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How to navigate cross-border ordering for retailers in the US

February 8, 2022 | Published by Faire

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Stocking your store with goods from around the globe can help you stand out from the crowd, expand your customer base, and refresh your inventory. As we continue to expand into Europe, we want to ensure our retailer community has all the tools necessary to successfully shop overseas with confidence. We started by offering US retailers free import duties and free shipping on European brand orders. Now, we’ve put together a guide to help retailers in the US navigate cross-border ordering with ease. 

Retailer requirements 

When purchasing products from brands in Europe, the requirements for US retailers are largely the same as when purchasing products domestically. Retailers based in the US do not need to be VAT registered to import goods purchased internationally. In addition, an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number is not required for importing goods to the US.

On Faire, brands are responsible for shipping products to retailers. Brands are also responsible for providing the appropriate documentation on shipments to encourage clearance at customs, like a description of package contents, the value of contents, and country of origin. You can contact a brand directly using our messaging feature to provide additional information needed for customs, communicate about documentation, and ask general shipping questions. 

How import duties and taxes are calculated

All products coming into the US are subject to import duties and taxes, which are calculated through customs. Though retailers are typically responsible for paying these extra costs in addition to the cost of shipping, Faire is currently covering the cost of import duties and taxes for retailers in the US. However, it’s still important to understand how these costs are determined. 

The $800 threshold

The US has a low-value threshold—also known as the de-minimis value—of $800 USD. This means that if an order is under $800 in value, no customs duties or taxes will be charged. If the order is over $800, US retailers are only required to pay duties. These duties are calculated depending on the category of product and taxed by the government.

Health and safety inspections

Products shipped overseas are assigned regulatory rules based on health and safety requirements. Some products—like food, beverages, and some cosmetics—may require inspections before entering the US. These inspections will be charged to the retailer.

For more information on importing goods into the US, visit our help center guide.

Paying import duties and taxes

With our free duties promotion for US retailers, Faire will preemptively apply a promotion to your order at the time of shipment. You’ll then receive an invoice for import duties directly from the carrier a few weeks after delivery. If the cost of import duties and disbursement fees is greater than the promotion you received, you can request a refund from Faire for the difference. To request a refund, head to your “Orders & Reviews” page and click on “Request Duties Credit.” 

For more information on our free duties promotion for retailers, visit our help center guide.

Shipping times

Sometimes, orders from international brands can take a few days longer to arrive due to customs. For this reason, many brands on Faire fulfill international orders first so that they can offer the same delivery windows to their international and domestic buyers. International orders will be delivered to the address you provided during checkout the same way domestic orders are. 

In rare cases, customs may need more information from you, in which case they will contact you directly. On average, shipments being imported from another country take around 1-2 weeks. Faire is currently covering shipping costs on all European brand orders for retailers based in the US. 

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