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    1. LivingstonShipping is offline

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      Importing Toys from China - Regulations and advice

      Chinese toys have taken over most of the world; you hardly find toys from local manufacturers on store shelves these days. For people new to toy import business, there are two aspects to keep in mind. The regulations concerning international trade and selecting quality products and good suppliers.

      China imports regulations

      The topic has been covered elsewhere on the forums, so I will not get into the details here. When you are importing things, you have to follow international trade regulations. I am discussing some of the regulations regarding import from the U.S.; these regulations may be different for other countries, so do go through your local government trade website.

      When the imported material enters the U.S., it has to be cleared by the Customs. You need to file paperwork at the customs within 15 days from unloading of goods at the port. You have to pay a security deposit pending assessment and handing over of the shipment; for immediate assessment, you need not pay a deposit. The importer or their agent has to provide documents including bill of lading, seller’s invoice, and packing list. To specify where the consignment should go from port, you have to provide warehousing or final port instructions and post appropriate security deposit. The customs department will also undertake different types of assessment to find out if the shipment adheres to U.S. laws. U.S. customs requires that you use a prescribed classification number for your products. Look up the number for toys in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule.

      Dropshippers do not often store huge consignments. If the products arrive by mail and are valued at less than $2000, they are released after examination by the Customs and payment of duty. However, if you are importing toys (or items such as handbags, plastics, and textiles), your shipment is not released to you until you have provided a bill of lading or carrier’s certificate, seller’s invoice, and packing list.

      Sourcing Products

      Chinese toys have received a lot of bad press recently, which increases the pressure on the importer to find only the best quality products. If possible, visit the factories of a few Chinese manufacturers to make sure you are getting quality products. Small businesses however, cannot afford to visit factories located halfway across the world, so it is recommended that you find an agent in China who finds the right products, negotiates on your behalf. An import company located in China will make the process easier, taking care of Customs requirements and duties. Order samples before requesting an entire batch of products for customers.
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    2. StanleyCup319 is offline

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      Very helpful post. Thanks. I have been wondering about quality issues regarding Chinese toys. In 2007, there was this huge outcry over “toxic toys” which sent parents running to stores in search of American-made toys. Is there any basis to what some importers call “misconceptions” about Chinese products? If not, then how do we sell Chinese toys in a hostile market?
      Over 150,000 Verified Sources + Deals 95% Off MSRP + Free Website!

    3. GarbledGarbo is offline

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      #3
      I feel the focus on China as a source of tainted toys has been unfair. I remember a major Japanese car-maker recalled thousands of cars over safety issues recently, but we did not stop buying Mitsubishis and Hondas, did we? Mattel has been in the hot water too, recently….so it’s not a China specific thing. We just have to pick the right products from the right manufacturers.

      To source the best toys, you have to understand toy design and manufacturing aspects. First is the constituents of the toy – does it contain lead? Does it have harmful chemicals? The second is product design – when you manufacture toys or any other item for children, a small flaw such as a tiny part that breaks off and can be swallowed becomes a big concern.

      The Consumer Product Safety Commission has made the life of importers easier by setting up a China Program Plan. The Commission issues notifications regarding product recalls, provides instructions on safety issues.

      I think a lot of resellers, importers, and distributors are also to blame. They do not take the trouble to learn about proper use of toys. If you hand over a Scrabble game board and the lettered pieces to a 2-year-old, she will in probability try to nibble the board and swallow a “letter”. You need to have proper warning labels regarding age appropriateness and make sure parents read those labels.

    4. Notopesale23 is offline

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      #4
      I noticed many participants in the discussion have emphasized the need to personally visit the manufacturers. Is that necessary? I run a small business from home, and I don’t want to spend all that money on travel to another continent if its not absolutely essential. Thanks in advance for replies.

    5. LivingstonShipping is offline

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      #5
      When it comes to toys, most importers would rather visit the factories and see things for themselves. Particularly when it comes to China, where a huge variety of product quality and price spell opportunity as well as danger. If you use drop shipping from China, you have to order in bulk anyway to break even on import duty and shipping charges…you cannot order just three or four items from halfway across the world and expect to make good on your investment, unless those items are high end goods such as cars, designer wear, etc.

      You can also have the products tested by a third party to make sure they satisfy U.S. quality norms. These companies, besides testing, also offer safety certificates. We are associated with many different Chinese manufacturers and all of them have flawless safety records. We did a lot of research to zero in on the best companies.

    6. PolentaPal is offline

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      The most important safety guideline for toys is the ASTM F963. All toys sold in the U.S. must carry this label… if you are importing from outside U.S., get a certification guaranteeing F963 standards.

    7. GarbledGarbo is offline

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      #7
      And now for the good news – many wholesalers and manufacturers of Chinese toys are very open to drop shipping **cheers**. So if you are sick and tired of wholesalers with large “no dropshipping” signboards outside their offices **figuratively speaking**, this is the time to capitalize on the various drop ship offers from Chinese toy sellers.

    8. LivingstonShipping is offline

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      #8
      Keep the trends in mind too – having a safe toy in your inventory is not enough. People want innovative toys that help the child develop motor and cognitive skills. They want products that can keep the child engaged for a while as the parents go about their daily routine. Look at what manufacturers are offering. Then compare that to what is selling on eBay. Read trade magazines to follow trends…there might be a niche market just waiting for you to discover it.

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