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Build plastic injection mold projects in US or China

Current situation live in China...US plastic injection molding company scheduled staff in China for 6 days of mold trials beginning February 4. Tooling fixtures and components necessary to run the plastic injection mold trials are stuck in customs and customs is demanding >25% of value of these components to release them. My previous experience has been 17% import duties/taxes (regardless, delays are not uncommon if you are not familiar with the paperwork necessary to make a successful clearance).

This is only one example of hidden costs, more obscure than some mentioned above. If I was managing a plastic injection mold build project, I would have to take a look at the big picture regarding China or America. If it was a one-time deal, I would manage the plastic injection mold project through a reputable broker in the US. In this way I can be confident with TOTAL costs up front and avoid the agony of putting up a number to my customer for the price of the plastic injection mold project and then watching my margin slowly erode as the build progresses.

If I was expecting to procure plastic injection molds from China long term, I would engage necessary staff to work with the broker through the first pass. In this way, I would minimize the money loss risk on subsequent projects. Take lots of notes, invest the time on-site in China to develop your "quanxi" (network of friendships which is NOT the same as your network of business associates in the USA!).

Obviously, many companies successfully launch injection molds in China. Also, obviously, there are many risks with some being more obvious than others.

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