If i am exporting Sterling silver jewellery to a major US department store and I pay for the duties
It’s difficult to give an exact answer without knowing the exact description and composition of the jewellery, but asuming that you are talking about finished manufactured silver jewellery articles without diamonds or other precious stones, I believe that the goods might be classified under US Customs tariff number 7113.11.50, which would attract a duty rate of 5%.
You can check this for yourself on the US Customs website: http://www.usitc.gov/publications/docs/tata/hts/bychapter/1300C71.pdf . If you alreadty know your HS (Customs tariff) code in the UK, that should help you.
If you are sending the goods via a carrier (small parcel service, or secure jewellery transporter) and asking them to prepay the duty & bill you, you may have to pay an extra fee for that service, so I would suggest that you add on a little more to allow for contingencies.
If you are exporting to a multiple retailer like a department store they will have expect the goods to be kept landed & cleared in a stockist in the USA where they will "call off" deliveries of items & expect them to be delivered within a few hours (or at the most a few days) from the "call off " i.e send me x number of products x & x number of product y to store a & store b by tomorrow morning.
The only practical way to do this is to find an American distributor who will buy & hold your stock for resale to the department store. You MUST insist that the distributors sell under your own brand name only, & in return you must give them exclusivity for a given customer,area or territory.
The hard part is finding a distributor who is a match for your products, hungry for business, has the right contacts & can take care of all the hassle regarding import duties, customs clearance etc.
If you want I can give you some advice about distributor selection
And if you want to be extra sure, go and visit them – we can help with all your travel needs!