American Leather as an industry is similar to many other cultures around the world
where the skill of working with animal skin to develop leather as a natural source
of raw materials for the production of goods has been acquired.
American native Indians have been making American Leather which has been inspired
by traditional designs for centuries. It is an art form that has spiritual implications
over the years.
The American Leather Capital of the Southwest is in Nocona, Texas where companies
such as Nocona Sporting Goods have been making gloves since the Great Depression.
American Leather goods include horse saddles, travel cases, handbags.
Leather also holds about 15 to 20% of the upholstered furniture market in the U.S..
Importing Leather from China
The Leather industry of China can be divided into four areas:
Processing of Hides with Hair
Production of Leather Goods such as Coats, Fashion Wear and Bags.
Some of the provinces with a significant presence in the leather industry include:
Henan, Shandong, Yunnan, and Anhui. There are literally thousands of leather factories
in each province.
Often times, rawhide is imported into China where it is converted into finished leather
goods. Such finished goods are then exported to other countries in return.
The leather factories in China tend to be partnerships with the government. Even
if the companies are private, the government will be a major investor.
Importing American Leather
Leather articles are covered within Chapter 42 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule
of the United States. The specific types of leather goods and their headings mentioned
4201 - Saddlery, harness equipment
4202 - Cases, bags
4203 - Apparel and clothing accessories, shoelaces, straps,
4204 - Leather for machinery and mechanical applications
Raw hides, Skins and Leather imports are mentioned within Chapter 41 of the Harmonized
Tariff Schedule of the United States. Hide quality is classified on an industry
basis from grade no. 1 to grade no. 3 where no. 1 has the best appearance and no.
3 has the most flaws. With so many options, leather and leather goods provide the
importer interested in American Leather goods with lots of options.
Leather goods made for the American Leather market will require to follow a set of
government rules and regulations.
If the leather came from an endangered species of animals or wildlife, then regulations
by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must be met.
Similarly, if the leather came from domestic animals, then the U.S. Department Agriculture's
import certification requirements must be met.
Although leather imports derived from domesticated animals such as cows and pigs
tend to be straight forward, they are subject to quarantine regulations, marking
requirements, and processing standards. At the port of entry, the leather goods
will be inspected by Animal and Health Inspection Service from the U.S. Department
of Agriculture. If the rules and regulations are not fully complied with, then the
shipment could be denied entry into the U.S.
For importers over a certain dollar amount, an import license from the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service is required.
American Leather is a vast market spanning many areas providing the importer to USA
with ample opportunities.