A quick guide on how to import European windows to the USA

A quick guide on how to import European windows to the USA banner

You’ve heard that European windows meet high quality standards and decided to buy them. This is the pleasant part of the buying process.

However, to finalize the transaction, you need to ship the goods to your country – USA, which can be difficult without professional help. Yet there is no need to worry, debesto got you covered. In this article, we will go through the most relevant aspects of importing European windows to the USA.

In this article you can find out:

Why are European windows worth buying?

European windows are getting more and more popular in the USA. They are better resistant to condensation which reduces the energy consumption especially in colder climates.

Most of the American windows use double pane windows while European windows have triple or even quadruple panes along with integrated blinds. Thanks to that they keep heat during the winter and keep pleasant, not-too-hot temperatures during the summer.

Even if we take into consideration that some of the North American windows also use triple panes, they have smaller spaces between them compared to the European ones. It makes American ones less resilient to the outer climate. 

windows in the US and Europe

Read more about American vs European windows

Where to buy European windows?

Purchasing and importing windows from Europe to the USA may sound like a complicated process but, thanks to the companies like debesto, it’s easier than you think. One of the ways to buy European quality windows is to order them straight from one of the producers and ship them to the chosen port in the US with the help of the professional consultants and commodity brokers. And this is what we do for companies.

To help our customers find the best possible solutions, we take care of the whole process of purchasing, starting from choosing the right windows through completing the order and taking care of the whole formalities (related to the order and shipping) and finally sending them to the chosen port in the US. You don’t have to spend hours searching for better options, we will take care of the whole process for your company.

importinf european windows to the us

Can individual customer import European windows?

Importing European windows to the USA is profitable for companies. debesto helps companies to import windows from Poland.

If you are an individual customer, you may also get European quality windows installed at your home.

Tell your contractor about debesto.

Check out the offer for companies

What’s the cost of the import of the European windows to the USA?

As you may realize, importing small amounts of windows to the USA can be expensive and profitability of such operations can be debatable in most cases. But, there are some ways to cut these costs. One of them is ordering a full container. For example, a 40-foot container can fit about 100 windows 200 x 200 cm (78 3/4″ x 78 3/4″). Ordering a full container is more cost-effective than ordering fewer windows than the container can hold (we call this LCL – less than container can load).

What is the price for shipping? 

The estimated price of a window container imported from Poland to the USA starts from $490. You can check the exact cost of importing windows in price list below.

how to save money on transport while importing windows from poland

How to arrange shipping european windows to the USA?

Ok, we know how much it costs to import windows from Europe to the USA. Now, let’s find out how to arrange this process. To understand the shipping process follow these 5 steps:

Now we will go through them briefly.

1. Packing in Poland

Let’s assume that you have already chosen the windows and ordered them. After that, the producer prepares your order which takes from one to eight weeks. Then, they transport the goods for container loading or deliver them to a given warehouse. 

Now it’s time for professional protection and preparation of the parcel with windows for a long journey, so that it arrives in perfect condition. In the meantime, your partner estimates the number of crates the goods will be loaded into. When everythings is ready, they contact the shipping company, which determines the cost of transport.

Your windows are placed in stands or boxes that are specially adapted for long journeys of fragile goods. Their structures are resistant to various external factors, such as moisture, shocks, or insects.

If your order is smaller or consists of tiny elements, there is a possibility to send it as so-called general cargo. It is packed into special small boxes, which are then loaded onto a container. In that case, you don’t need to pay for the entire container.

After the goods are properly packed, we contact the sea freight company, to which we provide all the necessary shipping documents.

windows from Poland packed to shipping

2. Port in Poland

The container is transported to the seaport by rail or road. Then, the shipping company informs us about the approximate date of loading the container and the departure of the goods. It may take several days. Why? It all depends on the equipment, crew and availability of the ships, because the date of departure is contingent on the free space on the ship. Once the departure date is known, your order is ready for the journey.

If your goods are properly packed, the shipowner approves the container as ready for shipment. Usually, it takes several days from acceptance to departure.

windows in the container

3. Shipping

The ocean road (from Europe to New York City) takes around 21 days. But remember, this is the time of the cruise itself and not the total travel time from the warehouse to your destination. You should add from two to three weeks for the organization of the container in the port.

There are two ways to ship your windows: on a CIF rules Cost, Insurance and Freight (named destination port) or DAP (Delivered at Place). They are the incoterms terms.

CIF means that the seller, in our case –  debesto, will carry out export customs clearance for you and, what’s equally important, your shipment will be insured for the time of maritime transport right up to the port you choose.

DAP is an option in which the windows will arrive not only at the port, but even at the place you specify – the construction site.

shipping debesto

4. Port in the USA

When the container arrives at the pickup location, the shipowner should contact you directly or your US customs broker.

There are two ways to ship a container. The first is the collection of the container from the port, which you have to arrange on your own. It is important to do this quickly as the cargo must not remain in the port for too long. Otherwise you may be charged additional fees.

That’s why it is important to immediately contact the shipping company, which will deliver the material directly to the construction site as soon as the container is unloaded from the ship. It saves you several hundred dollars.

Important: If you have trouble finding the right company, contact your US customs broker. It will definitely help you find the right supplier.

It is also important to be aware that you may wait several days for the ship to unload in port. Therefore, make sure that the US company will pick up your order as soon as it receives information from the customs agency that the goods have been unloaded.

5. Delivery to your company

After collecting the container from the port, the shipping company will take it directly to the construction site. Then you can start the installation process and provide your client with the best quality windows for many years.

You can also deliver your windows directly to the place indicated by you. In this case, the transport is organized by your partner on the Polish side. But in that scenario, you have to be ready for higher costs than if you would arrange the transport on your own. At debesto, we cut your costs because we deliver windows up to 300 kilometers from the port for a $2,000 surcharge.

If, unfortunately, you forgot about some elements, such as handles or hinges – you can always use the classic courier services and send a parcel weighing up to 70 kg, which will arrive by plane within 2-3 days. The courier will deliver it directly to the indicated address, so you don’t have to worry about receiving the package.

unloading windows from europe

Shipping formalities

Now let’s go through all the required documents related to taxes, customs clearance, etc., which are necessary to take care of shipping from the formal side.


When it comes to taxes, there is good news for you – there is a 0% VAT rate when buying goods from Poland and exporting them to the USA. It is justified by the following documents:

IE 529 MRN – This is a confirmation of the beginning of the exportation procedure. We get this document in a Polish port, at the time of the customs clearance. IE 599 – this is a confirmation of the export of goods outside the EU. We receive them within 14 days of the goods leaving the last European Union port.

Customs clearance

To organize custom clearance for windows imported from Europe, you need:

  • a commercial invoice (It is good to have an english version)
  • a packing list (List of the goods and it’s netto/brutto weight)
  • company’s registration documents
  • authorization for customs agency
required documents when importing windows from poland to the usa
Needed for custom clearance

Tips for reception of windows after reaching USA

After the windows leave the port, an agent from the American side will contact you to take care of all formalities related to the shipping for you. 

He should help you with all local payments, and taxes proper for every state. He should also establish a way of taking the goods after it comes to the port – explains Jacek Łyczewski a logistician at debesto.

You can pick up an order on your own or ask for delivery at the building site.

And here is the most important part of the whole process. After your windows reach the USA, the main responsibility for the purchasing process falls on you. Here is what you have to do:

  • 1. Collect of goods from the port on your own within the prescribed time (usually 48-72 hours after the container arrives at the port)
  • 2. Pay the USA duty (check what the rate is)
  • 3. Arrange and pay for transport from the port to the place of investment / warehouse

Payment of port service costs:

  • for LCL (less than container load) it will be about (strongly estimated: 100-200 dollars per 1m3 (cubic) of goods
  • in the case of full container transport FCL (the entire container exclusively for one customer) the costs depend of your agreement with the sea fright.

Do not omit any of these points because it may cost you a lot of money because of fees. Just one additional day the goods will “spend” in the port may cost you hundreds of dollars!

Shipping windows from Europe to the USA – what else you need to know?

Besides all the aforementioned charges, it is good to remember some important aspects of the import. What else should you do?

  • 1. Decide if you want to use the services of an agent recommended by debesto.com or another (handled on your own).
  • 2. Take care of the data that must be provided to the agent.
  • 3. Check if the quantitative and qualitative compliance of the packages is correct.
  • 4. Take photos of the goods in the packages and after opening them in case of possible damages.
windows packed for shipping

Shipping European windows to the USA – summary

As you can see, importing windows from Germany, Poland or any European country is not a rocket science. But you need to remember some important formalities, costs and deadlines to avoid unpleasant surprises. If you want to import European windows, but you need a support, you can contact debesto – European windows broker.

What does the cooperation with debesto look like?

We start with the interview in which you share needs of your company`s project. Then, we browse the market to find the best possible solutions for your business. Once we know what kind of solutions you need, we compare offers for this solution using the network of our partners and present it to you.

If everything is fine and you choose one of the presented offers, we start the purchasing process. In debesto we take care of all the formalities so you don’t have to worry about it. As a commodity broker, we cooperate with globally-known brands such as Rehau, Gealan, Veka, Schuco, Coritzo, Aluprof, Yawal, Aliplast, Reynares and Ponzio.

Thanks to our experience, we know which suppliers stick to the deadlines and offer the best quality of their goods so you can be sure that you won’t have any complaints on your purchased goods. Also, we give you a warranty for 30 months that obtains in every country in the world. You can read more about profits of working with windows broker here.

cooperation with debesto support

about author

Bartek Michalak

I’m a co-owner of debesto.com, a company specializing in helping construction professionals to profitably import windows from Poland. With a decade in the fenestration market, I excel at resolving customer issues and am adept at making complex window technology understandable for everyone. The expression of this is the website debesto.com for which I’m responsible.

 I’m an enthusiast of analytical approaches and digitizing knowledge. In my personal life, I’m passionate about travel and continuous learning, currently diving into artificial intelligence and stock market investing.

Connect with me

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debesto.com – who are we and what do we do?

At debesto.com, we are experts in providing customized window solutions, including patio doors, blinds, entry, and garage doors, tailored to building professionals: developers, general contractors, architects, and construction project managers.   With over a decade of expertise in European windows, we specialize in assisting construction companies to import windows efficiently and profitably.   With debesto, you gain comprehensive, consultative partnerships designed to enhance your project’s success and minimize your business risk. Our customers appreciate most:
  • - cost-effectiveness
  • - deep business understanding
  • - secure on-site delivery
  • - timeliness
  • - exceptional communication and support
  • - incredibly smooth process
  Need more info? Check how to verify debestoRead what happens after booking a consultation

Delivery time

What is the lead time of an average order?

The total time from manufacture to delivery of the windows to the US port is on average 7-10 weeks depending on the destination port and delivery method that you can choose from debesto delivery price list.

Add to this the production time of the windows (from 2 to 8 weeks).

The maximum expected production time can be found on the pro forma invoice. We deliver 97% of all orders shipped worldwide according to the deadline we declare on the pro forma invoice. If we are late, we give you a 2% discount.

More questions about the delivery? Check Frequently Asked Questions about importing windows to the US

Warranty and safety

Do the products come with an international warranty?

Yes, products are covered by the debesto worldwide warranty, provided they are installed according to the professional standards and applicable regulations in the country of installation.

Are the windows insured during shipment?

Yes, all products are fully insured during transportation, covering the entire value of the products.

Any concerns about potential issues with windows from Poland? Discover 5 main reasons for complaints and ways to solve them

Want to know how much your business can gain by importing joinery from Poland?