Exporting to the US



I want to export a jigsaw puzzle carrier to the US, to be fulfilled by Amazon US. I have two questions:

1. Do I need to pay state sales taxes or am I exempt as I am a company wholly based in the UK?
2. What value should I put on the export invoice for the purposes of US import duties? The goods will not have been sold at the point of being landed and if they are not sold they will be destroyed and would have no value.

I would be grateful for any help. We are a very small company and have not tried to export to the US before.


Hi Paula

This is something with which we can help (by coincidence we bought two jigsaws and a roll-up mat just this weekend).

You can be forgiven for thinking your questions (or rather, the answers) are complicated, but it is not.

To help, I need more information than your question provides.

Please take a look at our web site (ExportAction.com) and if you would like to talk, send me an email (see Contact page). We don’t charge for conversation or information and we don’t have sales executives so you won’t be bombarded with telephone calls or emails.

Hoping to hear from you, but "good luck" anyway.


Roger Frampton


Dear Paula,
Thank you for reaching out onto Open To Export. The landed cost is the total cost of a product once it has arrived at the buyer’s door so the following should be considered: original cost of item, brokerage/logistics fees, complete shipping costs, customs duties, tariffs, taxes, insurance, currency conversion, crating costs and handling fees. Not all will be present in every shipment, but they are all considered part of the landed cost.

Items shipped to certain states are subject to fees: Customs Information (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=502492) US Sales Tax (http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=468512)

You should speak with a freight forwarder or courier (e.g. DHL, FedEx) to determine the shipping costs. If not, you may wish to consult a Customs Broker. Approved brokers by state can be found on the CBP website’s Port of Entry link.

Also, here is the process for classifying goods for export to the U.S. and determining what the duties will be:
1. Classification Code – The product/goods will require a customs Classification Code before you can identify the duty or import rates applicable. To classify goods, call the Customs CLASSIFICATION HOTLINE – Tel: 01702 366 077 TARIFF (UK), Mon-Fri 8.30-5.00.
2. Duty Rates- The United States International Trade Commission website http://dataweb.usitc.gov/ provides international trade statistics and US Tariff data to the public full-time and free of charge.
Directions for easy access: a. Select TARIFF DATABASE (on left side of page) b. Click– Yes, go to USITC Year 2012 Tariff Database c. Enter Classification number in the box (only type the first 6 digits) and click ‘List Items’ d. Click on relevant ‘detail’ (The rate is quoted under MFN (Most Favoured Nation))

Contact Information for US Customs: Office of Customs & Border Protection Tel: (001) 703 526 4200 www.cbp.gov. Also try Amazon for further assistance. Best, Diana Lau

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