Description Lookups
Clothing, shoes, and fashion accessories travel The World. It is important to learn the various importing and exporting rules.
The European Commission's Market Access Database gives tariff information for many non-EU countries. The Applied Tariff Database section allows users to get a tariff rate by selecting a country and then searching the database by HS code or by product. The database also has a section Exporters Guide to Import Formalities. This database (searchable by HS code or by product), gives an overview of import procedures to a country, as well as any general and specific requirements for a product.
Additional information and resources to help you learn about customs relevant matters in regard to clothing or textiles:
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC): Established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence among Asia-Pacific economies. Its goal is to advance economic dynamism and sense of community within the Asia-Pacific region.
Boskage Commerce Publications: source for books, computer programs, broker training courses, U.S. Customs and other government publications relating to international business.
CAFTA U.S. - Central American Free Trade Agreement
Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA):The primary goal of CBERA is to promote export-oriented growth in the Caribbean Basin countries and to diversify their economies away from such traditional agricultural products and raw materials as aluminum, bananas, coffee, petroleum, and sugar.
Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA): Tariff and customs information can be found. The COMESA member countries are: Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
C-TPAT (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism)
Customs' Guidelines for Interpreting Textile Country of Origin from Riggle & Craven : Guidelines intended to help Customs Attaches in foreign countries to interpret the new textile rules of origin. These are only a guide, but they provide the basis of the new rules in a format that should be useful to exporters.
FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas): This site follows the process initiated in the 1994 Summit of the Americas to integrate the economies of the Western Hemisphere into a single free trade arrangement.
International Trade Administration: One out of every 10 Americans owes his or her job to exports... But with the advent of the Internet and e-commerce, trade's greatest contributions to world prosperity may still lie ahead. The International Trade Administration (ITA) is here to help your U.S. businesses participate fully in the growing global marketplace. They provide practical information to help you select your markets and products. They ensure that you have access to international markets as required by our trade agreements. They safeguard you from unfair competition from dumped and subsidized imports. ITA is headed by the Under Secretary for International Trade who oversees the operations of ITA's four units: The Commercial Service is your primary point of contact throughout the United States and the world. A global network of Commercial Officers can help you at every stage of the exporting process. Manufacturing and Services is the government's link to American industry. Industry sector specialists can help you identify trade opportunities for specific products or services. Market Access and Compliance keeps world markets open to your products. Country specialists can help you benefit from our trade agreements with other countries. Import Administration impartially enforces our trade laws, ensuring that you face a level playing field in the domestic marketplace.
Logistics Zone: LogisticsZone is the online service dedicated to the vibrant world of logistics, transportation, distribution, supply chain management, and international business. LogisticsZone gives a "one-stop" location for anything concerning logistics.
Major Shippers Report: This report provides General Import statistics by date of import from the Census Bureau for a variety of recent time periods on countries which exceed certain thresholds. The statistics are also summarized in notional categories and countries for the convenience of CITA Agencies. The status of any controls on these imports is also provided. Data does not include plastic apparel.
Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC) [China]: To formulate development strategies, guidelines and policies of domestic and foreign trade and international economic cooperation, draft laws and regulations governing domestic and foreign trade, economic cooperation and foreign investment, devise implementation rules and regulations. To study and put forward proposals on harmonizing domestic legislations on trade and economic affairs as well as bringing Chinese economic and trade laws into conformity with multilateral and bilateral treaties and agreements.
National Export Directory: The NED contains contact information for state trade offices, trade finance offices, trade centers, and foreign trade zones. There are also listings of the local or regional offices of the following U.S. Government agencies: the U.S. Department of Commerce (International Trade Administration, U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, Bureau of Export Administration, and Minority Business Development Administration), the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): Relevant section of NAFTA relating to the apparel and textile industries. Sections include: Executive Summary, yarn, fabric, Made-Up Articles Apparel, Annex I Spun yarn Tariff Preference Level (TPL), Annex II fabric and Made-Up Articles Tariff Preference Level (TPL), Annex III Apparel (Non-Wool) Tariff Preference Level (TPL), Annex IV Apparel (Wool) Tariff Preference Level (TPL), Annex 300-B Textiles and Apparel Goods, and Annex 401: Specific Rules of Origin.
U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) : Provides: major shippers report, Harmonized Tariff Schedule correlations, list of embargoes, information on current publications and upcoming USDOC trade events, and Federal Register notices.
U.S. Textile and Apparel Category System: To view a Correlation of Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) numbers with a specific textile or apparel category number. This service is part of OTEXA.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Textiles and Clothing: Provides for the phased liberalization and elimination over the transition period of quotas on textiles and apparel imported from WTO member countries. The Agreement was approved as part of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act by the U.S. Congress in December, 1994. The Agreement went into effect on January 1, 1995. On-line sections include: Integration, Quota Growth Rates, Tariff (Duty) Rate Reductions, and Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC).
After you transport your product, don't forget to find a warehouse to store your garments.