How To Import Electronics Into The US

Your how-to guide on electronics imports into the US

How to import electronics into the US

If you are importing phones, computers, circuit assemblies, monitors, power units, or other electronics and/or components into the US, you must know what government parties are involved, what regulations must be followed, and the fundamental aspects of electronics imports.

Parties Involved:

  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Federal Communication Committee (FCC)
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
  • Customs Broker
  • Carrier

Main Regulations:

  • All radiation-emitting devices are regulated by the FDA, with a FDA Form 2877 being required at the time of import.
  • Although there is no longer a separate declaration required to confirm the product conforms to FCC requirements, the burden of proof is on the importer. Keep those records handy to quickly submit if and when they are requested.
  • Like the FDA, the CPSC is tasked with ensuring that all electronic products are safe, effective, and durable. Additional inspections and requests may be made by this agency at the time of import or post import.
  • Depending on the source country additional duties may apply.

Import Fundamentals:

  • You will be acting as the Importer of Record. Therefore, you are the party ultimately responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the import declaration; as well as, the payment of applicable duties and taxes into the US
  • Duty and tax must be paid upon importation into the US
  • The rate of duty is determined by the tariff of the commodity being imported, value of the goods, and origin of the goods.
  • Certain import documentation is required to be presented to the border services officer at the port of entry.
  • Your import may be subject to a customs or partner government agency review, inspection or audit prior to, at the time of, or after the importation. Additional fees may be levied by the Government of the US for these services.
  • You are required to keep your import records for five years following the date of import and can be audited by Customs at any point during this time.

FAQ: Electronics Imports

Are There Any Special Requirements For Importing Electronics From China?
All products, foreign or domestic, must meet all US regulations regardless of the source country. Regarding China, you may see and increase in duty cost depending on the product.
Are The FCC Rules Different If I Am Shipping Small Quantities Of Items That Are Not For Sale?

The rules do not distinguish devices being imported for business or personal use and not for sale. The products must comply with the FCC requirements, unless subject to one of the exceptions. To see if you qualify for one of the exceptions please contact your customs broker.

What Are The Responsibilities Of Importers For Proof Of An Equipment Authorization?

In the event that Customs and/or the FCC requests proof of equipment authorization documentation, you should ensure that you have the following documentation ready:

  • Supplier's Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) - As the Importer of Record, you will be required to be located in the US You must provide your name, address and phone number. At any point, the FCC may request that you provide samples for their inspection or testing or your testing records for review.
  • Certification – Certification can come from the Importer of Record of their chosen foreign manufacturer. The FCC may ask to inspect your import or request samples. In the event that an issue arises the certificate creator will be required to address and rectify them. Failure to do so may result in the loss of import privileges and the ability to market to sell these products in the US.
What Is A Form 2877 And Where Can I Find One?

A Form 2877 is a declaration for imported electronic products subject to radiation control standards from the Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Food and Drug Administration. Every imported electronic device will be required to have this form sent to Customs upon release request.

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