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How to import speakers to the US?

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Standard Member
HI, does any body know how to import speakers (for resale) to the USA? I have a manufacturer oversea that would like to import their products (speakers, both for personal and commercial use) to America. I need to know what are required by the US government to bring the products here?

Thanks for the helps.


Distinguished Member
While I only have experience with Export, generally, you arrange with a Freight Forwarder for the shipping. They will also handle a lot of the paperwork.

If you are using a Letter of Credit to secure the transaction, which is typical for international purchasing, then your documentation needs to be very precise, EXTREMELY precise. I once had a Bill of Material rejected because my letterhead address didn't match the information in the Letter of Credit, even though in the document itself, the address was correct according the LofC.

Each time you make a mistake and have to correct it, it cost you money, from $100 to $250 per mistake. For our documentation, we used Wells Fargo which, obviously, has an international trading branch. It can sometime cost $600 to process a Letter of Credit. The fees are either shared by the buyer and seller, or one or the other picks up the bulk of them.

Now, it is possible to ask the people receiving the merchandise to wave a particular mistake, usually minor mistakes.

Again, if you are purchasing by some other means, cash, credit card, wire transfer, etc... these problems are much much less. But your risk is also higher. With a Letter of Credit, the bank guarantees payment once the terms of the transaction are met. But again, ABC Company, Inc is not ABC Co, Corp. The mis-placement of a coma or period, or the use of an abbreviation on any of the paperwork can cause the documentation to be rejected, which in turn is going to cost somebody some money.

Once the shipment arrives, it will be held in custom for inspection and until you pay import taxes on it. Once the shipment has cleared customs, the Freight Forwarding service will deliver to your door.

Freight Forwarding services can be purchased in many formS. The best is door-to-door. This may require coordinating several freight services, but it is all done by the Freight Forwarder. Or you can use a combination. The seller can provide freight service to our shores, in other words, to US Customs, then you can use your own freight service to pick it up at Customs and deliver it to your door.

This is usually decided at the time of purchase, and usually, the buyer pays the shipping. Or, the seller may pay to the US and the buyer pays inland shipping.

Most larger cities have classes you can take on Import/Export. I took one from a remote branch of a university. Usually Adult Education classes. Not cheap but well worth the money. Also, a few books on Import/Export both on actually doing it, and on the terms frequently used in International Business would help.

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Bald Monkey

Distinguished Member
The US government must have many websites that deal with these issues and are sources of advice. Asking on a UK based Speaker Forum for import/export advice probably isn't the best idea... despite Steve's advice. :D

I'm going to close this thread now as I don't think it belongs here, yet I'm not sure AVF has a commercial import/export advice forum. :confused:

http://www.business.gov/guides/import-export/specific-products.html ;)
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