China Customs Clearance

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  • Professionals in product classification.
  • Familiar with Chinese customs policy.
  • Handle all the paperwork.
  • Suitable times for customs clearance.
  • Handle all types of goods.
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Some suppliers in China have not enough experience to do the paperwork for the customs clearance, Bansar can do paperwork professionally for suppliers or you, and this service is free for you.

Product Classification
Product Classification

Everyone knows the product Classification is very important in shipping link, it decides how smoothly the shipment goods through the Customs, include the accurate HS code, how to do the customs clearance based on different goods, Bansar have a professional team to do this work well.

Customs Clearance in China
Customs Clearance in China

Bansar is very familiar with China customs policy and we also have a professional team to do the customs clearance, trust Basar for this logistic link.

Customs Clearance in Destination Port
Customs Clearance in Destination Port

Besides customs clearance in China, Bansar also can do the customs clearance in destination port, we have branches or good agent partner almost in every country to handle the door to door service of your goods.

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Customs Clearance: The Complete Guide

If you’re importing from China, then knowing customs regulations and procedures is a must for you.


It will save you a lot of time and money.

Remember, if you don’t comply with the customs regulations, you cannot import from China.

And, today’s guide covers everything you need to know about China customs clearance.

From customs clearance basics, procedures, duties, prohibited items to importation documents, amongst others.

So, by the end of this guide, you will be an expert in China customs clearance.

Chapter 1: BanSar China Custom Clearance

BanSar is a leading freight forwarder you can count on when shipping from China.

For any shipping goods from China or to China, customs clearance is one of the most important in the logistic chain, it decides whether the shipment goods can delivery smoothly or not.

Bansar can handle this the whole customs clearance process very well.

With BanSar, you don’t have to worry about:

 i. Warehousing – we offer you free warehousing for up to 30 days.

ii. Shipping container – you can use our containers for 28 days

iii. Whether you want, LCL, FCL, Reefer, Out-of-gauge or door to door shipping from China, BanSar offers exactly that.

iv. BanSar helps you to choose from ocean freight, air freight, rail freight or truck shipping from China

And, the best part?

Worry no more about customs clearance from China to any destination in the world.

BanSar handles all customs clearance for you.

Whether you want a partner who can handle:

i. Paperwork and documentation

ii. Product classification – i.e., consumer or industrial products

iii. Customs clearance in China, or

iv. Customs clearance at the port of destination,

BanSar will handle everything for you.

We have offices in the main cities in China such as Shanghai, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Ningbo, etc.

Thus, BanSar meets the unique requirements of your shipping needs.

Feel free to talk to us today, and we solve all your problems.

That aside:

Now, let me take you a step further and discuss the basics of customs clearance in China.

Chapter 2: Customs Clearance Basics

Well, importing from China is becoming popular among various business peoples all over the world.

This ever-increasing interest has necessitated the Chinese customs authority to come up with various policies to guide the entire process.

Importantly though, as an importer, you need to grasp some basic knowledge and understanding of customs clearance basics from China.

And that’s precisely what you’re going to learn in this guide.

First though, let’s look at some of the points that we want to cover in this section;

  • What is customs clearance?
  • How custom clearance affects importing from China
  • Why a Freight Forwarder Should Handle Custom Clearance
  • Roles of Customs Brokers during Custom Clearance in China
  • How to Increase Efficiency of China Custom Clearance

With that summary, let’s dive right in:

2.1. What is Customs Clearance?

Custom clearance generally refers to documented authorization for passing goods to enter or leave a specific country.

It’s the national customs authority of a particular country that is responsible for granting this permission often through shipping agents.

Customs clearance

Customs clearance

Primarily, it involves putting the agent into the task of proving that all respective custom duties have been paid and shipment approved.

So, what do I mean here?

Custom clearance work is to execute policies and present the paperwork necessary for facilitating importation and exportation of goods.

In most occasions, it’s the shipping agents that often represent you during customs assessment and payment of duty.

The agents also help to co-take the shipment from customs immediately its clearance is over alongside the applicable documents.

In a nutshell, that’s what custom clearance generally means and entails.

2.2. How Custom Clearance Affects Importing from China

Let’s get straight to the point;

Custom’s official procedure is always simple and straightforward.

But some issues beyond control may cause a wide range of delays.

China Customs

China customs

This can either be at the port of loading or even at the destination port.

In most of such instances, it could be as a result of questionable documents.

So you’ll realize that the Chinese government provides suppliers with export rebates ranging from 0% to 17%.

At times, these rebates contribute a considerable share of the profit margin than the one you obtain from direct sales.

Other producers would at times also claim wrong HS code.

The intention, in this case, would be to attain optimum rebate income, which technically is a form of fraud.

In other occasions, some officials would enter the wrong HS codes either accidentally or because they are doubtful.

What I’m trying to imply here?

Several issues emanating from paperwork errors often cause custom clearance delays.

So what’s the bottom line?

It is necessary to ensure that you import goods from companies which understand the export process.

But if you’re not sure of the capability and experience of manufacturer regarding export knowledge, seek a reliable forwarder.

This should be a little bit easy for you especially if the forwarder understands and has experience in that particular product.

Typically, customs in the importing nation lays more emphasis on goods coming in than countries in the customs of export.

COSCO Shipping Lines

COSCO Shipping Lines

But you should also note that some containers the customs select for inspection tend to vary considerably.

Random inspection intensity is dependent on fundamental occasions in the importing country.

You see, some of them may need additional shipment monitoring as a result of security risks in the relevant department,

The intention of customs inspections is also to avert issues surrounding the intellectual property.

This includes importation of patented or trademarked goods.

2.3 Why Freight Forwarder Should Handle Custom Clearance

This is also another ideal information that you need to have as an importer from China.

In fact, this is something you need to consider deliberately especially if you’re importing bulk goods.

So to start with, who is a freight forwarder?

BanSar freight forwarder

BanSar freight forwarder

It refers to an agent that the exporter uses to aid them in transporting cargo to a particular foreign country.

In some cases, a freight forwarder can double up as part of your logistics plan.

Mostly, a freight forwarder is always available as a company.

You may find some individuals who also offer such services especially if you’re a small-scale importer.

The benefit is that a freight forwarder helps exporters to prepare the price quotes the costs.

They also deal with handling fees among others.

Freight forwarder would also advise you on the suitable packing methods for goods in the container.

Moreover, a freight forwarder handles additional services that are part of the international shipping business i.e.

  • Insurance
  • Customs documentation -a freight forwarder provides to consolidators as well as individual shippers.
  • Nonvessel operating common carrier documentation
  • Bill of lading
  • Risk assessments and management
  • Warehousing
  • Methods of international payment.

A freight forwarder will always insist on personal communication and more exceptional customer service.

2.4 Role of Customs Brokers during Customs Clearance in China

Like I’d mentioned earlier on, customs clearance is a process.

It can be intensive or straightforward depending on your paperwork and knowledge of the process.

So you’ll find that the entire procedure can be seamless, irrespective of the goods you’re importing depending on the input of customs broker.

What I try to insinuate here is that a customs broker plays a vitally significant role in the whole process.

Customs broker

Customs broker – Photo courtesy: Flat World

Well before we discuss much information, let’s first find figure out who a customs broker is.

Mostly, this could be an individual or company that has been authorized to carry out customs business on behalf of traders.

The primary role of a customs broker to advise you on the possible effective mode of clearing the shipment.

This, of course, has to be within the regulations of, and other policies revolving around customs entry.

At the same time, the broker also provides an approximate landed cost for cargo that enters the country.

Now, let’s move to another significant aspect when it comes to importing from China.

2.5 How to Improve Efficiency in Customs Clearance in China

Let’s not sugarcoat this element;

The truth is that no business person would wish to be taken rounds with endless referrals when importing goods.

It is often an irritating feeling which at times can raise emotive issues that might be unnecessary at that moment.

But the truth is:

These are always as a result of inefficiency or communication breakdown somewhere in between.

Well, it’s vital to know that improving efficiency in customs clearance when importing from China can be straightforward.

Most definitely, this depends on the means you choose to pursue and whether or not you comply with specific clearance regulations.

Here are some of the proper ways that you can use to attain efficiency in customs clearance;

i. Proper Packaging and Loading

One of the leading causes of delays at customs clearance is improper packaging and loading of the items.


It is something that must be done by experts.

You may end up saving considerable cost and time by seeking services of respective professionals.

Packaging copper nickel pipes

Packaging copper nickel pipes

But then, you need to understand that the Chinese customs authority have provision for packaging depending on the type of goods.

So generally, you must ensure that you package your shipment accordingly to prevent unnecessary inconveniences.

ii. Provide Accurate and Complete Information About Imports

Again, you have to ensure that all the shipping documents match the contents of the container and other related elements.

The moment the customs officials will find any sort of mismatch then it will be another issue altogether.

Remember this isn’t even a matter of whether the error could be accidental or deliberate.

And in some instances depending on the gravity of the error, you can pay hefty fines.

Of course, this is an unwarranted inconvenience because you tend to lose more than you gain.

Chinese customs inspecting goods

Chinese customs officials inspecting goods

China inspection and quarantine authorities usually issue rules regarding the regulations procedure.

The intention is always to improve the effectiveness in Chinas custom clearance.

What happens is that the procedure rules typically require the relevant authorities to comply strictly with the statutory time limits.

Of course, this is to guide in the seamless completion of the procedures with the aim of improving the customs clearance efficiency.

Normally the process is lengthy and time-consuming.

This is due to the high random check rate and a lack of regulatory guidance as to how the detailed procedures were determined.

This creates hurdles which increase the overall efficiency in customs clearance for products imported from China.

Usually, the full inspection and quarantine may include;

  • Accept application
  • Review
  • Inspection
  • Quarantine
  • Quarantine treatment
  • Overall assessment
  • Goods release
  • Archive

For a particular product, determining detailed inspection and quarantine procedures is on the basis of the products nature.

Imports not subjected to random sampling will be directly released provided a written compliance record.

iii. Another Way to Improve Efficiency is to Adjust to the Random Sampling Ratio

If you’re an importer and you fail to maintain a good compliance record with AQCIQ.

Random sampling ratios may also be increased if there is evidence that products may pose a high risk to health or safety concerns.

iv. Specification of Strict Timelines is Another Way to Increase Efficiency

Under the new rules, the relevant authorities must comply with the specified timelines for different types of products for each kind of inspection and quarantine process.

Accepting an application and reviewing an application process must be completed within half working a day.

For most products, the realization of onsite inspection is compulsory within one working day.

Additionally, laboratory inspection should also be within seven working days.

In general, the expectation is products to clear inspection and quarantine within one working day.

And therefore, here are some of the general observations;

The echoing of cross-border e-commerce growth in China necessitates ideal measures for inspection and quarantine of goods.

Ideally, AQSIQ is putting all appropriate measures towards enhancing efficiency in clearing goods that you import from China.

It happens that the overall regulatory trend is to make cross-border e-commerce to conform to legal requirements for traditional importation model.

Chapter 3: China Customs Clearance Procedure

Let me make this point clear;

Each country has its guiding principles concerning customs clearance.

And of course, China is not an exception.

In fact, as the leading export country in the world, China has put in place some of the stringent clearance measures at all her ports.

You know this is vital because, in a significant way, it helps to curb any incidents of sneaking goods inside and outside the country.

So mostly, the intention for all the rules and regulations for Chinese customs clearance is to create order and mitigate unwarranted loopholes.

In this section, we want to look at all the undertakings revolving around the clearance procedure when importing from China.

3.1. Full Fill China Customs Shipping Regulations

As an importer, you must ensure that you abide by all the shipping regulations that the Chinese customs authority stipulates.

If you want to pass through the customs clearance swiftly, you must make sure to confirm what certifications and standards you need to meet.

China shipping lane

China shipping lane

Incidentally, the trick for attaining this is preparing all the necessary documents.

You must also keep in mind that your importer must manage most of the customs clearance.

But you need to prepare all other documents in case the officials ask for them.

Make sure you communicate openly with your importer and manage customs clearance together to avoid time-consuming issues.

Before shipping, ensure you have the essential documents for facilitating shipping.

Actually, later on in this section, I’ll list some of these documents below to enable you to have an idea.

So just continue reading on.

But before that let’s see some of the elements surrounding full filling the customs shipping regulations in China

· Product Certification

The typical Chinese quality certificates include CCC (Compulsory China Certification) and CFDA.

CFDA is used for health food and baby formula for example.

If needed, you should get your products certified and provide certifications documents, for the customs to review when your product arrives in China.

· HS Codes

HS simply mean harmonized codes.

These codes are applicable worldwide for classifying goods traded in the country.

One of the biggest issues exporters confront is that the customs have the difficulties in specifying the HS codes to apply for your products.

Essentially, it means that they are not precisely capable of determining what kind of products you export.

Therefore, you wouldn’t know the kind of standards and regulations you need to follow.

It is crucial if you can classify your products with the correct HS codes.

HS Code

HS Code

Vitally, it helps so that the customs understand what kind of customs, regulations, and certifications applicable to your products.

And, I know you are possibly asking yourself:

What is Harmonized Custom Tariff Numbers (HS Codes)?

Well, this refers to the international nomenclature used for classifying products.

It enables classification of all countries taking part by the items traded on a frequent basis for customs purposes.

In general, the HS codes determine the GB standards which you need to meet.

For that reason, it is imperative if you can classify your product with the right HS codes.

It actually helps the customs to comprehend specific regulations and certifications applicable to your products.

· GB Standards

Typically, it is the HS codes that determine the GB standards you need to meet.

Well, the GB standards are unique for every aspect surrounding packaging, labeling and food products among others.

So, you mainly need to provide test reports showing that your products comply with the required GB standards for such items.

Incidentally, should any certification or test reports miss, you’ll need to provide the missing documents or a CIQdeclaration.

· Import License

This is also another document that you’ll have to avail as part of full filling Chinese customs policies.

While we’re on the subject, if an import license is a requirement, you must provide it.

As a Chinese importer, it becomes necessary to apply for an import license.

Some of the other important documents that you might require to clear your goods include the following:

i. Bill of lading

ii. Invoice

iii. Packing list

iv. Customs invoice

v. Insurance policy

vi. Trading contract

vii. Quality certificates

viii. Inspection certificate/license

ix. Import quota certificate

x. Cargo manifest

xi. Handbook of processing trade

xii. Authorization and entrustment agreement for clearance customs

But then again, the particular documents which you’ll require at a specific time depends on the type of product you’re importing from China.

Qatar Airways Cargo

Qatar Airways Cargo

And for that reason, you may realize that you will not necessarily need some of these documents when shipping some products and vice versa.

· Taxes and Tariffs

It is vital to know the costs involved to pay for different tariffs and import taxes when exporting to China.

And again, it is also fundamental that you have basic knowledge of how to calculate taxable amount.


It is primarily to protect you from losing your hard-earned money fraudulently in the hands of con officials.

For that reason, I’m going to review the different tariffs and import taxes that are applicable in this situation.

a) Tariffs

Tariffs are dividedinto6 different categories; namely

  • Tariff quota rates
  • General rates
  • Preferential rates
  • MFN rates (most favored nations)
  • Agreement rates
  • Provisional rates

MFN is mostly applicable in countries and members of the WTO (World Trade Organization)

b) Import taxes

It is also another form of tax that you have to pay as an importer.

Import tax revolves around several elements.

So let’s look at some of this type of taxes you’ll probably pay for as an importer;

  • VAT

It’s the same for domestically produced products and stretches up to 17 % depending on the products. The VAT is paid on product tariffs mentioned above.

  • Excise Duty

This type of tax essentially applies to limited products.

What I mean here is that it a form of duty paid specifically for some kinds of products.

In any case, such products are exclusive, and you may find that they’re merely designed to meet secondary needs of a specific group of people.

For instance, tobacco and alcoholic drinks are some of the products that attract excise duty.

· Customs Valuation

It’s important to provide documentation stating the CIF price (cost insurance and freight).

The CIF price includes the reasonable amount with the following items added;

  • Packing list
  • Freight costs
  • Insurance costs
  • Commissions for the seller

Expectedly, the Chinese customs have a database where they can check your CIF price.

This enables them to confirm if it’s in line with local rates and tariffs.

Surprisingly, if the difference in price is relatively big, you’ll have to incur additional charges.

· China Custom Declaration Form

Apparently, this is one of the documents that many people who import from China rarely know more of what it entails.

Previously, H833 was the conventional system for customs declaration.

Currently, H2000 is what traders use for notifications.

Again, you also need to know that nowadays such declarations are managed electronically.

The Chinese customs have put across an extensive guide explaining how different systems work and how to fill out the forms.

· CR Number

This refers to the number that you obtain immediately after you register at the Chinese customs website as an importer.

It primarily refers to Customs Registration Code, which is a requirement in China both for importers and exporters.

To prevent unnecessary inconveniences and delays at the customs clearance, always ensure that your CR code is stated in the customs declarations.

· China Customs Tracking

This is also the other element still on the aspect of accomplishing Chinese customs regulations.

Remember that it is possible to check the status of your shipment on the customs website.

Excitingly all you need is to provide a declaration number and verification code to fast-track the status.

Maersk Line

Maersk Line

In some instances, you’ll realize that failure to provide these codes will make it somehow impossible for you to determine your shipment’s status.

Arguably, the first section of the customs clearance procedure is quite demanding and detailed.

What I mean is that it requires a lot of knowledge and proper documentation of all import details.

3.2. Prepare the Necessary China Custom Clearance Documentation

Of course, you have to prepare all the necessary documentation for facilitating customs clearance in China.

The Chinese clearance documents are the regular correspondence you need to prepare when importing products from any local manufacturer.

Of course the moment you order your goods from China you expect them to arrive on time.

And this should happen without any unanticipated interruptions both at the departure port in China and at the destination port in your country.

So how do you ensure that you achieve this?

Simple, in fact, I’m emphasizing this for the umpteenth time;

Make sure that you prepare all the relevant Chinese customs documents accurately and promptly.

When you do this, it becomes easy to ensure that your goods pass through customs without any unnecessary interruptions.

Some of the items that you need to consider

  • A purchase order from Buyer
  • Sales Invoice
  • Packing List
  • Shipping bill
  • Bill of Lading or air waybill
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Proper certifications (please explain these CFDA, CCC, CIQ, CCIC & CEL)
  • Harmonized Custom Tariff Numbers (HS Codes)

i. A Purchase Order from the Buyer

This is one of the vitally important documents you require for import customs clearance.

A purchase order gives a reflection of all the terms and conditions surrounding the sale contract.

And it is also what allows the officials at the customs desk to verify value assessment.

At the time a valuable consignment could be under a letter of credit basis.

In that case, you can present a copy of the letter of credit alongside other documents for import clearance.

ii. Sales Invoice

This document contains overall information regarding the transaction.

Some of the details that this document contains include:

  • Unit cost
  • Products’ description
  • Delivery conditions
  • Quantity

It is thus apparent that a sales invoice is a significant document for both importers and exporters.

Therefore, the sales invoice plays a fundamental role for both the importers and exporters.

Also, in most instances, use of a proforma invoice is unacceptable for shipping. Instead, a sales invoice is often necessary.

Broadly, it’s because it provides the basis upon which the trade is completed in regards to bookkeeping, accounts and tariff calculation.

iii. Packing List

Ordinarily, this is a document is more or less similar to sales invoice only that it doesn’t include pricing.

However, it incorporates more information details about the contents of the shipment, such as the weight and measurement.

In general, this document is necessary as a supporting document in the commercial invoice.

iv. Shipping Bill

This is arguably one of the fundamental documents you need for efficient import customs clearance.

It indicates the total outward transmittal of a nation which is under the control of the reserve bank and customs department.

It is necessary to fill the shipping bill within a month of the consignment arriving at the customs location.

Filling of the shipping bill with the necessary custom clearance documents and assessments of goods by customs officials follow suit.

Upon completion of import customs formalities, you’ll obtain a pass order under such bill of shipping.

After receiving the pass order, the goods you’re importing can now move out of the customs area.

What now remains at this stage is payment for all the necessary import charges to the respective carrier of goods.

Upon making this payment, the cargo then moves out of the customs area to your place.

v. Bill of Lading or Airwave Bill

Apparently, it is the shipping company that issues this document to you as a consignment receipt.

Most of the Chinese companies always provide you with this particular document together with a copy at some point of the shipment.

They vary from one freight company to the other hence may easily confuse as you may think they are different documents.

But specifically, this document shows the name of the freight company.

It also indicates a text “bill of lading” at its top.

vi. Certificate of Origin

Mainly, this document shows the specific point where the cargo comes from.

In this instance, it will clearly show that the shipment comes from China.

In some cases, it would also provide the specific city or town in China.

So in China, you’ll find out that its only two particular bodies that typically issue this document;

  • China Council for promotion of international trade (CCPIT)
  • China entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureau (CIQ)

vii. Proper certifications (CFDA, CCC, CIQ, CCIC, CEL)

In China, customs clearance is a fundamental aspect within trading borders.

Most foreign importers always regarding the missing links in Chinese customs and clearance requirements and procedures.

Some companies often assume that they do not need certification for their products.

Again, they believe that there are some exceptions on their goods hence anticipate to clear with customs without hindrances.

Unfortunately, Chinese customs authority always confiscate shipment frequently as a result of missing CCC, CFDA, CIQ, CCIC or CIQ certifications.

In other cases, such shipments could also be having such certifications but fail to correspond to the HS codes as necessary.

You can prevent such problems from arising by ensuring that these points are in place before shipping;

i. Determining whether or not a license or certification is a compulsory requirement in China for shipping.

ii. Whether it will it be necessary for you to provide certification or CIQ declaration should a certificate go missing.

iii. You also need to note that products are usually detained and charged for storage until you provide the necessary documents.

iv. Should the customs inspection team request for certification it’s imperative to verify, CEL, or CFDA for the specific products.

v. A single code of the HS code is never enough for determining the particular requirements.

vi. In instances where certification is not necessary, Chinese accreditation can offer assistance in customs clearing by obtaining a CIQ declaration.

It is the only way of providing official authentication that certification is not a requirement for clearance.

Incidentally, you’ll find that customs authorities maintain that a product certificate is mandatory.

In such instances, you need to confirm if certification is economically justifiable.

The reason behind this is that at times there is always a window period required for certification in China.

And therefore, chances for exemptions could also be high.

On the same note, you also have to be aware that exemption policies also safeguard you as the importer from hefty penalties.

Essentially, some allow importation of particular products without a CCC certificate or any other type of documentation that’s deemed necessary.

What’s more?

To know that such exemption regulations only apply to a few products including the following;

  • Re-exported products
  • Products manufactured in China
  • Products imported in low volumes

But you should also take note of the fact that in most cases the customs clearance deny issuance of such exemptions even when you apply.

Port of Shanghai

Port of Shanghai

So what I suggest here is that in as much as seeking such exemptions could be advisable, you don’t really need to consider it deeply.

It is also because other options could prove to be cheaper and relatively fast.

Such reasons make it reasonable to seek services of a customs broker with expertise in this field for pertinent assistance in the whole clearing process.

Chinese certification has a vast experience in this area.

What’s the bottom line here?

In many instances, the process could be overwhelming to you as an importer, your experience and knowledge not withstanding.

It is for this reason that I always recommend you seek services of a professional freight forwarder.

Chapter 4: China Customs Prohibited Items

Look here, I want you to get this straight.

China, like any other country has put across all the products that are legal, and importers can comfortably trade in.

You may probably not want to hear this, but here we go.

The Chinese government is against some products that they deem illegal.

The rules concerning such goods are clear.

And therefore, should you find yourself in the wrong hand of the law then you’ll bear the consequences.

Incidentally, this is not a threat but the actual situation on the ground.

Prohibited items

Prohibited items

It is for that reason that I’ve seen the need for reviewing some of the prohibited items to import in China.

So that at the very least you can have the idea and possibly safe from encountering the wrong side of the law;

You may want to know what kind of items is prohibited from entering or leaving China;

They are as follows;

  • Weapons, simulated weapons ammunition and explosives,
  • Forged currencies or securities are never allowed
  • Food, drugs or other things that could harm humans and animals and are infectious or for epidermis areas.
  • Poison or addictive drugs are highly prohibited.
  • Any form of printed matter, films photos movies, videotapes, audiotapes, CDs, DVDs, computer storage devices and other things that could harmChina politics, economy, culture and morality.
  • Animals and animal products; the following animals and animal products are prohibited;
  • All living animals (except dogs and cats) and their sperm, zygotes, embryos and other genetic things.
  • Uncooked or cooked meat (including internal organs) marine animal products.
  • milk of animals and its products, including raw milk, fresh milk, cream, yoghurt, butter, cheese
  • Other dairy products which are not heat treated as well as whey powder, silkworm chrysalis, silkworm eggs, animal blood and its products, products of aquatic animals and so on.
  • Eggs and its products, including fresh eggs preserved eggs, salted eggs, egg liquid, egg shells, mayonnaise, and other egg products which are not heat-treated.
  • Fur, mane, bones, horns, oil and fats, flesh (viscera included) and the corresponding products
  • Edible birds’ nests excluding canned birds’ nests.
  • Transgenic biomaterials.
  • Plants and plant products
  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Transgenic biomaterial
  • Organic cultivation medium.
  • Soil
  • tobacco leaves (excluding cut tobacco)
  • seeds, sprouts, nursery stock and other fertilizable plants

Also, you need to know that there are various types of items that are quarantined.

They include;

  • Transgenic biomaterial.
  • Human blood and other corresponding products.
  • Animal bodies, samples, specimen, and offal from animals.
  • Pathogens of animals and plants, injurious insects and other harmful
  • Other animals and plants banned in the country.
  • Any opiates
  • Rhino horns
  • Syringes, both with and without needles.
  • Needles of any description
  • Stethoscopes
  • Refrigerators
  • Television sets
  • wired phones
  • Games operated by coins.

Chapter 5: FAQs on China Custom Clearance

Do you have any questions about China customs?

Well, I have sampled a few for you.

Exports from China

Exports from China – Photo courtesy: Statista

1) What is custom clearance?

It refers to a mandatory process for assessing goods that enter or leave a particular country.

This process also facilitates proper documentation and enforcing payment of all necessary charges.

2) How long does customs clearance take?

It is dependent on various factors including the type of consignment and documentation process.

Additionally, some goods may require further scrutiny upon entering the port area hence taking more time.

Therefore, there is no a definite time frame for clearing at the customs.

3) What supporting customs clearance documentation do I require?

Ideally, the process requires three key documentation which includes the following;

  • Packing list
  • Suppliers commercial invoice
  • Shipping document(bill of lading-either original or telex)

Other papers you will need for specific goods would be:

As an importer, you should always confirm all these among others before you ship any unique documentation.

4) Who decides how much import duties and taxes I have to pay?

The products are classified depending on the commodity code.

The duty and VAT payable for each product also amount vary.

It is the responsibility of importers to classify the codes.

5) How can I pay for import duties and taxes?

You will be advised on how much duty and VAT is required to be paid.

You can pay directly to the customs.

6) What happens after customs clearance?

You will obtain all the necessary copies of the documentation processed on your behalf.

7) Can I import foodstuffs from China?


As long as they are accompanied by relevant official documentation and certified by the competent authorities.

8) Why should I use a customs clearance agent?

The customs agents are there to facilitate a professional service.

9) Will I pay duties for all products I import from China?

It depends on the specific type of product.

Some are duty-free whereas others are subject to additional duties.

It also depends on the particular country where the product originates from.

10)  How do I clear my goods for export in China?

It is quite a process and also depends on the specific guiding principles in a particular port.

It also depends on the types of goods that getting into a country.

Some goods would require an additional physical assessment to make sure the declaration is accurate.

11)  Which products are prohibited for imports into the EU?

There is a list that shows all the prohibited products to ship within the EU region.

So you can confirm from the list and find out the exact ones as well as the exemptions in particular EU countries.

Well, these are some of the most common questions I come across regularly.

In case you have any other question, don’t hesitate to ask.


As you can see, China custom clearance process can be an overwhelming procedure.

Of course, this is due to the number of documents and procedures you will have to undergo.

However, you don’t have to worry about it.

You can hire a freight forwarder who will handle the process for you.

Basically, a freight forwarder will make importing from China a simple and easy process.

And, BanSar is your caring and listening partner when it comes to China customs clearance.

Contact us today, and will help you in every custom clearance procedure.

Learn more:

Special Shipping Rates from China
  • Shanghai to Singapore: USD80/20GP USD160/40GP&HQ
  • Shanghai/Ningbo/ Shenzhen to Los Angeles: USD700/20GP USD900/40GP&HQ
  • We can not list all special rate here, more quote please contact our support team
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