For ages, marble stone has been globally used to lend a high level of exquisiteness and sturdiness to any structure and the USA is no exception. The demand for high-quality marble and other natural stones is quite high in the country. The USA is the biggest importer of finished marble products worldwide. The leading marble exporting countries to the USA are China, Brazil, India, Italy & Turkey. Among them, Indian marble is the most preferred choice of natural stone importers in the USA.
The foremost reasons behind the increasing popularity of Indian marble are its variety, sturdiness, beauty, and competitive pricing. Some of the popular natural stones being exported from India are Granite, Marble, Limestone, Sandstone, and Slate.
Now, when it comes to importing marble or granite to the US from India, one needs to consider various trade-related requirements. For example, the applicable documentation needs to be done precisely and professionally. A majority of consignments arrive through the sea route and require an ISF Filing, which stands for Importer Security Filing. It is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) directive that controls ocean shipments entering the United States.
What is ISF Filing?
The ISF filing makes it mandatory for importers to submit data electronically with CBP for incoming ocean vessel import shipments. This enables CBP and the Department of Homeland Security to recognize risky shipments to avert smuggling and ensure better cargo security and safety.
To avoid the high level of complexity involved with importing marble or granite to the USA, most importers prefer to consult a customs broker who employs various tactics to make the import process easier and quicker.
It is important to note that an ISF filing is much needed for a shipment coming through the sea. The usual ISF filing deadline is 24 hours before the loading of the cargo onto the ship directed towards the USA. It is an authorized deadline that is imposed by the CBP. Any kind of failure to meet this deadline can incur a fine of $5,000.
Things you should know about importing marble to the USA
Prerequisites for importing Marble
In today’s dynamic corporate environment, the focus of most importers remains on reducing time and complexity related to the import of products. Though the import of marble and granite doesn’t ask for stringent compliance, the process still needs to follow standard CBP guidelines. Possessing the right import documents paves the way for a quick and simple process. There are mainly 4 documents that need to be obtained to get customs clearance easily.
The commercial invoice is one of the most crucial papers in any international trade. It is a lawful document supplied by the marble exporter to the importer in cross-border trade and acts as a contract and evidence of sale between the buyer and seller.
The commercial invoice includes the price(s), value, and quantity of the products being exported. It must include the trade or sale conditions decided by both buyer and seller.
Bill of Lading
According to the Business Dictionary, a Bill of Lading is:
“A document issued by a carrier, or its agent, to the shipper as a contract of carriage of goods. It is also a receipt for cargo accepted for transportation, and must be presented for taking delivery at the destination.”
This legal document has 3 purposes – to serve as a contract between the shipper and the carrier, a receipt for goods shipment, and a document for the title of the goods.
A customs bond is much like an insurance policy that guarantees that the US government is paid for the applicable taxes and duties. Most commonly, it is referred to as a “bond” in the import/export industry. This document is mandatory if the products being imported are of value more than $2500. Single-entry bonds and Continuous transaction bonds are two types of bonds being used.
Arrival Notice is a legal document that is handed over by the freight carrier at the time of entering the US territory. Please note that it can’t be compared with a release document but it provides the consignee the information required to do the pending customs clearance and start preparing the pickup of the goods.
Import Duty on Marble
Generally, the import duty levied by the US government on marble is between 0 and 5%. However, the exact duty calculation is done based on the applied HTS code on the product. There are several HTS codes used and duty varies for each code.
If the product is coming from China, extra tariffs are added according to Section 301. These charges hover between 10 and 25%. However, if the trade is being done with a country that the US has a Free Trade Agreement, one can avail several benefits. There will be zero import duty given you furnish all the required documents.
Importing marble from India to the USA
One major reason why stone importers in the USA prefer Indian marble is due to its reliable quality, durability, easy availability, and competitive pricing. Not only marble, but India is known to have a great source of several other natural stones like Limestone, Granite, Sandstone, Slate, Quartzite, and others.
Also, the marble quarrying process in India is backed by superior technology which means buyers get a genuine quality product at reasonable rates.
Most importantly, India enjoys an easy-going trade association with the US which paves the way for easy movement of goods between both countries.
· Easy availability
· The advanced stone extraction process
· Competitive pricing
Easy trading process
Fumigation of Marble
In most cases, CBP specialists inspect the marble consignment. If he comes across pests or insects, he orders to fumigate the shipment to kill any insects or pests.
Though marble is considered a natural stone, it falls under agricultural commodities in the USA. Therefore, you may be told to fumigate the shipment. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection remains extremely considerate about the safety of its nationals in every possible way.
Popular Indian marbles in the USA
It is one of the most demanding marbles available in the market today amidst the increasing preference for granite in homes and offices. Fantasy Brown Marble is much harder than the usual white marble that has been increasingly used in kitchens.
Fantasy Brown is known to have even, diagonal streaks of radiant gray and white with swirls of indistinct pastels, making it a wonderful option for homeowners who want the beauty of marble with the durability of quartzite.
The color and pattern variation are quite high with this marble stone.
This marble boasts brown and grey-colored streaks on an off-white surface. The best thing about this stone is that it complements different types of designs and color schemes. Used indoors or outdoors, it lends an exquisite appeal to almost all surfaces like countertops, walls, floors, and others.
In regard to functionality, Alaska White marble is quite flexible, durable, and features classic beauty. It always remains a preferred marble choice among stone importers in the USA.
Rain Forest Green
Popular for its intense variations of dark browns, deep reds, and cream-colored hues, Rain Forest Marble is one of the widely exported marble stones from India to the USA. Useful for both commercial and residential applications, this marble stone remains one of the hottest natural stones in the U.S. stone industry.
This marble has been largely used in kitchen backsplashes, flooring, walls, and other areas where some kind of play is required.