Product Regulations in the United States: A Beginner’s Guide

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Suggestion: Watch the 20 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

About to import products to the United States, or sell on Then you must stay on top of the whole spectrum of mandatory safety standards, labeling, documentation and lab testing requirements.

It’s a heavy topic, but one you need to know inside out – or face the risk of having your goods seized by the US customs, getting your Amazon account shut down – or worse (yes, it can get a lot worse than that).

In this beginners guide to US safety standards and regulations, you will learn what every importer and ecommerce seller must know – including safety standards (both mandatory and non-mandatory), labeling requirements, document requirements and lab testing requirements.

Why product compliance is so complicated for US importers

In the European Union, there are mandatory directive and EN standards for hundreds of different products. Some complain that the EU is too heavy handed, and force unnecessary regulation on its member states.

There’s some truth to that, but what if there was no set of mandatory safety standards for most products? What if Importers had to make a complex regulatory assessment of their own (for which most are not qualified), rather than relying on a clear product compliance framework?

Enter the United States.

For many products, even electronics, there are no mandatory safety standards or directives. Instead, it’s up the Importer to make an assessment and apply ‘the necessary standards and procedures” to ensure that the imported products are safe.

Instead, product standards are developed by private organizations such as UL, ASTM and ANSI.

This is ideal, if you know how to make that assessment.

But if you’re just starting out, and don’t happen to have a team of lawyers and engineers by your side, it’s a lot more complicated. That, and much more, will be covered in this guide. Continue reading Product Regulations in the United States: A Beginner’s Guide

Shipping from China to the USA: 9 Ways to Save Time and Money

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Max Lock

This article is written by Max Lock, CEO of Fleet

No one has said that international shipping is easy. In fact, figuring out how to ship goods from China to the US in the most economical way possible can be pretty complex. When it comes to the China-US trade route, a small business can often improve their shipping methods in order to save time and money.

Vetting a freight forwarder, in order to find one with combination of experience you’re looking for, and adjusting several things, such as container size or packaging, can work wonders.

Tips To Save Time

Losing valuable time due to shipping delays is a common problem that can plague small business owners. Inconvenienced customers will be calling and asking about their orders, meanwhile the delayed products will be sitting overseas or even at port just miles away. It can be a frustrating situation for everyone. But there are definitely ways to curb this type of problem.

Because most small businesses cannot regularly visit their suppliers, it can be hard to curb delays on that side of the ocean. However, a few simple things can help improve your shipping times. Continue reading Shipping from China to the USA: 9 Ways to Save Time and Money

FCC Certification when Importing from China

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FCC Certification

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates all communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in the United States. Electronics creates radio frequency energy by themselves, either intentionally (e.g. WiFi enabled Tablets) or unintentionally (e.g. Power Supplies). Therefore, the FCC scope of regulations also apply to most consumer electronics and electrical equipment, and not only products intentionally transmitting radio waves.

In this article, we explain the basics of FCC regulations, and what you must know to ensure compliance when importing electronics from China, and other Asian countries. Before we get started, I’ll explain the two classifications set by the FCC: Continue reading FCC Certification when Importing from China

US Customs Procedures Explained: What Importers Must Know

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US Customs Procedures

Trying to get your head around US customs regulations and procedures? Not sure what a Customs bond is, or when you should submit the Bill of Lading? Getting your cargo through customs is the final step importing process, and the stakes are high. Without complying with the established customs procedures and regulations, you may face very serious complications – including costly delays and refused entry of the shipment.

In order to straighten things out for our American readers, we got in touch with a real professional – Kathy Rinetti, Customs Manager of, based in San Francisco. In this article, Kathy explains what US importers must know about freight documents, customs bonds, port fees – and why you need a Customs broker.  Continue reading US Customs Procedures Explained: What Importers Must Know

California Proposition 65 Compliance: What US importers must know

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California Proposition 65

American companies selling products in, or to customers in, the state of California must ensure compliance with California Proposition 65. This law regulates more than 800 substances in all consumer products. Yet, many American start ups and small businesses importing from China, and other Asian countries, are largely unaware how California Proposition 65 applies to their products.

That’s why we decided to reach out to Daniel Herling, Member at Mintz Levin, a general practice law firm with more than 450 attorneys. Daniel, based on San Francisco,  focuses on commercial litigation representing U.S, and international clients in the Americas, Europe and Asia. In this interview, he explains what American importers must know about California Proposition 65 – and what the consequences are of selling non-compliant items. But before we look into details, let’s begin with a brief introduction. Continue reading California Proposition 65 Compliance: What US importers must know

UL, CSPC Compliance & Fraud Prevention – What US importers need to know about China

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David Baysource

We talk a lot about product certification compliance and importing from China, from a European perspective. We thought it was about time to reach out to our fellow readers from across the pond. David Alexander,  President of BaySource Global, explains what American businesses needs to know about UL, CSPC Compliance, Fraud Prevention and getting your product right.

David, please tell us a bit about what you do and how you got started

In 2000 I was SVP Operations for a US consumer products company in the health and beauty care space. In 2002 we needed to launch a new brand that required all new packaging. The best domestic pricing we were quoted on container/closure tooling was US$300,000 which was extraordinary for a $5 million brand. By luck we were introduced by our Canadian distributors to an agent in Hong Kong. Long story short, we got the tooling done for US$30,000 and the products at half the cost. Continue reading UL, CSPC Compliance & Fraud Prevention – What US importers need to know about China