Monday, September 5, 2011

Import Taxes. Something Stinks in Denmark.

Everything in the US is imported, so why is my tiny company that imports a specialty item from New Zealand taxed almost 20%?  Twenty percent taxes on my specialty product,  plus shipping, customs handling fees, and import broker fees and I'm supposed to be able to operate a healthy small business?   Am I being punished for importing from another country?  I'm all about living locally, etc., but I also feel that healthy trade is good for our country and good for our people  My company is importing a woolen cloth diaper from NZ.  And to try and keep it local, we are making the insert component of the diaper here in the state of California.  Bi-Country teamwork if you will.  Lets face it, New Zealander's know their nappies....and they know their wool.   They have been on board with cloth diapering far longer than we, disposable-lover Americans.  That's not to say that there isn't a growing movement and awareness within our US brethren, but what's wrong with learning from, and using a helpful product from our friendly Kiwi neighbors? Why re-invent or steal the wheel?  The product is fantastic and in my opinion, charmingly from New Zealand. 

The other day I was at a fabric store and saw cute little wooden birdhouses for sale.  The price?  Only $1.  One dollar will buy you a cute little wooden birdhouse.  (The birdhouse is very small, so it is really just a decoration or a children's painting project.)  The birdhouse is made in China of course, but I've been to China and I know wood is not plentiful.  China does everything by coal and as a result has the highest CO2 emissions in the world.  But that's another blog chapter.  My point is, the New Jersey Company that sells these little bird houses to the fabric stores must have a very advanced accountant.  Is it possible that this New Jersey company exports wood to China so that the bird houses can get assembled there and then imports the final product back into the US?  And how is it, with all the export/import taxes, assembly charges, etc., that this little birdhouse can be sold for only one American dollar???  How is it possible to make anything off of this little birdhouse, let alone pay for all the fees associated with manufacturing and distribution?   I'm confused!  What kind of deal does this New Jersey company have with US Customs and how do I get in on it?


  1. Wow, is it really 20%?! That is crazy!

  2. I hope that somehow things can change that is a big chunk of money to have to pay. You have got me so curious as to what makes this wool special! I am in search of wool diapers, and I can see why it costs a bit more than more than most because of the import tax--but now I am so curious as to what makes this Nz wool different than most!