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Import, Q&A

Sample Import Requirements


I am interested in importing single samples of furniture from Bulgaria as showroom pieces. Each piece is valued at 90-150 Euros and I would like to find out the approximate import tax. The pieces are not for resale.


Importing samples into the United States allows companies to receive example goods from overseas and choose from multiple vendors before committing to larger import quantities. It’s a common practice and an excellent method for determining quality, transit times, and estimating a budget.

When importing a sample shipment, keep the following in mind

Sample goods are classified under chapter 98 of the US Harmonized Tariff Schedule, a chapter designated for specialty import provisions. Most imported samples are classified under HTS number 9811.00.60. Samples classified in this way must not be valued over USD $1 or must be permanently marked, torn, perforated, or otherwise mutilated so that they are not suitable as a saleable item.

Example sample mutilations and markings

  • Drilling a one inch hole into the bottom of a tennis shoe would make it unsuitable for sale and would allow it to be imported as a sample.
  • Indelibly marking by carving or etching a surface of a piece of wooden furniture where it would be conspicuous and in plain sight with the words “Sample: Not for resale” would meet the marking requirements of classification 9811.00.60.
  • Including a permanent tag, sewn in a conspicuous place, with the words “Sample: Not for resale” on cushions and upholstered furniture would meet the sample marking requirements.


Sample imports classified under HTS classification 9811.00.60 and meeting the above requirements for marking are free of duty from any country of import.

Please note: This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not specific legal advice. As an importer, it is your responsibility to meet all the legal requirements for importing goods.

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